Sunday, 12 October 2008

Autumn Leaves

Turn, Turn, Turn....
I was reading my book the other day (see pic below) over lunch and a leaf fell on it, now I’m not very superstitious part from when it comes to trees (Richard Dawkins will give me a kicking next time he sees me know) ; so I took this to be good Omen and made a wish and it came true !
Me and Winona are getting married next in Vegas and our first case of Tunnock's Caramels just arrived.

The book I was reading is by Neil Gaiman & P Craig Russell it’s called "Coraline" and it’s really rather good about a young girl who goes into that cupboard in the corridor and ends up with another mum who has buttons for eyes. It’s creepy but wonderfully told and the drawings good too.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"
Albert Camus

Here are a couple versions of possibly the most wistful song ever written. Nat King Cole is a great singer sadly with the weight of easy listening on his shoulders, but any fool can hear great singing when it come along, the other tune is the Coldcut mid ‘90’s “trance” version which is rather good too.

On the subject of leaves you do know why they change colour in autumn don’t you?

Well that’s because leaves aren’t really green, they really a sort of translucent brown. It’s like this; imagine them as being made out of beige glass. The green colour comes from Chlorophyll (the most important compound in the world?) and every spring the new leaves are flooded with chlorophyll hence the greenness. In autumn the thrifty trees save the chlorophyll sucking it out of the leaves and into their trunks and roots storing it over the winter.

Why do leaves go yellow and red then?
Well light comes in lots of forms (wavelengths) some of its green some it red and yellow so the trees produce a range of "Phylls" to capture different forms of light. Chlorophyll’s greenness tends to mask the other compounds colours, being the most “important” light absorber Chlorophyll gets saved first leaving behind the yellow and red looking compounds which in turn get reabsorbed leaving the brown shell of leaves to rot and decay.

One last “science bit” remember that trees are just tubes of water and sugar held up by air (well the CO2 part of the air) mixed with some nitrogen and water. They are truly magical the closest we have to proper alchemy, they are literally solid air.

Autumn Leaves Nat King Cole mp3

Autumn Leaves Coldcut (Irresitable force mix) mp3

1 comment:

ally. said...

you clever tyke - i'm going to copy this out and learn it word for word and amaze everyone i meet with my (well alright your) naturey skills