Saturday, 6 November 2010

Stunning Autumn Colours - Pt.2

Yes, we have had a particularly good year for Autumn colours. A wet Summer and sunny October. Herewith a little science for any who do not know: 
 The colours of Autumn leaves are caused by yellow, orange and red pigments within them,which, in fact, exist all year. These colours are usually masked by chlorophyll, the green pigment which converts sunlight into the sugars that nourish the tree.
 Throughout the summer, the chlorophyll is replenished by the tree itself. However as the days become shorter at the start of autumn, the tree takes it's cue to start preparing for the colder winter months. As a result, it stops replenishing the chlorophyll and the green pigment begins to disappear.
 Once the amount of daylight falls below a threshold point - the exact amount varies from species to species - cells near the junction of each leaf and it's twig start to divide rapidly to form a dry, corky plug called an abscission layer. It is this plug that blocks the passage of sugars from the leaf to the rest of the tree, but also prevents chlorophyll being replenished.
 In just a few weeks, the green pigment breaks down completely from the leaves to expose the colours that were previously hidden from view.
 The orange hues of autumn seen in beech trees are carotenoids that give carrots and pumpkins their colour.
 The yellow of lime trees are xanthophylls,  a pigment found in banana skins, egg yolks and human blood plasma.
 A class of pigments called anthocyanins create the reds of acers and ornmental cherry trees.

The end result of all this of  course is sheer breath taking artistry for us as we see here in Sheffield Park Gardens.


Winifred said...

Those photos are gorgeous Barbara such a wonderful range of colours.

The science was good too! Thanks

Anne said...

Hi Barbara,
These photos are absolutely beautiful!
Blessings to you,
Anne x

bristowmom said...

Beautiful photographs once again. Thank you for the lesson! I thought I knew the process, but you provided much interesting detail that I did not know. I especially like your telling of the chemicals that produce specific colors and where else they are found.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I couldn't pick a favorite, they are all so stunningly beautiful !
Aahh, my England ;)

Deanna said...

The stunning Autumn colors are gorgeous!
I really like the reds, oranges and greens. Lovely to see and enjoy.
Pray you are doing well.

God bless,
d from homehaven

Catsngrams said...

What beautiful colors. Fall is my favorite season. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Lorrie said...

Gorgeous autumn photos, Barbara. Isn't God's design for nature amazing?

kreativehaende said...

beautiful photos!
kind regards,

talesfromagarden said...

You captured a rich tapestry of colours there Barbara!Stunning.

Needled Mom said...

God is an amazing artist!!! He has even made it that he doesn't have to constantly tend to it with His brushes. Those colors are just breathtaking.

Pom Pom said...

Fall is stunning! I especially love the red leaves. Gorgeous photos, Barbara!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Barbara

Thanks for the lesson and I agree with your other readers--beautiful, gorgeous and breathtaking.

Our colors in the Greenville area this year are mainly yellow, brown and orange. Maybe next year we will have red.

Have a good week!

Tracy :)

Bonnie said...

Very nice colors. The leaves here in upstate New York are mostly all gone, at least from my yard. Raked, mulched and spread on my gardens.

Theresa said...

Simply stunning!! I went on my first trip to England this past May and I'm taking my niece for her graduation next year... I will definitely want to vist the 5 lakes! I love your blog.
Tampa, FL

Joyce said...

The colors of the trees are just brilliant! I loved seeing the sSans too. We don't get spectacular Fall colors where I live in America like other parts of our I miss that part badly about Autumn.

Melanie said...

Hia Barbara sorry to have missed so many of your posts. I lost a week to flu and had a week of trying to catch up with everything before catching up with Blogland.

What an utterly stunning place. The colours are magnificent. I kept thinking of Blake's Tiger poem as I looked through both posts of Autumn colours in Sheffield Park Gardens "burning bright" "what the hand what the eye, could frame they fearful symmetry".

I love this time of year with it's beautiful colours. Thank you for sharing such a gporgeous place.

a woman who is said...

My goodness, stunning photos! I enjoyed opening some of them up and pretending I was there in the moment.

Fascinating about the pigment lesson. You are always full of such great information on many subjects.

Our fall is more colorful than usual too, and lasting soooo long. I am loving it!

Sara said...

It is beautiful, Barbara. Seeing all this fall color on blogs around the world makes me imagine the northern hemisphere as being ablaze with beauty and brilliant color!

Elizabeth said...

Very very WOW!!!
Thank you so much for this wonderful tour!
I was also interested in the little science information.
We never did this in "Nature Study" in primary school.
I wonder why not?!

More Than Conquerors said...

Hi Barbara,

Wow, the pictures are so beautiful! Great shots! God's creations are truly marvelous. And thanks for sharing the science on the colours of Autumn leaves. Very interesting.

Thanks for your visit. It's so nice to hear from you. Take care and I hope you have a very blessed weekend.

Warm regards,