pretty road

pretty road

autumn leaves

Cooler temperatures signal deciduous trees to stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis. The chlorophyll breaks down and disappears, unmasking other leaf pigments. These other pigments — called xanthophylls and carotenes — are what create the yellows and oranges seen in the leaves of yellow poplar, hickory, sycamore, honey locust, birch, beech and certain maples.

IMAGE: Jeff Mulhollem