The North Shore, Massachusetts
The autumnal paintbrush has dabbed the trees here north of Boston. The red maples scream, me first, me first with their red and sometimes ghostly oranges – colors I cannot adequately describe nor capture on film. For those of you who can’t make it up this way for a little leaf peeping (it’s a thing), here’s a tour.
But first! Science.
Leaves change colors because the chlorophyll (the light-harvesting pigment that makes leaves green) is being broken down and its nutrients, particularly nitrogen are being packed into the tree to overwinter. The colors are other pigments that were there all along (in most cases), just overshadowed by chlorophyll. Now is there time to shine. Below is a great graphic that explains the most common pigments you see.
Oh, and if you want to see pictures of maybe the biggest, oldest organism on the planet (hint: it’s a tree), see here.
And now pretty, pretty pictures. Go ahead and peep. I won’t tell.