Fall Is In The Air!

Driving over Hoosier Pass, between Breckinridge and Fairplay, Colorado, we were pleased to see the striking colors of autumn leaves. The bright, vibrant yellows and reds of the turning aspens were spectacular. Yesterday, as we travelled through Nebraska, we saw the golden stalks of corn, and the yellow to gold leaves of soy beans. Only a short time ago all of these leaves had been a beautiful bright green. The changing fall foliage never fails to delight me. 

Leaves are plant’s food factories. Through a process called photosynthesis (“putting together with light”), sunlight turns water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar that the plant uses for energy and a building block for growing. We use the oxygen to breathe. A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. It is the chlorophyll which gives plants their green color.

As winter approaches, the days get shorter and shorter and there is not enough water or light for photosynthesis. The perennial trees begin to shut down and go into a state of rest, living off of the food stored during the summer. As the green chlorophyll fades, the yellows, oranges, and reds that were present in the leaves all along, now are able to be seen. In a short time, the trees will go into a stage of dormancy and the leaves will fall off. In the case of the corn and soy beans, the same process is taking place; however, these plants are annuals, and will die after their seeds have reached maturity.

What a wonderful process God has created!  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Ec 3:1)

 Lanny Johnson

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