Fall doesn’t fall as quickly around here.
Thinking about photosynthesis. I blame δένδρον (dendron, tree) and its place on my vocab list for the week. I went further north last weekend for my college reunion and as we drove towards the place we both called home for 4 years, my friend explained the different colors of the trees based on location and type. I knew the basics of photosynthesis, but leave it to a bio major to rekindle the wonder of trees in my spirit. If I could do his explanation justice I would reiterate it here, but I’m not that good. Let’s just say it has to do with the color rays present in the sun and how the leaves adjust to get as much sun as possible especially where it’s cloudy or there’s less sun, like in a valley. That’s why driving through some of those mountainous parts of Pennsylvania you’ll see a range of reds, purples, and oranges in the canopy. I think that’s part of why I’ve always found it amusing that scientists are most often the anti-religious. They’re the ones closest to the magic. They’re steeped in creation proclaiming the glory of their Creator.
I know that photosynthesis undergoes a number of observable and quantifiable changes. We can chart it and hand in our data after lab. But go back a step further. It’s not just that this is something that occurs, it’s that this is something that occurs. Surely things could have been different, but every year the life cycle of trees paints the world with colorful brush strokes…I am struck by the whimsy of the Master Painter.
I wonder what you see when you look at the trees.