What is Eczema and How Can it Affect You

As winter enters its harshest months yet, everyone’s skin is susceptible to the drying affects of the weather. Whether you realize it or not, the weather can play a large role in your skin and its ailments – including eczema.

Those of you who have experienced eczema are very aware of just how much worse it can get during the hard winter months.

To learn how to manage this chronic condition in winter months, we teamed up with our very own Dr. Shannon McKeen who answers some of your most asked questions about eczema and how it works against your skin.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a medical condition that affects the skin in various ways. It can result in rough, dry patches that may produce intense itching, blisters and bleeding skin if left untreated.

Occasionally, eczema is a reaction to various substances, known as eczematous dermatitis, but most often has no known cause.

Who gets eczema?

Did you know that eczema is actually a very common skin condition? It affects about 1 in every 10 people. Odds are, you know someone in your life struggling with it.

Dr. Shannon McKeen says, “Eczema can affect any age, ranging from newborns to elderly patients. It has a higher prevalence in patients that have a personal history of asthma or allergic rhinitis, as well as a family history of eczema.”

Basically, eczema doesn’t discriminate and can affect a wide range of individuals.

What causes eczema to flare up?

One of the most widely asked questions has to do with the cause of eczema and its flare-ups. Dr. McKeen dives deep to answer the cause for you.

“There are many different factors that can contribute to a flare of eczema. Anything that worsens the dryness of the skin can, in turn, worsen eczema. Therefore, the winter months can be very difficult for eczema patients due to the low humidity, hot showers and heaters running in the house.

Fragrances in soaps, lotions, laundry detergents and other personal care products can also aggravate eczematous skin. In rare cases, food allergens can contribute to severe and recalcitrant cases.”

In order to reduce the symptoms of eczema, pay close attention to your body and what substances you come into contact with prior to a flare up. This will help regulate your condition better.

What does eczema look like?

It’s important to understand what eczema looks like so you can accurately identify and treat it. However, as always, we recommend visiting your dermatologist to confirm before self-treating.

“Eczema can present as one small scaly patch or a diffuse itchy rash that covers the entire body. The distribution of eczema can vary with the age of the patient and the appearance can be different depending on how long the rash has been present.

Due to the wide variety of presentations and the fact that eczema can mimic other skin conditions, it is important to have the rash evaluated by a Dermatologist.”

Are eczema and psoriasis related?

Although eczema and psoriasis can, at times,  have a similar clinical appearance, they are unrelated and also treated differently.

As noted above, there are numerous skin conditions that can have a similar clinical appearance to eczema, therefore an accurate diagnosis is essential for proper management.

How can you best treat eczema?

There are a few different ways in which eczema can be treated. First and foremost, always confirm your diagnosis with a dermatologist and listen to their expert advice in treating this condition.

Dr. Shannon McKeen has more tips for treating eczema:
“Healthy bathing habits are of the utmost importance in patients that have eczema. Historically, topical corticosteroids were the mainstay of therapy. In recent years, there have been new exciting therapies that do not contain steroids which can be used topically.

There is also a new injectable biologic medication that can help for severe cases of eczema that are difficult to treat with topical medications alone.”

Not all cases of eczema are the same, therefore patients should work with their Dermatologist to formulate a unique treatment plan for their specific needs.

Can eczema be cured?

Unfortunately there is no cure for eczema. However, there are many steps that can be taken to improve the overall health of the skin and reduce the frequency of flares.

With the variety of treatment options available, allowing a patient to be in control of eczema is now a therapeutic reality.

Eczema is a skin condition that can be both painful physically and emotionally. Always book an appointment with a trusted dermatologist to understand how it works so you can utilize a treatment plan that’s best for you.

About Dr. Shannon McKeen

Dr. McKeen is originally from South Bend, Indiana. She completed her undergraduate years at Ball State University, and as a chemistry/pre-medicine double major, won awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Performance in Chemistry.

Dr. McKeen attended medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she was one of two students in her graduating class to receive the Academic Achievement Award.

She spent her clinical years at University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center, and after medical school, stayed to complete a Dermatology-focused Traditional Rotating Internship. She completed her Dermatology residency at Lakeland Health in Saint Joseph, Michigan where she was appointed chief resident. After completion of her dermatology residency, she became board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology and gained Fellowship status from the American College of Osteopathic Dermatology.

