Labor Day has just ended and you dreamily remember all of the things that you did over the summer vacation months. Well, it is now time to go back to school! You are thinking fall has begun and summer is over. WRONG! Autumn or as you usually say, Fall, begins on Sept. 22nd.
Sometimes the weather doesn't even cooperate with the changing of the season. We traditionally close our pools on or near Labor Day. But, sometimes it stays very warm through September and October. We wish our parents have waited just a little bit longer to close the pool!
As the Earth makes its 365 day journey around the sun, some parts of our planet will get fewer hours of sunlight at certain times of the year. The days become shorter and the nights grow longer and cooler. Autumn comes and then winter.
The weather even affects the color or foliage of the trees! The temperature and cloud cover make a big difference in a tree's red colors from year to year.
When you get a lot of warmer and sunnier days but cool nights it is a good year for the red leaves! In the daytime, the leaves produce lots of sugar, but the cool night temperatures prevent the sugar sap from flowing through the veins of the leaves and down into all the branches. The extra sugar sap and sunlight increase the production of the anthocyanin pigment (red) in the leaves. When the chlorophyll(green) is finally gone, these leaves will turn bright, brilliant shades of red, purple, and crimson.
The yellow, gold, and orange colors are created by carotenoid. These colors remain fairly constant from year to year. That is because the amount doesn't change because of the weather.
The amount of rain in a year also affects autumn leaf color. A severe drought can delay the arrival of fall colors by weeks. A warm, wet period during fall will lower the brightness of autumn colors.
Please read more about autumn by going to the next page.