Up above, the leaves are just starting to change. But on the forest floor, the ferns are giving us a blazing preview of the upcoming fall foliage show. Their colors are so bright you can see the ferns deeper in the forest, like glowing campfires dotting the ground and lighting up the fallen trees and logs nearby.
The fall foliage season is a big deal around here, and this week will be the start of prime autumn color viewing. But the rule in the forest is inviolate: when it comes to changing their colors, ferns go first.
It’s autumn. That means it’s time for you to once again reflect upon the many valuable things you learned during high school science class, in that smelly room with the stone-stopped tables and the Bunsen burner devices and the sinks with the odd curved faucets. In addition to dissecting frogs and enduring that first whiff of formaldehyde, a smell that you will dread for the rest of your life, you learned about photosynthesis, and why leaves change color during the autumn.
Photosynthesis is the process by which our arboreal friends take water and carbon dioxide and convert them into oxygen and glucose. The leaves have chlorophyll, a substance that is the crucial agent in the photosynthesis process and uses the power of sunshine to complete the chemical change that is essential to life on our planet. You learned that chlorophyll is a deep, rich green, and during the height of spring and summer, when the chlorophyll is hard at work, its presence masks the other colors found in the leaves.
But when autumn comes, and winter approaches, and the supply of water and sunshine will decline, the chlorophyll decides that it’s time to take a vacation. It leaves the leaves, and when it does the other hidden colors emerge — like the bright reds that you see in sugar maple leaves. And sometimes you can see this process in action. It’s the sort of thing your high school science teacher would enjoy.
Yikes! The leaves on the trees on my street are already turning, and it’s not even October yet! I’m not ready.
Please, weather gods — let us have a few weeks more of Indian summer! I know it is a politically incorrect term, but it’s been unseasonably cool for months, and we could use some bright, clear days with temperatures in the 80s before the trees show their true colors, the autumn winds blow, and we feel the first breath of winter on our necks.
It’s been a beautiful fall color season in New Albany this year. The maple tree in our backyard looked particularly radiant, with its blazing orange leaves. Unfortunately, the inevitable autumn storms have come, and the wind and rain have knocked many of the leaves off the trees — as the carpet of color at the base of our maple tree indicates. We’ll have a more days of the beautiful colors, then it will be time for the grim Skeletal Tree Season.
The leaves have started to fall from the trees fronting the Webner household. Like little pellets of gold, they add a dash of color to the sidewalk and the front walk. It’s fun to rustle the leaves as you walk to retrieve the mail.
I’m sorry that summer has ended, but I must confess that I love autumn. As the leaves change color and drop to the ground, I acknowledge that fall is aptly named.
It’s been a very cool end of summer in New Albany, and now that autumn has officially arrived the leaves are starting to turn a bit earlier than normal. It’s sad to see summer leave with a chilly morning whimper, but the first hints of rusty fall colors make me feel a bit better about the change of seasons.
Most of the trees in our yard, and elsewhere in our neighborhood, have lost all of their leaves and stand denuded against the autumn air. There is one tree, however, that has somehow kept its leaves. Their amber hues were brilliant and beautiful as we walked by early this morning.
Autumn is a beautiful season in the Midwest and Northeast, as the leaves change and the last seasonal blooms appear. The average bit of Ohio woodland may not be as richly colorful as, say, a Vermont forest, but it is still a treat for the senses. It is a time of year when a normally brisk walk slows down, so the walker can try, at least, to fully appreciate the surprisingly rich tapestry of colors found in that patch of trees that has been passed thousands of times before.
What could feel more like autumn than shuffling your feet through brittle fallen leaves and hearing them skitter along the pavement? The leisure path along Route 62 is a good spot for crunching leaves underfoot and remembering carefree childhood days spent leaping happily into dry and dusty piles of leaves.
The sugar maples in our neighborhood are in fine color, with their leaves a bright collage of scarlets, vermilions, and fire-apple reds. Even on a warm day like today, the changing leaves serve brilliant notice that colder weather is around the corner.
Kish and I took Penny on our early morning walk this Labor Day, 2010. The weather has grown a bit cooler, and last night we slept with windows open and enjoyed the fresh air. This morning the temperature was probably in the 50s as we strolled along beneath overcast skies.
As we walked, I noticed that the leaves on many of the trees are just starting to turn. The bright green is beginning to leach from the leaves on the many trees lining Ogden Woods Boulevard. The phenomenon gives the leaves a curious two-tone, skeletal appearance. The tree at the northwest corner of our house, on the other hand, already is dotted with bright yellow leaves, and in some places you see leaves on the ground.
September is among the most beautiful months in central Ohio. The weather tends to be warm, dry, and clear during the day, with cool evenings, and the turning leaves add bright flashes of red and yellow to accent the green surroundings. Soon we will be heading into sweater weather.