Technically, it isn’t fall until 8:03 p.m., Central Daylight Time, on September 22, so we still have a few hours of summer left today to squeeze in the last of warm weather fun (even though the temperatures will be on the mild to cool side).

But the movement of the Earth as it whizzes through space around the Sun at 67,000 miles per hour and its 23.5-degree tilt on its axis dictates the inevitable: Fall now owns the next several months.

Interestingly, a lot of things fall, physically and economically, during the fall months. Here’s a short roundup of what falls in the fall:

  • Temperatures. Barring a few exceptions, temperatures drop from the summer 80s and 90s to the cooler 40s, 50s and 60s. And it’s downhill from there when we go into winter. Why do temperatures go down in fall and winter? Simply put, because we get less direct sunlight during those seasons. Thanks to the tilt of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun, more sunlight falls directly in the northern hemisphere during spring and summer. In fall and winter, we get less and less direct sunlight. Less sunlight means longer nights and cooler temperatures.
  • Leaves. Tree leaves briefly turn brilliant colors before they detach from the trees and float to the ground. Why do leaves change color in the fall before they dry up and die? The amount of daylight drops in the fall, along with temperatures. This slows and stops the creation of chlorophyll, which fuels leaves and gives then their green color. Leaves go from green, flexible and moist to dry, brittle and colorful. The colors come from varying mixtures of pigments and chlorophyll in the leaves.
  • Gas prices. Generally, demand for gasoline drops after Labor Day as people travel less in fall than they do in summer. Also, the fuel mixture switches from summer-grade to the less expensive winter-grade, which also help bring the price down a bit at the pump.
  • Home prices. Most housing market watchers say the price of a home will drop this fall as mortgage loan costs rise. The housing market was hot until inflation hit and the Federal Reserve began raising federal rates that ultimately translate into higher mortgage rates. Fewer people can afford homes, more homes remain on the market and prices fall to stimulate sales.
  • Lawn mower prices. As summer ends, the need for a lawn mower declines. Shopping experts say the end of summer and start of fall is when you’re likely to see prices of lawn mowers dropping as dealers look to clear out their inventory. What do they replace lawn mowers with in fall and winter? Snow blowers, of course.
  • Apples. In North Dakota, many varieties of home-grown apples ripen and fall to the ground in September and October. In particular, the Honeycrisp apple ripens in late September to early October and stores very well. Honeycrisps are among the most popular apples in the Midwest and have what is described as a “sweet and balanced taste; very crisp.
  • Time. Technically, the clocks fall back one hour in November as we return to standard time. The official change is Sunday, November 6, at 2:00 a.m. At that moment, clocks should be reset to 1:00 a.m., either automatically or manually. Time remains in standard mode until Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 2:00 a.m., when clocks are set ahead one hour. That means we get only 126 days of standard time before we go back on daylight saving time.
  • Daylight. The number of hours in a day with daylight falls. Twilight and night overtake the total amount of “light time” available each day until we reach the winter solstice on December 21, the shortest day of the year. We’ll have about 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight that day. Daylight time varies throughout the year due to the Earth’s 23.5-degree tilt as it orbits the Sun. Without the tilt, we’d have no seasons or changes in the lengths of day and night.