Source: ApexSkin.com

Research Reveals How to Keep a Healthy Heart

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

When you think of February, what comes to mind? Chocolate? Roses? Love?

This February, we’re thinking about your heart—and not a chocolate filled cardboard heart. February is heart health month and it is a great opportunity to take stock of the health of your heart and what you can do to make it even healthier.

First, the facts:

If you ask typical Americans what disease they fear most, they will likely say cancer. And cancer is a deadly disease, killing hundreds of thousands of people each year. But there is a killer even more prevalent than cancer: Heart Disease.

According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer in America. In fact, more women die from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined! And men are 2 to 5 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than premenopausal women. But once women reach menopause, their risk is similar to a man’s. The facts speak for themselves: heart disease is an even greater threat than cancer.

But now for the good news. Heart disease is nearly 95% preventable! YES, PREVENTABLE!

Are you taking care of your heart?

Exercise is a critical part of having a healthy heart. The benefits of a well-designed cardiovascular training routine are pretty obvious, but what many don’t realize is how important strength training is for heart health. Exercise such as strength training not only builds muscle and helps keep your weight down, it also makes your heart stronger so it does not have to work as hard to supply your body with life-giving oxygen.

Weight control. Being overweight puts you at high risk for heart disease. When you are carrying around excess fat, your heart has to work harder. It enlarges as it works harder, and as it enlarges, it become less efficient. Eventually, this reduction in efficiency culminates in heart disease. As you strength train, however, you increase the muscle mass in your body, which helps to burn off extra fat, easing the burden on your heart.

Strong heart. High-Intensity Strength Training, like we do at MaxStrength Fitness, also increases your heart rate, which pushes your heart to become more efficient and causes you to grow more capillaries. The end result is a heart that is so strong and efficient that it has to do less work to supply your body with oxygen. You will have lower blood pressure as well, because your arteries will be supple and smooth—blood will flow through them easily. And the extra capillaries in your body will make it easy for oxygen and nutrients to be transported throughout your entire body, giving you more energy and better health.

After analyzing data from nearly 13,000 adults, researchers found that those who did strength training had a much lower risk of heart attack and stroke, dying from heart-related causes, and dying early from any cause than those who didn’t do any strength training. The strength trainers also had lower risk of harmful cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and large waistline. The best part? There’s no need to live in the weight room; the heart-health benefits were seen with less than an hour of strength training a week! Find a certified trainer and learn a simple, efficient routine using machines, free weights, or your own body weight, and do at least two sessions a week. Your whole body, including your heart, will benefit.

Source: Associations of Resistance Exercise with Cardiovascular Disease Morbidity and Mortality.

2019 Wedding Trends

2019 is here, and this year, it’s getting personal. Weddings this season are all about adding personalized touches and reducing waste. Expect to see more ceremonies set up ‘in the round’ in order to allow all guests a perfect view. Décor at the wedding site will be minimal, and brides will instead focus more on enriching the experience of the guests at the reception.

Bridal dresses this year follow the simplistic, ‘less is more’ theme, with clean lines and high necklines. Similarly, bouquets will be minimalistic with plenty of greenery or grasses. Pampas grass is on trend to be the most used green of the season, and can be transformed in a multitude of ways. Grooms will be dressed in bespoke suits in rich, deep tones with an overall ‘custom’ look. As a whole, wedding dress codes are shifting to more straightforward requirements (think ‘black tie’), in order to minimize confusion for guests and create a more cohesive feel.

(Amsale Bridal)

(Amsale Bridal)

Sustainability is the name of the game this season, and brides are finding creative ways to reduce waste at their receptions. Traditional sit-down dinners are being traded for passed appetizers and charcuterie boards. Food stations are an easy swap for buffet dinners, featuring smaller portions of more intricate dishes. Getting rid of a lengthy dinner service cuts down on waste and encourages guests to dance and mingle as they please.

(Foodie City Network)

Elegant wedding cakes are making a comeback after alternatives such as donuts or macrons were used frequently in past years. Overall, receptions will feel less traditional and will instead have fun features like disco balls and confetti to make it feel more like a party. We’re excited to work with our 2019 brides and see their visions come to life!

