The season has definitely changed in the last two weeks or so. The colours of the leaves are shifting, ever so subtly, away from the vibrant green of summer. Inside the trees stores of sugars and starches are being mobilised back into the trunk and chlorophyll is breaking down to reveal the purples, reds, oranges and yellows of anthocyanins and carotenes that are always there, yet until Autumn are masked by green.
I've always found this rather thought-provoking. Over several weeks the trees put themselves into suspended animation but the process itself, despite being associated with the death of the year, unmasks colours that in most cases are brighter than Spring blossom. By November though, after the colourful fireworks, the leaves will fall and decompose. I think most people are excited by finding a leaf skeleton in winter. I often find them on my patio though. Mysterious. I don't find tiny piles of leaf mould nearby- the rest of the leaf seems to evaporate.
By February the piles of leaves that are about to form will have disappeared from view. I find this rather mind-blowing. In a month's time the roads will be lined with tons of them, yet by early Spring they'll be indistinguishable from the rest of the soil beneath the tree. All colour will have gone by then, leaving browns and near blacks, yet the leaves will have changed into a form that can be used by countless microorganisms, invertebrates and of course, the trees themselves. It's a slow, quiet, subtle yet momentous process that forms brand new earth.
Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs for more of today's posts, just click on the logos below ...
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.