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Leaf Color

My daughter Emma and I went for an autumn walk last weekend. It’s peak time for checking out all the colors of the fall leaves, or “leaf peeping” as it’s called in areas where tourism is built around fall.

Emma picked up a rainbow of red, orange and yellow leaves and asked me a simple question. “Why do leaves change their color in fall?”

Hard as it is to confess, I had no idea. But in searching for some answers, I found that lots of folks shared my confusion about this great mystery of fall.

It turns out that three factors influence autumn leaf color: length of night, weather and leaf pigments.

W. Brooks Paternotte took the helm of Irvine Nature Center as executive director in July 2013 and immediately began building on the strong 35-year foundation. Brooks is a Baltimore native who was a teacher, coach, advisor, dean and Head of the Middle School during his 13 years at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. He is also an instructor and ambassador of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Leave No Trace Master, as well as an avid outdoorsman and a features writer for FlyLife Magazine.