(I do! Wedding Cakes)

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about 2019 wedding trends! Be sure to tag us in your engagement and wedding photos! (Creative Transformations on Facebook and @creative.transformations on Instagram). Contact us if you’d like our help planning an engagement or wedding, or if you have questions about our services. Want to see a specific topic featured on our blog? Let us know!

 

Tips to Help Realize Your Goals in the Year Ahead

At the dawn of a new year, many people set goals to motivate themselves to change. But as January 1 drifts further into the rearview mirror, it can be easy to settle into old habits and forget about the resolutions and goals established at the turn of the calendar. Staying on course and achieving one’s goals requires discipline. In addition to working hard, people who want to realize their goals in the year ahead can take several steps to increase their chances of being successful.

  • Examine your priorities. Achieving goals is easier when the goals can be among your biggest priorities. Examine your priorities to determine if you can fully commit to goals that may require significant time commitments. People who are already stretched thin may need to recalibrate their goals or make changes in other areas of their lives before they can fully commit to pursuing new goals.
  • Be specific in regard to planning. Being specific when choosing goals is important, but it’s equally important to be as specific as possible in regard to developing a plan to realize those goals. Figure out how you’re going to achieve these goals; create a new daily or weekly schedule that allots time toward your goals.
  • Make note of potential obstacles. Recognizing potential hurdles in advance of their appearance can help you overcome them and stay the course toward achieving your goals. For example, people hoping to lose weight can look ahead to occasions that might compromise their efforts, such as a wedding or backyard barbecue. Recognizing these obstacles gives you a chance to develop a plan to overcome them. In the weight loss example, you can choose vegetarian options from reception menus or resolve to avoid alcohol, which tends to be high in calories.
  • Start small, but start immediately. Lifestyle changes can be difficult, so make small changes initially and gradually work toward larger, more significant ones. Starting small can lay a successful foundation, but it’s important to start immediately. Procrastination can reduce the likelihood of achieving your goals and the earlier you get started the more quickly you will adjust to the changes necessary to realize your goals.

The dawn of a new year is a great time to set new goals. Bringing those goals to fruition requires careful planning and commitment.

Learn to Break the Procrastination Habit

Procrastination is more a symptom of emotions rather than a problem of poor time management. Experts in the field of psychology say that even though procrastinating may temporarily relieve anxiety or unpleasant feelings, procrastinating ultimately can increase negative feelings. The idiom, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” has been credited to many people, including Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde. Regardless of who first uttered the phrase, it still rings true. Many people are guilty of procrastinating, which can affect their productivity and various other areas of their lives.

Procrastination can sometimes be a good thing, giving a person time to think through decisions more thoroughly instead of acting impulsively. Waiting to do something until a deadline looms also may motivate a person to work harder to complete the task at hand. Yet chronic procrastination can be a problem that affects one’s job performance, academic success, and general state of mind.

Psychology Today says that procrastinating is often done to temporarily reduce a person’s anxiety about a task or alleviate boredom or negative feelings toward the work at hand. Resolving to stop pushing tasks into the future can be a worthwhile goal, but it’s difficult. “To tell a chronic procrastinator to ‘just do it’ would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, ‘cheer up’,” said Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University.

Individuals Can Instead Employ These Strategies To Get Focused:

• Set deadlines. Open-ended time frames for getting things done may be a procrastinator’s worst enemy. Setting deadlines can provide the inspiration needed to get things done. Set reminders to help stay on task.

• Seek cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT is a common type of talk therapy that is used as a tool in treating various mental health conditions and other situations. CBT helps a person become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking to change a view on challenging situations, says the Mayo Clinic. This way one can respond to them in a more effective way.

• Identify feelings. Identifying why a person is procrastinating can help them get past the block. Fear, change, sadness, or lack of experience may be behind a person’s tendency to procrastinate. Identifying the cause can help men and women overcome this hurdle.

• Break down the task. Dividing a challenging task into a handful of smaller tasks can make it easier to complete the project. Reward little successes, which will eventually add up to a big success.

• Keep distractions at bay. Remove distractions from the environment so they can’t be used as a procrastination crutch.

