Fall: the noun that becomes a verb

In Announcements, by , on October 21st, 2015

Come find out how at the next Sustainability Committee meeting: Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 12:20 p.m. in Gallagher Center multi-purpose room.

Fall is in the air. The daylight hours become progressively shorter.  We have passed the autumnal equinox (when there are equal hours of day and night) and are on our way to the winter solstice (the shortest daylight and longest night of the year).  Nature knows it.  One reminder is the fall display of colors in the leaves of our deciduous trees.  Actually those colors have been there all along, but a funny thing happens to chlorophyll, the green color that predominates in leaves.  It disappears and allows the other accessory pigments to shine through.  Are all those colors merely there for our enjoyment?  Actually they are able to absorb other wavelengths of light that chlorophyll cannot, hence allowing the plant to more efficiently acquire energy from sunlight.  You will note different colors on a tree, and even within one leaf.  The Niagara Gorge is in peak form now and a walk along its edge will provide you with a spectacular view.

And then it happens, the noun that becomes a verb. The trees begin to produce a substance called abscisic acid (how’s that for a spelling bee word?) which slows growth at buds, and the leaves become cut off from their water supply and fall off the tree.  Our beautiful deciduous trees enter a relatively dormant state, but fear not, they have prepared themselves for renewal and will put out a fresh set of leaves in spring, much like our efforts to operate sustainably.

Sustainably yours by Mark Gallo and Dan McMann