Autumn is the time of year for hot cocoa, pumpkins and what some consider the most beautiful time of the year, as Mother Nature puts on the most spectacular of art shows. Many will travel for miles to see the leaves changing in those moments before the trees are bare, preparing for the onslaught of winter. The residents of those states that have all four seasons are apt to say that the changing of the leaves is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.
Autumn, or Fall is the only season that has two current names and its third was used many years ago, when Fall and Spring were just something one had to endure before Summer and Winter proper. It began as Harvest Season, as all the farmers were busy getting the remainder of their crops harvested. This was the season between prosperous crops, and the long desolate winters, all depending on ones geographical location. No matter what one may call this season, many believe it to be the most colorful of seasons, with many a debate over Fall or Spring being the most majestically beautiful. One signifies the end of a season, the other, the beginning, and there is merit in the arguments of both sides.
In the northern parts of the world Autumn ranges from September to December, while in the southern areas it is March to June. The pictures here are from northern Michigan where the world changes to amber’s and orange in palette with every hue in between mixed in.
There are many events that take place for the viewing of the changing colors, from walks through the gardens at Longwood, to taking in miles of the colorful trees while riding a train in northern Michigan. Many places in the United States have wonderful places that contribute to tourism and the local economy, by highlighting the Autumn season.
Leaves are green in the warmer months due to a pigment that is present and it masks all other colors in the foliage as it is so dominant. Two of these are chlorophyll and the other is carotene and they are big contributors to the reason leaves are green in the first place. These pigments require warmth and sunshine to stay predominant and when the temperatures cool down, so does the pigment, thus letting all the other natural colors come through. The pigment is carried to the leaves by the veins and when that stops with the colder temperatures, the wonder of nature turns the world into bold reds, yellows and oranges. Some bushes also react the same to the changing of the seasons, and will also turn colors in the Autumn. The shorter days are natures way of telling these trees and bushes to prepare for the coming months of cold weather.
There are many contributors to the reason Autumn is the season of bold and vibrant colors, some are scientific, and some are due to the shorter days and the changes in the weather. Many people do not need to know why, they simply just want to enjoy the natural beauty of the world in which they live.
By Kristi Cereska