Over time, people can break the habit of procrastination and become more efficient and successful.

Fundamentals of Getting Your Website Online

The process of getting a website online has never been easier and more complicated than it is now. There are so many options to help you get a site online that it can be overwhelming. One of the biggest pain points my clients have is understanding all of the moving parts that are needed to getting and keeping a site online.

This isn’t unique to new website owners, but also to those that already have an existing website. Untangling what was done to get their site online can often be an impediment to growing an existing site. Small business owners, freelancers and those in the ‘gig-economy’ that find themselves in need of an online presence beyond social media are tasked once again at wearing another hat that may not fit well with their skillset.

Before you have a conversation with any developer you should have a basic understanding of two things I always talk to clients and potential clients about. 

1. You should always register your domain name yourself. This is the single most important piece of advise I can pass along to clients. Owning your domain, as in registering it yourself, is crucial. Having it in your name allows you to control what you do with it, what is displayed when people type it into their browser, and gives you complete control of your website for as long as you own that domain name.

2. Web hosting comes in many forms. A ‘web host’ is someone that maintains or has access to maintain a server that your website is stored on and served to the internet from. There are a lot of options, free and paid, when it comes to hosting a website. There are also advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing the right hosting company.

It can be complicated, but it shouldn’t have to be. Understanding these basic concepts and working with a developer (not a designer) that understands both them and your needs can make getting your project online a breeze and ensures that your existing site has a solid foundation for success. If your website needs a facelift or complete re-do, give us a call. We’d love to help!

Dominion Energy Ohio Payment Plans & Energy Assistance Programs Can Help Customers Stay Warm This Winter

Dominion Energy Ohio offers a variety of payment plans and energy assistance plans to better manage your energy costs this winter and help area families stay warm. Customers who may not be able to afford their heating bills are urged to contact Dominion Energy Ohio immediately at 800.362.7557to inquire about these programs. Hearing-impaired customers with Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf can call 711.

Dominion Energy Ohio offers the following payment options to residential and small commercial customers:

• Budget Billing allows customers to pay a fixed budget amount each month, based on annual gas usage. Dominion Energy Ohio periodically reviews the budget amount and adjusts it, if necessary, so that the customer will not have a high balance or large credit at the end of the budget year. Customers should call the company for more information.

• Current-Plus Plan: Customers with a past-due balance pay their current monthly bill, plus one-sixth (1/6) of the total account balance at the time they enroll in the plan.

• The One-Ninth Plan allows customers to pay one-ninth (1/9) of their total account balance each month plus a calculated budget amount.

• Under the One-Third Winter Heating Plan, customers pay one-third of their total account balance each month for bills that include gas used from November 1, 2018, through April 15, 2019.

• Short–Term Extension grants up to five additional days to pay before the next bill date.

State and federal governmental energy assistance programs also can help income-eligible customers keep warm this winter. You can apply for all programs with one application at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov, which provides income guidelines as well. Applications are also available at libraries, some banks, and your local home energy assistance provider, or by calling the Ohio Development Services Agency at 800.282.0880.

For example, under the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus), participating customers can maintain their natural gas service by paying 6 percent of their total gross monthly household income, or $10, whichever is greater. To qualify for this year-round special payment plan, developed by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), a customer’s yearly gross household income can be up to 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

PIPP Plus has special benefits for participating customers. Each time customers make their required PIPP Plus monthly payments in full by the due date, Dominion Energy Ohio will credit their accounts for the rest of that month’s current charges, plus a one-twenty-fourth (1/24) credit toward their prior account balances. After 24 months of on-time and in-full PIPP Plus payments, their accounts would become current. The new PIPP Plus maximum yearly household gross income levels for the 2018-2019 program year are: $18,210 for one person, $24,690 for two people, and $37,650 for four. Add $6,480 for each additional person.

The company reminds customers that under PUCO’s annual Winter Reconnection Order, all residential customers, regardless of income, may avoid a shutoff or restore gas service once during the heating season between now and April 15, 2019, by paying the lesser of: the entire past-due balance on your gas bill, the past-due payments if you are on a special payment plan, or $175.

For more information on Dominion Energy Ohio’s programs and services, visit www.dominionenergy.com.

