by Davalynn Spencer
|Colorado's aspen groves line highways and mingle|
with evergreen forests. - Author's photo
This coming weekend officially introduces fall to our calendars. Even so, it’s often hard to predict exactly when peak foliage viewing times will be. According to arborists, scientists, and others in the know, catching the colors in their prime is all about chlorophyll and temperatures. And elevation.
|Author's photo of Rocky Mountain color in an early fall snowstorm.|
Colorado’s famous aspen trees and their poorer cousin, the cottonwood (both are in the poplar family), change colors for the same reason other deciduous trees do: photosynthesis decreases as daylight hours lessen in the fall.
Have you noticed in early September that daylight seems to have cut loose and run? That’s because we lose an hour of daylight during the month of August as the earth tilts toward autumn. And we are not the only living beings that feel it.
Technically, the leaves of these trees don’t change from greens to golds – the color range is there all along, like stars in the sky that we can’t see during the day. Yellows, oranges, and reds are merely masked by the green hues until chlorophyll production fades.
Colorado is not the only state to harbor aspen trees, and they thrive in higher, colder regions with cool summers. The trees are often called quaking aspens due to the longer, flatter petiole, or leaf stem, that allows the leaves to flutter in the slightest breeze.
|Aspen leaves "quake" due to their longer leaf stem. -Author's photo.|
Comment to be entered in a drawing: I’d love to hear about a trip you took to see the colors – even if it was just around the block. Those who comment below will be entered in a random drawing for an e-copy of my latest release, Mail-order Misfire, Book 2 of the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection.
I come from Vermont so for me nothing compares to our beautiful stands of sugar maples, which turn to brilliant scarlets. Now that I live in Maine, I miss the colors that I took for granted from home. There are random areas here that are lovely as well but little Vermont holds the best show, in my humble opinion!ReplyDelete
Oh, Connie, I have long wanted to visit Vermont during the fall, for I've heard about, and seen pictures of,the brilliant colors you mention!Delete
You definitely should go. The problem is actually finding that perfectly predicted peak!!!! LOL, how's that for a sentence?!Delete
I live downtown but go about 10 blocks south and your in a neighborhood full of trees, so many color looking forward to the tree's turning color.ReplyDelete
Kim, it sounds wonderful to find a spot like that in a city. How refreshing!Delete
My favorite place to view the fall colors is near our small town's public library. It is quite glorious!ReplyDelete
Lisa - sounds like a great place to sit outside on an autumn day and read a good book!Delete
Feel free to visit Zionsvlle, IN anytime!Delete
I love to see the trees changing. I didnt know about Aspens growing in colonies. But makes perfect sense. A few years ago we drove up through the upper peninsula of Michigan in September. Oh my but it was breathtaking. We drove the back roads and by the lake. We will do it again for sureReplyDelete
quilting dash lady at comcast dot net
Lori - Michigan is another place I'd love to see in the fall. God's glory spreads out all over this country!ReplyDelete
When I lived in Colorado Springs, friends took me to see the Aspens. So gorgeous. In Texas we don't have the Fall colors.ReplyDelete
They are beautiful, Caryl. But you have blue bonnets!Delete
I have been to eee the leaves change in NY, NH, and VT over the last 20 years and the leaves will not reach peak here in NY this year till Mid Oct.ReplyDelete
Linda Marie Finn
faithfulacresbooks @ gmail dot com
Sounds wonderful, Linda.Delete
Linda Marie Finn - you are the randomly chosen winner of this giveaway! Please contact me via my website's contact page and I'll send your ebook! Congratulations! www.davalynnspencer.comReplyDelete