October 25, 2009

Take Nothing for Granted

        I was very disappointed that Andy and I did not get to go to Jim Thorpe, PA this year to admire the "visual cacophony" lingering above our heads. Today was a nice day and in addition to cleaning the yard, my mother and I went for a walk to look at the leaves in the area. The leaves are as beautiful as I have ever remembered them being.

        Sometimes life moves so fast that you notice that the leaves are falling from the trees and think it would be nice to spend some time looking at them, but you never do and soon winter comes, and you forget about it for another year. Sometimes the cycle continues for a few years.
        How could I deny the beauty that exists only a few steps from my back door? I am indeed very fortunate to live in such a beautiful world and have the ability to experience it. Last year Andy and I went with his mother and father to view the leaves, we had to describe the colors to his father, who lost his sight earlier last year after a stroke. What a terrible hardship to endure.
        On another topic, I have always wondered why the leaves change colors and if there was a method to the color choices and times when the leaves change. Turns out that leaves have Chlorophyll andCarotenoids in them all year round.These create the colors that we see. These pigments are normally concealed by the Chlorophyll which makes the leaves appear green. The Carotenoids give the leaves their red, orange, yellow and brown colors.  The Carotenoids are exposed when longer, colder nights halt the breaking down of the Chlorophyll. Fascinating.

Your assignment for today is to go admire the leaves and never take anything for granted.

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