Why Leaves Change Color (In Case Your Last Science Class Was A Few Years Back)
Here Comes Fall!
Pumpkins, boots, sweaters, football, hot toddies by the fireplace. . .some of our favorite indulgences are accompanied by that notorious autumn foliage backdrop. We love those fall colors! Like all things magical, autumn foliage is unique, stunning and painfully brief. Most of us know the basic reason why leaves change color – loss of chlorophyll, right? Perhaps you’ve chosen not to closely examine the science behind it to preserve the enchantment but knowledge is power and knowing can help you on your hunt for the falliest fall scenery the United States has to offer!
Leaves changing color starts with colder temperatures and longer nights, aka a lack of sunlight. When chlorophyll is unable to absorb enough sunlight, photosynthesis slows way down and the tree essentially stops metabolizing sugar and producing energy. Since chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green color, once it’s broken down and disappears, carotenoids and anthocyanin, which are pigments providing the fall colors we all love, become visible to the human eye.
Where does this happen? Anywhere deciduous (shedding their leaves annually) trees grow. Your best bet for peak viewing is to find a deciduous forest and admire the collection. They’re all over the United States – Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, and North Carolina to name a few. The most famously pretty destination for fall foliage is perhaps New England, which is why we made a trip to Cold Spring, New York last October to check out what all the hype was about! Check out our photos and get excited because fall is right around the corner!
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