Monday, October 24, 2011

Blazing Fall Colors

Have you ever wondered why leaves change color in the fall? The simple answer is the pigments in the leaves. Leaves are the food producing part of the tree. Pigments in the leaves combine sun light, water and carbon dioxide into energy in a process called photosynthesis. The primary pigment in photosynthesis is chlorophyll, which is green. Two other pigments also help in the photosynthesis process xanthophyll, which is yellow and carotene, which is orange. In the fall, as the days become shorter, the trees quit producing chlorophyll as they prepare to hibernate. With out the abundant amount of chlorophyll that the leaves typically have through the spring and summer the yellow and orange pigments shine through. Red leaves come from anthocyanin pigments. Not all trees produce these anthocyanin pigments. It is believed that these pigments are produced to help the trees recover nutrients from the leaves before they fall off and die. That is why some years there is more or less red mixed into the fall tapestry.

9 comments:

Jeannelle said...

I like the info you include with your photos.

Liz said...

Beautiful!

My entries:
Moms...Check Nyo
Yummy-as-can-be

Maria @ LSS said...

Wonderful capture!

Lola said...

Lovely shots!

btw Have some nice shots of leaves over at my place too!

Happy Ruby Tuesday!

Here’s mine!

Helen Campbell said...

Beautiful photo! It's cool to learn exactly WHY the leaves turn their brilliant colors. Thanks for sharing!

Jama said...

Just lovely!

Kala said...

Gorgeous, vibrant color!

KaHolly said...

Such excellent information! Thanks for taking the time to explain so well. Gorgeous photo.

Kathy said...

Now that's what I call a red tree!