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Over Easy: Autumn

Autumn color

Up North here, Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. The temps getting cooler – low of 44 tonight – and a bit less rain. Nice bit of a nippiness in the air during the day. The leaves beginning to turn colors. Even the lilly pads begin to turn colors. High School Football but I only went to a few games as it was just too freaking cold to watch a bunch of guys mucking about with an odd shaped ball in the rain and slush. And of course ….. Halloween. Ghosts and goblins and witches and all.

This is the time of year I begin some of my indoor projects as well. Cool enough now in the apartment I do not mind baking, the heat from the oven taking some of the chill off. Took a trip out to the country to get a few loaves of home made Amish cinnamon raisin bread and could smell the wood burning in their stove. Had a nice talk with the lady there and told here about my baking Pulla and that it takes nearly half a day to bake. She said there is a rye bread she likes but bakes it rarely for the same reasons.

I really do like the Fall colors. It was one of the things I missed about living in Florida. It was rare for the trees there to turn color even though it could get quite chilly and some times down right cold.  The color is caused by the chlorophyll and beta carotene  in the leaves and how it reacts to temperature. It has to get down to the 40s at night and no warmer than the 60s during the day. And the length of the night.

A color palette needs pigments, and there are three types that are involved in autumn color.

Chlorophyll, which gives leaves their basic green color. It is necessary for photosynthesis, the chemical reaction that enables plants to use sunlight to manufacture sugars for their food. Trees in the temperate zones store these sugars for their winter dormant period.

Carotenoids, which produce yellow, orange, and brown colors in such things as corn, carrots, and daffodils, as well as rutabagas, buttercups, and bananas.

Anthocyanins, which give color to such familiar things as cranberries, red apples, concord grapes, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and plums. They are water soluble and appear in the watery liquid of leaf cells.

Both chlorophyll and carotenoids are present in the chloroplasts of leaf cells throughout the growing season. Most anthocyanins are produced in the autumn, in response to bright light and excess plant sugars within leaf cells.

During the growing season, chlorophyll is continually being produced and broken down and leaves appear green. As night length increases in the autumn, chlorophyll production slows down and then stops and eventually all the chlorophyll is destroyed. The carotenoids and anthocyanins that are present in the leaf are then unmasked and show their colors.

Florida rarely has all these things coming together at the same time but at least one year they did and the Water Oaks and Live Oaks turned a wonder yellow and the Red Maples a very deep red. Florida was know to get quite cold indeed. Like the Christmas Freeze  of 1989 which was responsible for their loss of a lot of citrus in central Florida as well as my mother’s silver dollar eucalyptus. The freeze came so fast and was so deep the sap just froze in the free causing the trunks to just spit. This happened in the water pipe of some building as well. What a mess.

Here are a few more from my collection.

So is everybody ready for Halloween ?

Off topic is topic here on Over Easy do what ever you wish to bring up and chill out.

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