Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
To understand what’s involved each fall in the transformation from a sea of cool green to a kaleidoscope of red, orange, yellow and every shade in between, it is helpful to know two important points. The timing of leaf color change is primarily affected by the calendar and the intensity is a product of three main factors: color pigments, length of night and weather.
First are the pigments. There are three most responsible for leaf color. Most of us are familiar with the first, chlorophyll. You know it as having something to do with providing the basic green color found in leaves and grass. It’s required for photosynthesis, the chemical process that allows plants of all sizes to use sunlight to produce food.
During the warmer months when plants are actively growing, the chlorophyll pigment dominates the color we see in leaves. However, another pigment is also present at this time, carotenoids. They produce the yellows, oranges and browns. But because chlorophyll is so dominate as a pigment, it is not until fall, when the photosynthesis process shuts down that carotenoid pigments begin to become apparent. Eventually the photosynthesis process ceases and all chlorophyll is depleted, eliminating the green color completely from certain leaves and allowing the carotenoid pigments to take center stage.
A third pigment, anthocyanins are not present in leaves until autumn. Warm bright days of fall produce lots of sugars in the leaf. But as the days shorten and the nights cool, these excess sugars are trapped in the leaf as veins leading into and out of the leaves gradually close. The combination of bright light and trapped sugars stimulate the production of the anthocyanin pigments. They produce the vivid shades of reds and purple and the many hues in between.
The next factor contributing to fall leaf color is the longer nights. Days become shorter, reducing the amount of sunlight available for plants to photosynthesize. This is nature’s way of signaling plants that winter is on the way. Energy begins to shift from food and energy production into storage and reserves. As the photosynthesis process slows down in response to shorter days, so does the production of chlorophyll. In the absence of the dominant green pigment, carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments light up the fall landscape.
The third factor and the one most responsible for the intensity of autumn color is the weather. The most brilliant fall displays are the result of a warm wet spring, a mild summer, bright sunny autumn days and cool but above freezing nights. When this combination comes together, the result is the most vivid color exhibition.
So, as you think back on this season’s display of color, hopefully you were rewarded with exceptional views. And next spring, when it’s warm and wet, be happy. It may be the makings of a spectacular fall!