I love fall. Cooler weather is invigorating. The changing colors of the leaves can be spectacular but it is the way the leaves fall that most intrigues me. I am fascinated by their apparent surrender as they travel to the ground with so much variation and grace.
My mother loved these lines from Cyrano de Bergerac:
CYRANO: The autumn leaves! Ay, see how brave they fall, In their last journey downward from the bough, To rot within the clay; yet, lovely still, Hiding the horror of the last decay, With all the wayward grace of careless flight!
I will humble myself in reporting I needed to be reminded why leaves fall. Trees know winter is coming and shedding leaves is a survival strategy. It saves energy and water. The leaves would not fare well in the winter weather. As winter approaches, the tree also absorbs valuable resources from the leaves including chlorophyll. Without the chlorophyll the leaves turn the colors we associate with fall. Trees store this resource to be used later.
My fascination with trees and leaves in fall and winter has been documented over the years in my artwork.
|Oak Leaves, Caran d'ache on paper|
|Sycamore Leaves Falling, mixed media on paper. Used in the animation above.|
|Winter Beech, mixed media on paper.|
I hope you are enjoying fall as much as I am. While I am securing additional funding for the animated life cycles, lesson plans and workshops for Anim8Nature.com, I am working on short animations documenting other phenomena of the natural work. Stay tuned for more samples like these falling sycamore leaves.
Learn more about Anim8Nature.com on the website, subscribe to the Anim8Nature Youtube channel and let me know what fascinates you about the natural world.