Sunday, November 21, 2010

Watching Fall Leaves

Have you ever wondered how leaves change their colors? We all have seen trees that go from green to gold to brown in a matter of days, but how do the individual leaves actually make that transition? That was what I was wondering when I set up a little experiment using a scanner and some leaves collected in the yard.

My process was to scan the leaves daily and then make a time-lapse movie of the transformation. If I was being totally scientific, I would have scanned them at exact intervals of time. I got busy during the week and skipped a day or two, but one can clearly see the amazing transformation.

Each leaf represents a specific kind of tree and each changes differently from the others. All of them seem to lose moisture and dry up. Some whither a little and others a lot. One even seems to rot pretty quickly. If I was a scientist I would be interested in the structure of the leaf, the water content, bacteria or microbes present etc. Since I am not, I'll just marvel at nature's beauty.