Leafing Summer Behind

By: Haley Eckman 

     With fall just starting, so is the changing of the leaves. The Squire decided to interview Mr. Musi to get his take on the change. Mr. Musi is the biology teacher at Eisenhower, which makes him a good candidate to be interviewed and someone with all the knowledge about the science behind the beautiful foliage.  

     This year, fall started on Thursday, September 22. Students have been enjoying the cooler weather, but we are experiencing an exceptionally rainy autumn. Once the rain clears, leaf viewing is one fall activity that many enjoy around this time. Although some species have already changed color, the leaves typically reach peak color in the second or third week of October.      

      Warren County has many beautiful spots to view leaves. Whether it is just a scenic drive or an intentional hike, it will always be a memorable sight to see. According to Mr. Musi, Jakes Rocks is the best place to go to view leaves. His personal favorite leaves are, “the red of oak trees and the golden color of quaking aspen leaves.” Oak trees change color later in autumn, while quaking aspen trees change earlier in the season. Some other great places to view these leaves are the Audubon, the Eco Lab outside of Eisenhower, Hearts Content, and Chapman’s Dam. Seeing the different colors can be a great family activity for all ages to enjoy. There are also activities, such as the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Sheffield, each fall, so just check online for dates and times. 

    The changing of the leaves can be a fascinating topic to learn about. Leaves get their green color in the summer because of the green-colored chlorophyll in the leaves. According to Mr. Musi, this pigment (the chemical that causes color) covers up all the other pigments in the leaves.  Leaves change color because chlorophyll moves into the roots to uncover the oranges and reds that we see. Mr. Musi explains, “There is so much chlorophyll in the leaves that it covers all of the other pigments. In the fall, the chlorophyll flows from the leaves into the roots for storage for the next growing season. This exposes the other pigments that produce the many colors that we see in the fall.” Hopefully, this description helps you to better understand and appreciate why leaves change color in the fall.  

     So, get out there and look at some leaves with your newfound knowledge of how and why they change. Snap a picture and tag The Squire @ehssquire on Instagram. 

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