Happy Friday, peeps. We made it even if Mother Nature wasn’t very hospitable getting here. As always, we are joining our fur-iends and Nature Friday hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard. As I mentioned earlier this week, Mother Nature decided to have her evil twin from the Arctic drop a dime on the Mile High with some snow and record-setting cold temperatures. While snow in October is not uncommon (we normally receive a storm or two in October), to have such a cold front come through was out of Ma Nature’s usual MO.
The morning thermometer worked hard to reach 20 F degrees when the pups and I went out to make our early morning pitstop. Brrrrr…even the wooly mammoth pup also known as the Ninja, made a quick dash in the dog run, peed like a racehorse and ran back as quick as a bunny. She looked at me like I was some kind of monster but then when I asked her if she’d like breakfast, her expression changed. Dramatically. You’ve have thought she’d won the Lottery.
Changing leaf colors have been slow to develop in the city with the trees on my street are still mostly green. It should be interesting to see how (or if) the storm affects the color of leaves. Speaking of changing colors, do you know why and how this happens?
One word. Photosynthesis.
What is photosynthesis, you ask? It the way nature let’s trees operate. Growing during the summer, they begin their metamorphosis into winter through the transitional season of autumn (in the northern hemisphere). As daylights wanes, trees use the shorter days as the signal by which to begin to prepare for winter. Because there isn’t enough light or water for photosynthesis in winter, trees will rest, and live off the food stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making abilities. Green chlorophyll in their cells will begin to disappear from their leaves and as that green fades, yellow and orange colors seem to magically appear. Although small amounts of those colors have been in the leaves all along, they cannot been seen in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.
The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color.
The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves. It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year.
So there you have it. Any way you look at it, it’s beautiful. Here’s wishing you a great weekend. We’re planning on returning to pre-Arctic temps (the forecast is for mid- to upper 60’s this weekend) and enjoying a return to sanity. Otherwise known as autumn.
Live, love, bark! 🐾