Autumn

May is the last Autumn month before we head into winter. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Autumn months are March, April, and May. North Americans call this season Fall because that’s the time the leaves fall from deciduous trees. Most of our deciduous trees are not native trees – they are European or Asian. Many New Zealand native trees are evergreen. They do not lose their leaves.

Parts of the South Island are noted for their attractive trees during this season. Central Otago – around Queenstown – has many European trees which turn colour in the Autumn. Of course, if you are a home owner and have the job of raking up leaves every few days during this season, you might find this a never-ending task.

Colder weather, more rain, shorter days and longer nights are also a sign of Autumn. Some parts of the country even have frosty mornings as early as May. Snow falls on the mountains and temperatures drop everywhere.

It is the time of harvest, especially pumpkins, apples and pears. Most other fruit and vegetables are finished although this is the season for feijoas in New Zealand, and kiwi fruit are starting to appear in the shops.

If you come from a country in the Northern Hemisphere, May is Spring for you. It signals the start of the growing season.

Vocabulary

• head into (verbal phrase) – go towards
• Hemisphere – half a sphere; the Earth is a sphere
• deciduous (adj) – trees which lose their leaves in Autumn; the opposite is evergreen
• to rake (v) – to use a rake to collect the leaves off the lawn or garden
• feijoa – a sweet, green fruit which is native to parts of South America






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