As August fades, and September’s cooler temperatures settle in, the leaves begin the final stages of their lives. We are all often in awe when the leaves change from a lush green to a vibrant yellow, orange or red. It often raises questions such as, “Why do leaves change color in autumn? Why do some trees turn yellow, orange and others red? How come the color varies in intensity from year to year?” Well what if I said the leaves are always yellow and orange and the green just covers it all up? It is true, these colors exist in the leaves all year and are covered up by the green chlorophyll.
The Fall Leaf Cycle starts at the end of summer with the shortening of the days and cooler nights. At that point, the trees do not receive enough light to produce food for themselves, and the production of chlorophyll is haulted. Some trees that turn fire engine red, like a Maple ,
have glucose trapped inside it. A combination of sunlight, shade, and the cold nights help turn the glucose into this red color we see. I have seen some of the most spectacular colors of my life in New England and along the Appalachian Trail. Shenandoah National Park offers some of the best vistas and hiking trails in the East!
This picture was published in Popular Photography and Imaging Magazine October 2008. Itwas taken in Shenandoah National Park during a weekend camping expedition.
During the Winter, the tree will loose it’s leaves so it can survive the harsh season ahead. My Autumn usually begins around the second week of September. The weather patterns seem to change and cooler air is filtered down like clockwork making beautiful fog-filled scenes at sunrise and sunset. Like this..
Even this morning, I was blessed with some nice low-lying fog and a beautiful morning sun halo.
You are not just limited to photographing leaves and trees, you can also photograph activities that take place during this season, or incorporate them into your shot.
Riding Harley Davidson’s in New England.
or fishing in Vermont..
Maybe all you need is a little good luck this fall!
I love taking hikes through Ricketts Glenn State Park in Pennsylvania! You can see so many beautiful waterfalls and thick forests filled with photo ops!
Check out the Green Mountains of Vermont!