Holiday Survival Guide: How to Get Through the Holidays with No Regrets

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Let’s face it: it is hard to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays. Everywhere we turn there are tempting foods and drinks—from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites. When you add in a busy schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales are concerned.

The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1 rolls around and you have no regrets!

Your Goal:  Maintenance

In order to greet the New Year without tipping the scale, it is wise to try to maintain your weight during the next few months instead of trying to lose. Remember:  you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from deprivation. This means that you will allow yourself occasional treats and splurges and keep the scale where it is rather than trying to actually decrease your weight.

There are several ways to accomplish this:

• Don’t skip your workouts. To get the biggest bang for your exercise-buck, do regular strength training moves. Even after your strength training session has ended, your metabolism and calorie-burn remains high when you do strength training! You need this calorie-burn to keep up with the richer food that you will be eating. You will also be less likely to overeat if you have just pushed through a hard workout!

• Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip this important meal.

• Keep a food diary. Write down every single thing you eat—even if it is only one bite of shrimp cocktail. It is a proven fact that keeping a food journal results in better weight control than not keeping one. (Tip: don’t want to write it down? Snap a picture!)

• Monitor your hunger. Never show up at a party or buffet ravenous—you will most certainly overeat. Drink water and have a protein-filled snack (such as nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cheese) before arriving. This will help you have more self-control around the temptations.

• Weigh yourself twice each week. Normally it is not a good idea to step on the scale too often, but during the holidays it’s a great way to stay on track with your goals. If you see the scale start to creep, you can immediately take steps to correct it, such as backing off your calories for a day or two, drinking more water, and adding in a little more exercise.

• Watch your portion size. If you have an idea of how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it.

• Deal quickly with leftovers. If you have unhealthy leftovers in your home, you are likely to indulge. Don’t leave them sitting around. Freeze them, give them away or toss them. It’s not worth the temptation!

• Check in with your future self. Every day, speak to yourself from the future—say, from January 1. Thank yourself for doing the tough work of self-discipline during these holiday weeks. You might say something like this: Thank you! I feel great! I’m no heavier than I was in November, I’ve stayed on track with my exercise, my energy is incredible, and I’ve got the momentum to spend the rest of the winter getting in even better shape before spring gets here!

• Go public. Sound scary? It’s supposed to! Let others know what your current weight is and check in with them each time you weigh yourself. That kind of intense accountability will give you will power when the cheesecake and fudge starts showing up at the office!

You can survive the holidays with no added weight gain. Remember these tips and keep a vision of what you want to feel like on January 1 in mind. It’s going to be a great holiday season!

Be strong, eat clean, and live well—BONUS: Download our FREE Holiday Survival Guide at www.maxstrengthfitness.com/holiday.

Do You Want to Look Younger?

Advancements To Facial Cosmetic Surgical Techniques Offer Improved Results

By A. Lawrence Cervino, M.D.

In the last 20 years, the practice of plastic surgery has really evolved, becoming extremely popular with more of an emphasis on cosmetic surgery. Patients used to be very quiet about undergoing cosmetic surgery and now it is more in demand and acceptable than ever – especially among younger people. Cosmetic surgery and treatments are now more accessible to more people, and newer, less invasive techniques offer less expensive alternatives which encourages you to change things about your appearance that you might not like. Improved surgical techniques now offer you improved results for three of the most popular facial cosmetic surgical procedures – endoscopic brow lifts (forehead and eye lifts), neck lifts, and facelifts.

ENDOSCOPIC BROW LIFTS (FOREHEAD LIFTS) AND BLEPHAROPLASTY

An endoscopic brow lift, or forehead lift, is the most current and state-of-the-art method of forehead and eyebrow lifting. The procedure, which is minimally invasive when compared to traditional surgery, involves making very small incisions behind your hairline and uses endoscopic surgical techniques to perform surgery. While most cosmetic procedures make you look better for your age, the brow lift actually makes you look younger. A brow lift reduces wrinkle lines, improves frown lines, raises sagging eyebrows and places the eyebrows in a youthful position. Recovery time for a brow lift is usually 10-14 days.

