My grandson and I were looking out of the dining room window at the trees. The leaves were changing color. “See the linden tree—the leaves are turning yellow.”
My grandson said, “But look at that tree. Its leaves are bronze.”
In the distance we could see a tree with orange leaves. I explained what I knew. In the fall the chlorophyl in the leaves diminishes as the days shorten and temperatures drop.
Other questions arose in my mind. Why do the leaves of some trees turn yellow, others bronze, orange or red? Why are the colors so rich and vivd this year?
The Old Farmers Almanac has answers.
. . . pigments, carotene (yellow) and anthocyanin (red), exist in the leaf all summer but are masked by the chlorophyll which helps plants absorb sunlight. (The browns in autumn leaves are the result of tannin, a chemical that exists in many leaves, especially oaks.)
In general, a wet growing season followed by an autumn with lots of sunny days, dry weather, and cold, frostless nights will produce the most vibrant palette of fall colors. This vividness is especially true of red leaves, such as those on sugar maples and red maple trees.
This year we are blessed with an array of colors: rich red, flaming yellow and orange, bronze with a back drop of evergreens. God’s artistry in the design of trees.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the earth in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness. Psalm 96: 12b-13 ESV