Pat Shingleton: "It's Coloring Time..."
Now that it's Autumn, folks in the Northeast will enjoy the changing-of-the-leaves. Each leaf contains anthocyanins that act like a sunscreen and once the chlorophyll breaks down, photosynthesis slows This process retards the absorption of light and excess light damages the leaves. Researchers determined that nutrient-poor leaves, low in nitrogen, causes the intense red color of sugar maple leaves. The peak foliage dates for Maine are October 1st through the 21st with New Hampshire offering displays from September 28th through October 21st. Vermont's best viewing dates are October 5th through the 28th. The Farmer's Almanac has the best times for peak foliage dates and designates Louisiana's peak from November 2nd through November 11th.