Elizabeth Barrett Browning, circa 1883, penned in “The Autumn:”
Hear not the wind—view not the woods
Look out o’er vale and hill
In spring, the sky encircle them
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.
Not to be dismissed, the scientist, moved by fall colors, has uncovered knowledge in regard to the unbearably stunning phenomenon of fall colors. The fall color change is due to a chemical process in the leaves instigated by shorter days and cooler air. During the growing season, most tree leaves appear green because they’re full of chlorophyll and reflect green light, obscuring other leaf pigments from being reflected.
The shorter autumnal days causes the chlorophyll to stop being produced, allowing the other leaf pigments to show their presence of yellows, oranges, reds and purples. At the same time, surging sugar concentrations cause increased production of the different pigments.
In “The Autumn,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning bid us:
Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild,
Do hymn an autumn sound.