Many times a forehead lift is done in conjunction with eyelid rejuvenation surgery, or blepharoplasty. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. Blepharoplasty surgery repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat. Blepharoplasty offers you a refreshed, rejuvenated eye, unobscured vision, and an overall more alert and awake appearance.

NECK LIFTS

A neck lift, or lower rhtidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck to re-establish the jawline. The first signs of aging are often seen in your neck. Modern techniques and technology allow surgeons to perform neck lift surgery using extremely small incisions, usually placed discreetly behind your ears and under your chin. Through these incisions, excess fat is removed, either via liposuction or through surgical excision, restoring a smoother, firmer and youthful appearance to your neck. Neck lift surgery is typically done as an outpatient, with recovery taking a week to ten days.

FACELIFTS AND FACIAL FAT GRAFTING

You may think you are familiar with the traditional facelift but even that procedure has changed.

Remember that caught in a wind tunnel look facelifts used to have? Not any longer. What actually ages your face is a loss of facial volume. As we age, our face thins out and leaves us with sagging skin. One of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures today is a combination facelift and facial fat grafting, which restores facial volume and leaves your face with a fuller, rounder, and younger look. In this procedure, tiny amounts of fat are removed from your abdomen or thighs, immediately refined, and carefully injected into certain regions of your face that have started to lose fat, such as areas around your eyes, cheeks and jawline. Fat grafting allows the plastic surgeon to give you a softer, natural appearance with long-lasting results. Recovery time from a facelift with facial fat grafting can last anywhere from two to three weeks.

When considering any type of cosmetic surgery, your most important decision is choosing a qualified, experienced surgeon. A good cosmetic surgeon must be grounded in plastic surgery, and at Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons all six of our plastic surgeons have extensive core training with residencies and fellowship training. You can be confident in your surgeon if you choose Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons.

Fun Facts About Autumn

The cool, crisp days of autumn have arrived. As fall foliage creates a colorful display and kids frolic in leaf piles on the lawn, you may want to pay some mind to a few lesser known facts about this beloved time of year. Autumn may call to mind Halloween and the return of school, but there are other factors that make this season unique.

  1. The first day of autumn is known as the autumnal equinox. On this day, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal. This is because the sun is aligned with the center of the Earth between the north and south of the planet.

  2. In Greek mythology, autumn was a time when Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. During this time, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, was distraught and the ground grew sparse and cold. When Persephone returned in the springtime, plants and life bloomed anew because of Demeter’s happiness.
  3. Those who live closest to the equator, which is the center of the planet, never experience the season of autumn. Around the equator, the temperature remains consistently warm.

  4. Yellow, orange and variations thereof always reside in the pigmentation of tree leaves, but they are just overpowered by the abundance of green from the chlorophyll in the leaves. Come autumn, however, when the sun weakens and days grow shorter, the amount of chlorophyll in leaves diminishes, allowing the other pigments in the leaves to show through.

  5. Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.

  6. Fall is a peak migration time for many species of birds. During autumn, birds will y to other areas as they seek more hospitable climates. The Arctic tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration. That is like going all the way across the United States about three and a half times.

  7. Contrary to popular belief, squirrels who have spent the entire autumn collecting acorns and other foods do not hibernate for the winter. Rather, they spend the majority of their time in nests they built to shelter them from harsh weather. When squirrels do come out in winter, they are usually tunneling under the snow to find the food they buried during the fall.

  8. Several cultures have ancient traditions that coincide with autumn. For example, the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival to give thanks for a successful summer harvest.

  9. Halloween is a large part of autumn. The concept of wearing masks and costumes hails from ancient Celtic tradition. The Celts believed ghosts roamed on Halloween, and people wore disguises to hide from the spirits.

  10. You’re bound to see pumpkins as part of autumn decor. The pumpkin was first named by the Greeks. They called this edible orange item “pepon,” which means “large melon.”

  11. Evergreen trees will not lose their leaves like deciduous trees. Their leaves, also called needles, are covered with a thick wax. This wax protects the inner components of the needles, preventing them from freezing.

  12. Autumn also signals another colorful spectacle apart from the tree leaves. The aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, tends to be visible this time of year. This is because geomagnetic storms are about twice as likely to occur during the fall thanks to cool evening weather.