Thursday, September 17, 2009

Leaf colour - science or art

Re-reading the last post it occured to me that whilst there is in my mind at least great fascination in exploring scientific exlainations for widely observed events in the natural world, such explanations can sometimes detract from what for me principally drives the fascination.....the stunning beauty of the thing!

Autumn leaves conjure up for me playing hide and seek with a much loved, long departed boxer dog from my childhood.

The smell, the sounds and the texture of the piles of rapidly desiccating multi hued parchment fragments.

Since moving to Australia in 1989 and living for nearly 20yrs in North Queensland the seasonal markers that changes in leaf colour used to signify have become more confused in my mind. In the tropics (dry and wet) leaf colour change can and does occur dramatically after bud break...yes I know this is true in the Northern Hemisphere and cooler parts of Oz, but I mean the development of red hues, transitioning to green. (Autumn in reverse!)

Some of our trees develop single leaves with dramatic red colours, Quandongs come to mind.

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