Autumn Leaves Mini Journal

Price: $6.00
Availability: In Stock
Model: MJ-11
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As days shorten and temperatures become crisp, the quiet green of summer foliage is transformed into the vivid autumn palette of red, orange, gold and brown before the leaves fall off the broadleaf trees. Sometimes these colors are breathtaking. As nights grow longer and cooler, a biochemical process in the leaf begins to paint the landscape. During the growing season chlorophyll is continually produced and broken down and leaves appear green. As autumn approaches, chlorophyll production slows down and eventually stops. The carotenoids and anthocyanins, other pigments present in leaves, become unmasked and show their colors.

Certain colors are characteristic of particular species. Oaks turn red, brown or russet, while aspens turn golden yellow. Each year factors causing leaf color change are variable…no two autumns are exactly alike.

Winter is a certainty that all vegetation in temperate zones must face each year. Trees must have some sort of protection to survive harsh winter conditions. Stems, twigs and buds are equipped to survive extreme cold, but tender deciduous leaf tissue would freeze in winter so trees dispose of them.

All of these fallen leaves decompose and restock the soil with nutrients pulled up from deep in the ground and make up part of the spongy humus layer. The annual replenishment of leaves is vital to the health of the entire forest ecosystem.

artwork by Camille Doucet ©2005
text by Steve Sierigk

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