What causes leaves to change their color during the Fall? According to the Department of Natural Resources, chemical compounds alter the color pigment of leaves as they get colder. Chlorophyll, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and tannins are responsible for producing the reds and yellows we associate with the season.
There are also other factors that play a role in determining how vibrant these colors may be, from year to year:
* When a warm, moist summer is preceded by cool, fall days
* Light frost may help, but hard freezes can speed up the process
* Weather is the overall determining factor in fall colors
Before the weather becomes cold enough to coax you into staying inside, head outdoors and watch the leaves change with your own eyes.
Here are a few activities that will help you take advantage of the season as trees transform from green to brown.
1.) Harvest Your Garden
There’s no better time than the fall to pick the fruit and veggies from your garden. If you’re looking for more projects that play on this theme, why not pick up pickling or attend a workshop on creating your own jams?
It’s the best time of year to host a bonfire party… not too hot, not too cold. Pick your favorite colored fire glass, grab a canister of Sterno burning gel, and make your own table-top fire bowl (and make your neighbors jealous!)
3.) Treasure Hunt
You don’t have to wait until Easter to host a treasure hunt in your backyard. Ask your kids (or your friends!) to find an object for each color in the rainbow.
Did you know that the entire alphabet could be found on the wings of birds? There are several species that boast such a broad spectrum of designs. This blog has some of the most colorful birds known to man.
5.) Catch a Meteor Shower
Sports nuts refer to Fall as Football Season, but surprisingly, September is full of shimmering sights in the night sky. For example, on Sept. 10, you can see Venus rising with the naked eye. Space.com lists a slew of spectacular extraterrestrial occurrences.
If you’re the arts and crafts-type, try your hand at making cookie-cutter shapes from fallen leaves. Press them in a book for safekeeping, or laminate them for a creative, DIY bookmark of your very own.
7.) Have a Picnic
This is a surefire way to take in all the sights and sounds of Fall. Pack a snack and some drinks for a relaxing afternoon in the shade of your favorite tree and enjoy the company!
8.) Hit the Trails
When you want to put a little warmth back into this cool season, take a stroll down a nature trail and witness the colors change while getting some exercise at the same time.
9.) Tin Can Lanterns
Extend the hours of the day just a little longer with these tin can lanterns. They’re a nice touch if you’re going for a rustic look for your back patio.
10.) Tailgating Party
Who doesn’t enjoy a good tailgating party? Fall is football season, after all, and why not combine two activities in one and do a little stargazing while you cheer on your favorite team from the comfort of the bed of your truck?
11.) Pumpkin Carving
It may be too cold, come Halloween, to carve your pumpkin outside, but you can always set up a bonfire to keep your warm! Bring a couple of candles outside to place inside your jack-o’-lantern when it’s finished, sit back, and enjoy your handiwork.
12.) Nature Photography
If you haven’t already, why not try your hand at taking photographs of the changing of the seasons? Share them with us, and we’ll share them on social media!
Originally published on the official KING blog