Sunday, November 10, 2013

vivid secret


Today, we turn to Diane Ackerman:

“A turning leaf stays partly green at first, then reveals splotches of yellow and red as the chlorophyll gradually breaks down. Dark green seems to stay longest in the veins, outlining and defining them. During the summer, chlorophyll dissolves in the heat and light, but it is also being steadily replaced. In the fall, on the other hand, no new pigment is produced, and so we notice the other colors that were always there, right in the leaf, although chlorophyll’s shocking green hid them from view. With their camouflage gone, we see these colors for the first time of the year, and marvel, but they were always there, hidden like a vivid secret beneath the hot glowing greens of summer.”

- From “The Natural History of the Senses” by Diane Ackerman

- Photo of fothergilla taken at Ijams Nature Center

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