Pat Shingleton: "Changing Leaves for Us?"
Our 4;00 O'Clock News Anchor, Brittany Weiss, questioned my announcement that we do enjoy some "changing leaves" here in South Louisiana. Of course it doesn't compare to her and my experiences in Naperville, Illinois (not far from Chicago) and western Pennsylvania. I believe we can expect our patches of sugar maple leaves to turn red soon. Botanists have discovered that the red of the leaf may be a sunscreen or a death threat for hungry insects. In Autumn, leaves break down to prepare for winter. When leaves lose their green, scientists believe it’s a dangerous time for leaves to be exposed to sunlight. Leaf cells are very fragile and when photons from the sun hit the leaves they are absorbed by the red. Experiments in Wisconsin have found that the leaf is protected because it is red and keeps producing food into November. Some trees also make poisons that kill aphids and the red leaf deters the insects. I've noticed some red leaves on Corporate Blvd. and on Dalrymple Drive.