Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Colors of Autumn 2014

The days have been getting shorter for more than four months and those shortening days triggered changes in tree leaves throughout the northeast. As the days became shorter the production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in leaves that produces sugars, declined and finally ended. The chlorophyll broke down revealing the anthocyanins (red pigments) and the carotenoids (yellow and orange pigments) that had been hidden all summer. As this is occurring an abscission layer of corky material forms at the base of the leaves’ petioles, cutting off the flow of water to the leaves, and weakening the leaves’ connection to the twig – which resulted in most of them falling to earth in the last few weeks. 
The entire process resulted in an influx of “leaf peepers” by car and tour bus, all looking to enjoy the brilliant autumnal colors that decorated our hillsides. Even we locals took pleasure in the colorful display, although we may not have enjoyed the increase in traffic on normally quiet rural roads.  
The display is almost over now, but photographs remain to remind us of the pleasures of autumn. 

‘nough said, enjoy the show –


molly said...

Amazing autumn colours


Anonymous said...

Wow - what delicious shots!