We all know what seasons are – spring, summer, autumn and winter. But how much do you actually know about what they are, why they happen and when they start and end? Our seasons are due to the earth tilting on its rotational axis, due to orbiting around the sun each calendar year. This creates sunlight on different parts of the earth.
In simple terms, this means that the earth orbits the sun over a year, and as it does so, the sun beams on different parts of the planet at different times. The earth also rotates by itself (a day) meaning it’s a ‘wobbly planet’, and does not go up and down, but tilts to turn around by itself, every 24 hours (it takes a year to rotate the sun). When the sun is high up, we get summer and when it’s not, we get winter. The sun is always high in the sky on thet Equator, which is why it never gets cold.
- Spring begins in March and ends in May, and lasts while the sun crosses the equator, leading to around 12 hours of day and night each. The weather is usually calm and dry, and the sun high in the sky brings warmer temperatures that lead to many animals giving birth, but it still remains cool at night, due usually due to the effect of the nearby ocean.
- Summer is our warmest season, beginning June and ending in August, which includes 21 June (the summer solstice, the longest day of the year). We still get a lot of rain, a good thing in cities that can suffer from heat island effect, due to often chopping down many trees (so temperatures are much higher).
- Autumn is from August to November and this is when the green leaves lose their chlorophyll, leading to beautiful forests of orange and brown. This is due to falling temperatures, Nights can be cold and storms are common.
- Winter is the coldest season from November to February, when trees and plants often go dormant or stop growing, and many animals hibernate (the only three mammals in England that do are hedgehogs, bats and dormice). We often half-hibernate too with longer nights and cold weather. It’s a good idea to take heed, and slow down ourselves, ready for spring!
Poetry Break: Colour by Christina Rossetti
This is one of our favourite poems! It’s not specifically about the seasons, but it could be. Christina may have an Italian surname (she was the daughter of an Italian poet and political exile, who became a Dante scholar and Italian teacher in London). But she was raised in England, and became one of our greatest poets. A great humanitarian despite her privileged upbringing, she volunteered (but was turned down) to join Florence Nightingale’s nurses during the Crimean War. She never married and suffered from Graves Disease for 20 years, before dying of breast cancer in her 60s.
What is pink? A rose is Pink
By a fountain’s brink.
What is red? A poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? The sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’
What is white? A swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? Pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? The grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? Clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!
Seasons is an awesome guide to each of the four seasons, with emphasis on its effects on the natural world. Join cute and funny animals, as they appear through brightly illustrated scenes. Take a simple look at the seasons and the changing weather. Observe the subtle science behind seasonal changes; from rainbows in spring to bees seeking nectar in summer, to pumpkins in autumn (fall) to the winter freeze.
- Watch as the weather changes, from season to season
- See the animals in their natural habitats
- Which plants and flowers grow?
- Look inside, and see how beehives work
A playful and engaging fresh look at the seasons, and how the world changes around us. A key subject for young children, this is sensitively written and beautifully illustrated.