I recently read an article about why leaves change color. Turns out the leaves are always the glorious and varied colors of gold, russet, red, purple and orange. However, during the growing season, these beautiful shades are masked by the hardworking (and very green) chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the wonder chemical that can take a little sunlight, water, carbon dioxide - and abracadabra! - turns it into the carbohydrates needed to nourish the plant.
But when the days get shorter and the nights get colder, the plant stops producing food. The chlorophyll breaks down and disappears, leaving the spectacular "true colors" of autumn to shine through. This artist's palette of color is short-lived, however because as the chlorophyll winds down, the branch grows cells at the point where each leaf is attached - soon the leaf will be severed from the branch and winter will be upon us.
Well, now that I've been a beast and force fed all this science to my innocent readers, here is the beauty I promised. Although I must admit, the colors are not as spectacular as in past years, so I will keep looking for better examples. This post was started last week and I've been walking around with my camera ever since, looking for some worthy foliage. I think the colors have been weak because it has not been cold enough for a dramatic change.
But I can live with that ;-)
This is the little tree-lined road, where I live. Every time I go home and pass by all this beauty, it reminds me to be thankful for every blessing in my life.