Thursday, September 3, 2015

Changing Leaves: The Colors of Autumn Coming Soon!

I live in the South so fall colors won’t be here for about seven more weeks, but I am so looking forward to the beauty of the fall. It is my favorite time of year. I love the weather and getting out and driving on the Natchez Trace which is such a treat during late October.

Like everyone else, I always say I love it when the trees start to change color. But did you know the color was always there to begin with? Tree leaves have natural pigments called carotenoids. These pigments produce yellow, orange, and brown leaves. However, during the summer, these colors are hidden by green chlorophyll, which takes over during the summer or growing season.

As winter approaches and trees get ready to rest, they stop photosynthesis and the green chlorophyll begins to disappear from the leaves. Then we are treated to yellow and orange leaves. Also cool nights of autumn help turn the glucose in the leaves of maple trees into a red color.

My favorite colors have always been the warm tones of autumn. It is almost like nature knows we need the comfort of warm colors before the cold of winter moves in. I am hoping we have a beautiful fall across our great nation this year and that we all get to enjoy nature’s beauty.

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