Not too long ago, while writing a blog post, I attempted to find an adjective form of the word “summer” to modify a noun. While I could have simply used “summer” the noun as an adjective, I decided to think of a more fun word. The first word that came to my mind was “vernal,” meaning spring, and then “autumnal” meaning fall. However, try as I might, I could not for the life of me figure out what the adjectives for “summer” and “winter” were… do you know??
After some digging, I came upon the following words:
Bonus: the word “Brumal” means “wintry”
While autumnal and vernal are more common (most notably to describe the equinoxes) I feel that I may have only come across the word “aestival” in some Shakespearean text.
If the above words were a surprise for you, like they were for me— hold onto your hats for this next bit!
Two new vocabulary words:
- Serotinal — the latter and usually drier part of summer
- Prevernal — the end of winter and beginning of spring
Why are there all these seasonal words?? Great question! Answer: in the Northern hemisphere there are six seasons :O :O
A season, ecologically speaking, is a period of time in which only certain types of flora and fauna events happen. For example, flowers only bloom in the spring and bears only hibernate in the winter. Accordingly, the vernal, aestival, serotinal, autumnal, hibernal, and prevernal seasons are unique events in which certain flower/ animal events happen.
- Prevernal (ca.1 March–1 May) — when tree buds swell, flowers are beginning to form bulbs and some birds who have flown south begin to return
- Vernal (ca.1 May–15 June) — flowers bloom, all animals return
- Aestival (ca.15 June–15 August) — the most vibrant ecological time and a peak period for many plant and animal species
- Serotinal (ca.15 August–15 September) — during this hot time, some seeds are “released” in response to the heat
- Autumnal (ca.15 September–1 November) — many plants begin to ripen and die; the time of the harvest; migratory birds begin to set off for warmer climes
- Hibernal (ca.1 November–1 March) — a dormant period for both plants and animals; large animals are in hibernation and migratory birds fly the coop
Happy aestival, Dear Reader!