Friday, September 16, 2011

Why Leaves Change Colour

Autumn is often referred to as the “picture perfect” season
as splashes of colour fill trees across the country.

The fall colour season has already begun in the province of Ontario
with parts of northern and eastern regions reporting a 5-10% change.
Pockets of vibrant reds and yellow are beginning to show,
but green currently remains dominant across much of the country.

Travel and Tourism officials say colours usually begin to peak
by the end of September and into October.

Why do the Leaves Change Colour?

It's all about photosynthesis, how a tree feeds itself,”
says The Weather Network's Chris St. Clair.

The leaves take in water and carbon dioxide and when you add in the sun,
the leaf cooks up glucose, a kind of sugar that helps a tree grow. When this is happening, chlorophyll is being created that gives leaves their green colour and when the days become shorter and cooler, it signals the tree to stop creating food and chlorophyll.”

St. Clair adds that the lack of chlorophyll is what reveals the tree's
natural yellow and orange colour and the red is a sign of trapped glucose.

Tree stress can affect whether the fall show will be spectacular or not. Things like drought, extreme temperatures and air pollution can make the leaves dull.

(a cartoon by David Gilbert in an August issue of The Spec)
...shows his dog asleep in the fenced yard...stretched out on his tummy
with chin resting on its folded paws...
having a “dog dream”

Summer fun is all but done.
The leaves in the breeze
in all the trees
will soon be old and gone.

Warmth will stay but soon go away,
as lower sinks the sun.
Birds make way and go astray
grouped together as one.

South in the sky, they fly so high
catching the wind in their wings.
Soon they'll find a paradise
to perch and rest and sing.

The sky will grey, the green will fade
and the ground will be covered in white;
so inside we'll stay with fire to aid
while the day grows shorter than night.

Why things change is all a wonder;
yet these thoughts don't concern me...
because today I'll lie in the cool, green grass
and soak in the end of summer.

Merle Baird-Kerr
written September 16, 2011


  1. How enchantingly beautiful, as this unfolds
    this time of the day, for us.

  2. I have discovered that for most people, Autumn is their favourite season...there IS Beauty in all. Spring has
    always been "my special season". This time of year just beginning, is the "dressiest of them all"!
    Thank you Sol for your comment.