Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tan lines.

As the days shorten and chlorophyll production tails off in blueberry leaves, sugar reacts with proteins, and in the presence of sunlight produces anthocyanins (red pigments). Where a leaf is covered by another, green areas remain, creating "tan lines."

The most striking reds and crimsons occur after a spell of sunny days and cold nights -- which is what our forecast for the next week or so predicts. By the end of the month, our neighbourhood blueberry fields should be dazzling.

A good explanation of how and why leaves turn colour can be found here.

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