The autumnal equinox took place on September 23, marking the end of summer and the start of fall across the northern hemisphere. Autumn is season of harvests, festivals, migrations, winter preparations, and of course, spectacular foliage. Around the north, people are beginning to feel a crisp chill in the evening air, leaves are reaching peak color, apples and pumpkins are being gathered, and animals are on the move. Collected here are some early images from this year's autumn -- more will come later as the season unfolds. [39 photos]
Visitors look at pumpkins arranged in an exhibit at the Buschmann and Winkelmann pumpkin farm on October 9, 2011 in Beelitz, Germany. The farm, located in Brandenburg state near Berlin, harvests tens of thousands of pumpkins from approximately 40 different kinds between August and October and is known for its elaborate, theme-based pumpkin exhibits.
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
Fallen maple leaves carpet a lawn across the street from the First Baptist Church of Kingfield, Maine, on September 30, 2011. As trees start showing autumn's golden, orange and red hues, nature lovers aren't the only ones taking note: Scientists are watching trees and making note of time that leave change and drop as they seek to determine climate change's impact.
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) #
Miguel Sandel of Middleborough, Massachusetts, rakes cranberries into a loading tube during an afternoon harvest at the Hannula cranberry bogs in Carver, Massachusetts, on October 4, 2011. Massachusetts cranberry farmers are expecting a robust crop this fall. Researchers said that growing conditions this summer were optimal, with enough hot days interspersed with the right amount of rain.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa) #
The sun pokes through tall white pines to shine on a five-inch-tall mushroom at Winslow Park, on September 16, 2011, in Freeport, Maine. The recent cool, wet weather combined with the approach of autumn has brought on a profusion of mushrooms on Maine's forest floors.
(AP Photo/Robert F Bukaty) #
Grapes are ripe for picking at the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard in Mackinaw, Illinois, on September 22, 2011. Local vineyards are reporting generous yields and flavorful grapes because of exposure to the unrelenting heat this season. Unlike many forms of vegetation, grapes are unique in that they produce intensified flavor when compacted upon the vine by a lack of moisture.
(AP Photo/Journal Star, Ron Johnson) #