Ever wondered why leaves turn such beautiful colors in the fall? In nature, there usually needs to be some benefit to the tree, and not just for our viewing pleasure. The latest thought is that the leaves don't really change color at all. The bright fall color that you see was always there, lurking in the background. It is only when the green from the chlorophyll disappears that you see the red, orange, or yellow underneath. Last fall, I found these leaves in different stages of turning, all from the same tree. Is it actually changing, or just revealing the red underneath as the green disappears? Hard to tell, isn't it? So now we know how, but why? Aphids. In the fall, aphids look for twigs to lay their eggs on, where they spend the winter, then feed on the tree and damage it in the spring. But these bugs don't like red, because the leaf fluid has a lower nutrient content. So the colorful leaves are telling these bugs to back off and go elsewhere. Scientists have not yet figured out why some leaves turn orange or yellow instead of red, but I love a good mystery, don't you? By the way, happy Fall!! This is the first day of Fall, though it doesn't start till after 11 p.m., so we will get less than an hour of it today.
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out it's roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; it's leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8