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Fall Is in the Air

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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]

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A Soviet-era statue called "The Diver" is seen with a garland of fall leaves on its head in Moscow's Gorky Park, on October 8, 2011. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)
A Soviet-era statue called "The Diver" is seen with a garland of fall leaves on its head in Moscow's Gorky Park, on October 8, 2011. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)
A dragonfly lands on a stalk of wheat ready for harvest during sunset on the Canadian prairies near Vulcan, Alberta, on September 7, 2011. (Reuters/Todd Korol) #
Leaves are turning to their fall colors near Lutsen, Minnesota, on September 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) #
A leaf floats past reflections of autumn foliage in a pond in the Kirov central park in St. Petersburg, on October 9, 2011. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk) #
A man sits with his dog in the early morning mist on Hampstead Heath, on September 30, 2011 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #
With the apple harvest at its peak in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, boxes of jonagolds wait to be pressed into cider at Hartland Orchard near Markham, Virginia, on September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) #
A man herds a cow at "Klausenalm", near the village of Ginzling in the Austrian province of Tyrol, on September 23, 2011. Traditionally during early autumn, farmers bring down their cattle from mountain pastures back to the valley to their winter stables. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
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) #
A fallow deer buck watches from the cover of a bracken thicket after sunrise during the autumn rut at Richmond Park, on October 10, 2011 in London, England. (Dan Istitene/Getty Images) #
A vessel leaves the Port of Anchorage, Alaska, in Cook Inlet, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The mountain in the background is Mount Susitna, also known as the Sleeping Lady, who appears to have a snowy shroud draped over her on October 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Dan Joling) #
Fall colors appear along a road near Schroeder, Minnesota, on September 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) #
A competitor snorkels during the World Bog Snorkeling Championships on August 28, 2011 in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. In 2012, following the Olympic Games, Llanwrtyd Wells will host the inaugural World Alternative Games. (Harry Engels/Getty Images) #
Tourists raise a toast in the Schuetzen tent at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, during the final days of the festival. The 178th Oktoberfest closed on October 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Joerg Koch) #
Tom Lishness steers his boat made from a giant pumpkin during the Pumpkinboat Regatta in Damariscotta, Maine, on October 9, 2011. The regatta included two classes of boats; paddle and the "super-modified" division that uses small outboard motors. (Reuters/Joel Page) #
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) #
A hint of autumn appears as leaves and foliage begin to change color at Moseley Bog on September 7, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #
Leaves turn to fall colors near Lutsen, Minnesota, on September 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) #
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) #
A fly fisherman's line hangs in the air momentarily before being sent back to the water's surface on September 29, 2011 on the Coeur d'Alene River near Kingston, Idaho. (AP Photo/Coeur d'Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos) #
Preschoolers from Growing Place Preschool in Huntington, Indiana, take a hayride during their visit on October 10, 2011, to Campbell's Pumpkin Patch in Wabash, Indiana, (AP Photo/Wabash Plain Dealer, Jeff Morehead) #
Judith Espinosa, left, and her daughter Mariana Gonzalez pick vegetables at Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm near Palmer, Alaska, on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. Fall color blankets Bodenburg Butte in the background. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Mark Lester) #
A swan swims in a park pond in the southern Russian city of Stavropol, September 27, 2011. (Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko) #
Leaves are stuck to a section of road surface in London, England on October 5, 2011. A combination of late summer high temperatures and an early fall of leaves onto a sticky non-slip section of asphalt created a leafy collage. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
John Davis of Delaware, Ohio, harvests soybeans in the fields of his farm for the first time this fall, on October 5, 2011. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Eric Albrecht) #
A woman with autumn leaves in her hair walks in a procession during the Dazhynki harvest festival in the town of Molodechno, some 50 km (31 miles) northwest of Minsk, on September 30, 2011. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko) #
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) #
A youth plays with a dog as he lies on fallen autumn leaves in central Minsk on October 6, 2011. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images) #
A flock of geese lands on Cheney Lake in East Anchorage on September 27, 2011, as waterfowl migrate south for the winter. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth) #
A woman walks over a bridge on the lake Spitzingsee near the village of Spitzingsee in the Alps, southern Germany, on October 9, 2011, after first snow of the season has fallen. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
A bird flies off after attempting to land on a resting red deer stag after sunrise during the autumn rut at Richmond Park on October 10, 2011 in London, England. (Dan Istitene/Getty Images) #
Leonardo Urena celebrates after his pumpkin won this year's Half Moon Bay giant pumpkin contest in Half Moon Bay, California, Monday, October 10, 2011. The winning pumpkin weighed 1,704 pounds, making it a new California record. The circumference was 195 inches. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) #
Eighth-grader Alex Pearson works on an observational poetry assignment at Beartrap Meadow on Casper Mountain, on September 29, 2011 in Casper, Wyoming. (AP Photo/The Casper Star-Tribune, Dan Cepeda) #
Stella (left), 10, and her sister Maike, 8, choose from pumpkins at the Buschmann and Winkelmann pumpkin farm on October 9, 2011 in Beelitz, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
A worker collects grapes for wine during harvest at a vineyard of the Tenuta dell'Ornellaia estate in the village of Castagneto Carducci in Tuscany, on September 21, 2011. (Reuters/Tony Gentile) #
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) #
A couple walk sunny autumn weather in Kolomenskoye park in Moscow, Russia, on October 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #
A single leaf has changed color on a red maple in Freeport, Maine, on September 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) #
Vehicles brake for moose near the aptly named Moose Run Golf Course, on September 27, 2011 on Arctic Valley Road in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Erik Hill) #
Nine-month-old Charlotte Lindhorst of Toledo finds her perfect pumpkin at the Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland in Geauga County, Ohio, on September 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Lisa DeJong) #

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