It is that time of year again when the green leaves will turn other colors before they fall from the trees and nourish the soil.
Due to changes in temperature and length of daylight, leaves stop making chlorophyll, it breaks down and as the green color goes away, the yellow to orange becomes visible. Other chemical changes develop red anthocyanin pigment and dogwoods and sumacs become red and purple, and sugar maples turn bright orange. Oaks become mostly brown. The colors evolve from the different quantities of remaining chlorophyll and other leaf pigments.
Not every year is as brightly colored or colorful as long as the next because of the differences in the changing light, water and temperature. Anthocyanin that is produced under low but above freezing temperatures for the bright red leaves is weakened if there is an early frost. Colors are intensified by rainy and cloudy days, while the best time to view them is on a clear, dry, cool but above freezing day.
View the list for some of the best places this writer has photographed the fall nature spectacle. Pictures in October 2013 will be from a ship along the northeast coast from Canada down through Massachusetts. Hopefully the weather changes will provide vivid color shots.