October 03, 2012

old leaves are beautiful

My parents are on a color tour in my home-state's upper peninsula (Da U.P.) with my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Chris.  Aren't they a cute ol' bunch?
Look at that clear, cold lake behind them.  I have built up lots of immunities to homesickness over the years, but a picture like this one gets through my defenses.

I asked Mom to take some pictures of the fall colors for me, and this is the first thing I saw on my Facebook wall this morning.
Inspired by this huge red tree, I will take out the apple-scented candle I lugged across the world in my luggage this summer and I will burn it all day.

The colors of fall fascinate me.  It tickles my metaphor-loving bone that the most beautiful phase in a leaf's life is the phase just before it drops from the tree.  The kids and I learned this morning why leaves turn color.  When the days get shorter, this is a signal to the chlorophyll to stop turning sunlight and carbon dioxide into food.  The chlorophyll retreats, leaving the tree to live off its food stores for the winter.  When the green is no longer on center stage, the other colors in the leaf can have their 5 minutes of fame. 

No offense to the four handsome people in the picture above, but they look to me like the leaves on their color tour.  They are done making food.  It is time to live off their stores, wave in the breeze, and look radiant.  And radiant they certainly look!