31 October 2012

Autumn Leaf Observations

These are a couple of field maples. Notice the leaves on the right hand plant are still green compared to the one on the left. Is this because it spends more of the day in shadow, as it was photographed here, which means the chlorophyll is protected from the sunlight that breaks it up? And perhaps being near the wall it is marginally warmer and therefore its night-time temperature doesn't go low enough to trigger the autumnal changes? Intriguing.

And the leaves on the maple on the left are bigger because it gets more sunshine and rain? Just call me Sherlock.

This leaf has a rainbow effect of green through orange to dark red. Was the lighter side hidden underneath another leaf before it fell?

Interesting how the veins retain enough nutrients to delay the inevitable colour change. Is it because they are the thickest part of the leaf?

Oak trees have a lot of tannin in them, hence the renowned browness of their autumn leaves.

After recognising the pools of anthocyanins its worth acknowledging how animal-like the cells and patterning looks. If seed heads are patterned using a universal mathematical formula, is there another equation for skin and plant cells?

And a reminder Samhain, the end (and beginning) of the Celtic year, is near: