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Google marks the start of fall (and spring) with dueling doodles

In the Northern Hemisphere, Google celebrates the falling leaves, while down under warmer days welcome budding flowers.

The autumnal equinox arrives in the Northern Hemisphere on Thursday, officially heralding the first day of fall, one of two days of the year when the length of day and night is nearly equal.

To mark the onset of cooler weather and progressively shorter days, Google has created an animated doodle that welcomes back the familiar family of boulders that helped us rock in the start of summer just three short months ago. In this season's installment, the rock family marvels at the reddened leaves dancing in the fall breeze, until the smallest stone decides, to the dismay of its boulder brethren, to dine on one of the lively leaves.

Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the story was much different, obviously. Down under, the same animated rocks are helping usher in spring's longer days and warmer weather that wakes up the local plants and trees. But, as the TV commercials warn, serious allergic reactions can also occur, and we see another of the smaller stones, accidentally and embarrassingly, clear a nearby tree of its new buds with a single sneeze.

Whatever your season, enjoy the spectacle nature has in store.