Pat Shingleton: "Late Storms and Leaf Changes."
On this date, twelve years ago, Typhoon Durian ripped through the eastern Philippines, killing 200 and the official death toll from the storm was 1,339. Tropical Storm Sebastien is currently moving through the Atlantic with no threat to any land area. As we wrap-up Hurricane Season 2019, the Pacific storm season continues. In late September, 1959, typhoon Vera hit Japan causing 5,041 deaths and the destruction of 40,000 homes. Typhoon Marie hit Japan on September 26, 1957, killing 1,700, sinking 600 ships and destroying 200,000 buildings. In September, 1953, a typhoon hit Vietnam and Japan, killing 1,300. On December 18, 1944, a typhoon hit Admiral Bull Halsey’s Third Fleet damaging 3 destroyers, 146 aircraft and 790 men. Our 4:00 O' Clock News Anchor and Host of 2-On-You-Side, Brittany Weiss, questioned my announcement that we do enjoy some "changing leaves" here in South Louisiana. Of course it doesn't compare to our 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.
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