Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Leaf Love

by Leigh

"Autumn….the year's last, loveliest smile." ~William Cullen Bryant

The cool crisp mornings.  The magnificent oranges and reds in the evening sunset.  The sweet smells of pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie….pumpkin everything! Ghouls, ghosts and goblins swaying in the breeze.  Candy corn and all of it's sweetness.  And how could I forget the amazing foliage colors.  

Every autumn we are bedazzled by the beauty of fall colors.  The deep reds, vibrant yellows and oranges and who could forget the purples.  But did you know that these colors are in the leaves all year long?  We just don't see them because in spring and summer the cells in the leaves contain chlorophyll which gives the leaves their green color.  Chlorophyll absorbs from sunlight the energy it needs to transform carbon dioxide and water carbohydrates.  The reds, yellow, oranges and purples are hidden by the great amounts of green chlorophyll.  But in the fall the days get shorter and without as much daylight, not as much chlorophyll is produced as the leaves stop their food making process.  The green begins to disappear allowing the other colors to shine through.  And did you know that when the leaf falls from the tree the tree seals the cut so that when the leaf is finally blown off it leaves behind a leaf scar.  Weather conditions such as temperature, light and water supply influences the amount and length of the fall color.  So that's why the color intensity differs from year to year.  There is your botany lesson for the year :) The beautiful fall leaves are nature's last gift to us before the dormancy of winter so be sure and take the time to enjoy them!


Dotti said...

It's very true, Leigh, I often think of fall as the last hurrah before winter. And then I try not to think too long about winter but rather immerse myself in the wonder that is fall. Our fall is kind of lazy this year, like it can't decide to make the leap. I guess it will happen, it always does. You have managed to find some beautiful leaves to share with us. Thank you!

terriporter said...

It's at this time of year that I wish I lived somewhere where there was fall color so thanks for sharing yours. Not many trees here change color in the fall, but I can drive a few hours away to see them. I haven't done that in a few years and this is making me think I need to get in the car and go!

Carol said...

I did not know any of those things -fascinating!

kelly said...

leigh you are speaking right to the science geek in me! a beautiful display of nature's magic!

Liz said...

Autumn colours are so lovely!

Deanna said...

Thanks for the lesson, I know that the colors all have something to do with light and etc but it is always a good reminder of how it actually happens. We have had such a dry Fall, hardly any rain, that I am worried our Fall will not be as colorful or as long as we have had in the past. And it is absolutely a favorite time of the year.

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