Pat Shingleton: "On the Ground..."
Botanists have discovered that the red of the leaf may be a sunscreen or a death threat for hungry insects. Leaves are now on the ground in those sections of the country that enjoy the changing leaves of Fall. With the leaves on the ground, I'm paying for it. My Mom's home in Western Pennsylvania sits on an acre of land surround by Maple, Aspen, Cottonwood and a variety of fruit trees. Her yard is complimented by winds directed from the north and south that seem to transfer her neighbor''s leaves to hers. Botanists have discovered that the red of the leaf may be a sunscreen or a death threat for hungry insects. Experts report that 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. With the colder mornings, our Maples will start to shift from green to red and can be enjoyed on a section of Corporate Blvd. and while driving north to St. Franscisville and New Roads.
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