Friday, September 9, 2011

Make Like a Tree and Get Out of Here!

It's September and Fall is definitely seeping into the air here in Colorado. I love it! It's one of my favorite seasons; especially these early days of fall when it is still t-shirt weather during the day and only slightly chilly at night. And while the leaves haven't started to change yet, I thought it might be interesting to look into why leaves change color during the fall. And by "interesting," I mean "I couldn't think of anything else to write about." Bear with me.

This also falls into the category of "stuff I really should have learned in grade school..." And perhaps I did. But years of chronic TV watching has pushed out all of that grade school knowledge in exchange for storing Simpsons quotes. Pretty lame, Millhouse.

Anyway; why do leaves change color?

First of all, it turns out that they don't really change color as much as the lose color. Huh?

I'll explain: Leaves are the food supplies of trees. They bring home the bacon, so to speak. Trees spend all summer sunbathing and drinking water...kind of like George Hamilton. Also, like George Hamilton leaves are always orange; but I'll get back to that.

So, the leaves soak in all the sunlight and oxygen to create food through a process called photosynthesis. You remember that word from grade school, right? A chemical called chlorophyll is what makes photosynthesis possible. Kind of like the flux capacitor making time travel possible (the savvy reader will notice that vague Back to the Future reference that's a call back to this blog post's title).

Chlorophyll is also what makes plants green. So, what makes them orange, red, yellow, etc. during the fall? Well, those colors are actually the color of food. AND, guess what? Leaves have those colors in them during the summer months but the colors are covered up by the bright green, so you don't see them. So, they are actually covering up their inner George Hamilton with chlorophyl.

As the days get shorter, there's not enough sunlight to create photosynthesis, so the food making process stops. Ergo, Chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. Ergo part deux, the green color disappears from the leaves; revealing reds, oranges, and yellows...depending on how much food is left in the leaf. Red indicates higher food levels. And brown leaves indicate waste in the leaf...that should be pretty easy to remember.

So, there you go. You now kind of understand the changing of leaves; because I kind of explained it to you.

Want to welcome in fall with jewelry? Of course you do!
And, don't forget! You can use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off of this necklace or any necklace in my shop! Also, you can use the code to save 15% off your entire order, so buy more than one necklace:) Here's my shop link:

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