Before the wind blows them all away, lets have a quick look at our autumn leaves.
You may be wondering why leaves change colour?
The reason leaves are green in the first place is because they have something called chlorophyll. When sunlight hits the chlorophyll it makes food for the trees. But in the winter there isn’t enough sunlight, because the days are short. So the choloophyll shuts down and the leaves look yellow and orange. The yellow comes from something called xanthophyll and the orange comes from carotene, the same thing that gives carrots their colour. These colours were there all the time but in the summer the green is so strong it covers them over. And as for those leaves that turn red, they have food trapped inside and those that turn brown have waste material trapped in their leaves.
RESOURCES AND THINGS TO DO
- In our house one of our favourite autumn activities is leaf rubbing. Find some nice leaves (make sure they are dry). Turn them up-side-down and place a sheet of white paper over the top. Using one hand to keep leaf in place use a crayon to rub out it’s detail. I like to use big thick crayons. For a step by step guide check out this link from First Palette
- Nature Detectives have some great leaf ID guides
- They also have some great leaf activity pages including this lovely autumnal tree on dark paper and a leaf treasure hunt