Worms and Flowers

Inspiration Fall Colorways

Posted in Garden by Lzyjo on September 28, 2009

Fall is a colorful and inspiring time of year, so I thought I’d share a selection of beautiful colors that are a perfect representation of the season. Orange is the archetypal fall color. It embodies a lot of good things about fall, ripening fruits, falling leaves, pumpkins, pies, spices, fires, and warmth during coldness. Oranges lead to gorgeous reds, burnt browns, and deep dark purples. The weather in fall is also colorful, the leaves, green, gold, orange, and crimson. Crisp, clear blue skies, dark grey clouds and hurricanes. Autumn is a wealth of color and nature provides it all.

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A colorway is loosely defined as a palette of two or more  colors. Textile designers and decorators use color groupings to make the same prints and patterns in different colors schemes.

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Finally Fall?

Posted in Friday Garden Update by Lzyjo on September 25, 2009

Fog doesn’t seem half as bad as rain, in fact the foggy mountain view is my favorite because it covers up that U-G-L-Y cell tower.

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What a relief! A brief respite from the rain! I think I was getting a bit of, oh, I hate to say it, cabin fever. Already! But I got it all out of my system!

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The peppers are STILL going, if a little too strong!! There are also a few green tomatoes on the indeterminate Amish Pastes, more on that another time.

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This is the first year I have grown fennel, and wow, it’s smashed my expectations. It is a truly wild and crazy plant. Just look at that multitude of tangled and twisted flowers. Magnificent. Too bad the caterpillars haven’t touched it! It’s shoulder height on me and I am 5’9″. Wild! And that’s a lot of seeds too!

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I’m not sure if there is a month that does not go quickly, but this one certainly did! It seems like the peppers were just waiting for the equinox before they turned red, it’s all happening so quickly!

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One thing I don’t mind about long rains is the indisputable growth spurt. This cabbage has really taken off, far out-pacing the cauliflower, for whatever reason.

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The leeks are also doing well. These are exceptionally pretty ‘Blue Solaize.’

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Ah, another of my favorites, the fair Merveille des Quatre Saisons! I love the way the greens and blushing purples mix, it’s almost like an optical illusion.

There are good things about fall, when it’s not raining!

I hope you all saw some blue sky, before it gets worse this weekend!

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First Blush

Posted in Scientific by Lzyjo on September 24, 2009

Autumn is truly upon us and the leaves have noticed not a moment too soon.

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Just a few days ago, I noticed the tiniest blush of gold on the green hills.

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When the days shorten the trees respond by storing as much energy as possible for the upcoming months. They begin by sealing off the leaf petiole, preventing chlorophyll from regenerating.

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When the chlorophyll breaks down it leaves the more stable carotene molecules. Carotene naturally occurs in green leaves, acting as an accessory to increase absorption of certain wave lengths in the light spectrum. With the chlorophyll gone the leaf appears yellow due to light reflecting from the carotene molecules.

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Under certain stressful circumstances, bright dry days and cool nights, the tree makes a last ditch effort to recover any remaining nutrients.  If these condition are met, a reaction between the sugars and proteins in the sap occurs, catalyzing anthocyanins, pigments that can be red to purple colored depending on the pH. Anthocyanins are responsible for the red skin of apples and the purple colors of grapes.

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Depending on the temperature and weather conditions, fall displays can vary greatly from year to year.

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Sources:

The Chemistry of Autumn Colors

HowStuffWorks “Why do leaves change color and turn red?”