The landscape across much of the country has changed from green to vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red and even purple. But is this dramatic annual kaleidoscope the leaves' transformation into something new? Not exactly.
The visual feast we see in autumn is actually a return to normal for the leaves. The real magic occurs in spring, when trees and shrubs begin using sunlight to produce the green pigment chlorophyll and photosynthesize it into food to sustain themselves during the growing season. When that happens, the plants’ naturally colorful leaves take on the green hue we associate with them.