just recently read that the equator was in the direct path of the sun, day and
night were of equal length, and the North and South Poles received equal light.
Upon reading that, I nearly threw the paper down and like Chicken Little,
begin running around warning everyone that “The sky is falling!”
I found that the words weren’t nearly as ominous as they sounded. I quickly realized that it was only a description of the
“autumn equinox” and it happens every year.
It is more commonly known as the first day of autumn. However, another term that is frequently used during this
time of year is “Indian summer” and I began to wonder just what exactly was
Indian summer, and where did the name originate?
some reason, I had a picture in my mind of Indian sweethearts out strolling hand
in hand in the sunshine amid the colorful wilderness foliage on a beautiful
autumn day. However, even if there
were some truth in that, there remained the question of who decided to call this
time of year Indian summer rather than Caucasian Summer or any number of other
ethnic combinations. I assumed that
there surely was a reason so I began to do a little research.
discovered that the American Meteorological Society defined Indian Summer as:
"A time interval, in the mid to late autumn of unseasonably warm
weather, generally with clear skies, sunny but hazy days, and cool nights.”
other information that I found was that the term, “Indian summer” might have
come about because it was the time of year that the Indians would begin to hunt
when the cooler weather began.
completely different explanation that I came across had to do with the Indian
Ocean rather than the American Indian as we might naturally suppose the name
might have meant. It said that many
years ago ships sailing on the Indian Ocean took the opportunity to load most of
their cargo during that time of year when it was cooler yet a fair weather
season, thus the term “Indian summer”.
It was said that some ships even had “I.S.” on their hulls to show
the load level that was safe during the Indian summer.
all the varying opinions as to the source of the name, “Indian summer”, the
most popular belief that most people agree on is that it is an abnormally warm
and dry period of time in autumn, usually in October or November.
This time may vary in length but it comes after a killing frost or
freeze. There may also be several
occurrences of Indian summer in the same year or no occurrences at all.
researching Indian summer, it seems that nobody really knows for sure where the
name came from, but one
thing I do know is that we had better enjoy the few fleeting days, if we are
blessed with them, because Indian summer doesn’t stay around long before
winter comes along. If snow and ice
fall on Chicken Little’s head, he may convince you that the sky is falling,
but just a word to the wise, if you see Foxy Loxy,. …don’t go home with him.