With so many eye-catching Christmas posts out there, I thought I’d reflect on saying goodbye to autumn. Autumn is my second favorite season, after spring. It signals an end to the long dog days of summer. It’s a season where everything transforms in the garden. The season also known as “fall” in North America, is a time of year when the deciduous trees shed their leaves, but not before displaying a fiery exhibit which illuminates the sky.
When the leaves peaked around us, I grabbed my camera and took a walk, hoping to capture nature in all its glory. Every year, we are blessed with a palate of autumn colors in our neighborhood. Just as you think you’ve seen it all, you turn the corner and are wowed by another breathtaking sight. Come along with me on this pictorial journey capturing all the beauty around us.
So why do leaves really change color? The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter as is evident in the photo above. In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.
A row of Japanese Ginkgo line this street. The unique fan-shaped leaves are striking when they fall, creating an ocean of yellow. But these trees also drop the seeds around the same time which when stepped on produces a putrid odor.
Maple leaves provide brilliant hues of red and orange.
The lacy Japanese maple, (left bottom) with its gnarly trunk and branches is a show-stopper every year. I’ve seen people drive by just to get a glimpse of this beauty. The Falls and river is also a short walk from where we live. Mallard ducks and Canada geese enjoy the views too. The winterberry bush on the (top right) makes a dramatic statement in the landscape. The leaves turn yellow and fall, exposing the showiness of the berries on the stark branches.
Temperature, light, and water supply have an influence on the views and the duration of fall color. Low temperatures above freezing will favor bright reds in maples. However, early frost will weaken the brilliant red color. Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors. The best time to enjoy the autumn color would be on a clear, dry, and cool (not freezing) day.
And now we await the first snowfall :) I love the seasons in this part of the world. What is it like where you are at the moment?