Every year I’m amazed at the fantastic leaf colors of gold, yellow, and deep orange, red and purple that decorate the trees in the neighborhoods of my town. The leaves fall to the ground slowly like confetti and leave the sidewalk looking so festive.
Why Fall Color? It’s Science!
Green leaves turn magical colors because of pigments. Everything in our world has pigment, a substance that produces the colors we see. The chlorophyll pigment makes plants green. During most of the year, chlorophyll is dominant and masks other pigments found in leaves. However, when days get shorter and temperatures cool, chlorophyll production slows. The green pigment breaks down and disappears. Then, the other pigments take the stage! The first pigments to appear are carotene and xanthophyll which cause yellow, orange and golden hues. Red and purple colors are created by the anthocyanin pigment.
Enjoy this Moment
Sometimes we get so busy in our daily lives that we don’t stop and take time to just be. Fall is an ideal season to spend time outdoors admiring nature. Dear Reader, I hope you stop each day to breathe the autumn air and celebrate the colors of fall.
Make good memories sitting under trees alone journaling or laughing with loved ones. Lay on the ground and look for shapes in the clouds. Rake up leaves instead of blowing them around, and play in piles of them every chance you get.
Leo Buscaglia and Leaves
Whenever I see leaves like the ones in this photo, I remember a story I heard on PBS told by Leo Buscaglia. http://www.buscaglia.com/biography One crisp fall day while taking a walk, he admired the beautiful autumn leaves. He noticed many of his neighbors raking and putting them in bags and leaving them on the curb. He thought to himself “What a pity!” And felt inspired to find a way to enjoy the leaves longer, so he took the bags from his front yard along with bags of leaves from neighboring yards and dumped them on his living room floor. He sat down in a chair and smiled, admiring his handiwork. I believe his wife walked into the room and was shocked…I can’t remember if she went along with it or not, but I sure hope she did.