Recently, we have been very blessed with warm and sunny days. Usually, by the middle of November, all the foliage has fallen, revealing the serenity of bare branches. This year, however, we are still admiring all the beauty of the Fall. We have been talking about seasons with Adrian. In the Autumn, with fewer hours of sunlight, days becoming shorter and the nights are getting longer, while the temperature slowly drops. Trees respond to the decreasing amount of sunlight by producing less and less chlorophyll, eventually, shutting down completely. When that happens, the carotenoid already in the leaves can finally show through. The leaves become a bright spectrum of glowing yellows, sparkling oranges, fiery red and warm browns. We have noticed, however, that the red fall colors seem brighter and more spectacular this years. The temperature and cloud cover makes a big difference in a tree's red colors: warm, sunny autumn days and cool but not freezing nights do the trick!
In the daytime, the leaves can produce lots of sugar, but the cool night temperatures prevent the sugar sap from flowing through the leaf veins and down into the branches and trunk. Anthocyanins are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that give leaves their bright shades of red, purple, or crimson depending on the pH. Trees make anthocyanins as a form of protection, allowing the plant to recover nutrients in the leaves before they fall off. This helps make sure that the tree will be ready for the next growing season.
This leaf looks as if it is on fire! Bright sun and cloudless sky did the trick! No photoshop here:)
Just last week, this bush looked like a fiery ball - full, lush, and intensely red!
Today, there was only one red leaf left …
It was holding on to the tree with all its might: fiery, strong, tenacious! A true survivor!
Red is indeed everywhere! Adrian collected leaves and berries for our Fall-Inspired sensory bin (read here).
"Good Buy, gorgeous Autumn!"
Adrian understands now the transient nature of things: that the cycle of life never really ends: like leaves that fall in the Autumn, giving a tree its needed respite, just for buds to sprout again in the Spring, fully develop for the Summer, to once again fall in the Autumn…