The Colors of Fall

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With the cold breeze blowing and the leaves turning red and gold, you know that the season of fall has arrived.

The term “fall” is used more than the term “autumn” here in the US, for reason I don’t really know. Autumn came from the Latin word “autumnus” which means “the passing of the year,” while fall is from an old English word “feallan” which means “to fall from a height.” “Fall” is short for the expression “fall of the leaf” or “fall of the year.”

I grew up in a tropical country so fall was a unique experience for me when I migrated to the northern hemisphere. I don’t particularly like fall as it means that soon all the trees would be bare and winter will soon follow. However I cannot deny the fact that fall bring us beautiful colors.

What gives the leaves different colors? It is due to the pigments they have. Chlorophyll is the main pigment in the leaves that gives them their green color. This pigment is important for plants to make food using sunlight. When the season gets cold, or more importantly when daylight time becomes shorter heralding fall season, some plants stop making chlorophyll, so other pigments on the leaves start to show. Like carotenoids which gives the yellow and orange color. Also some pigments are produced during fall like anthocyanins which gives the red color.

When the tree sheds its foliage, the leaves goes into this dying process just before they fall to the ground. But in that process they show us their beautiful colors.

There is beauty in change and in life’s transitions. There’s beauty even in the dying process which is part of life that many of us have difficulty embracing.

Here is our fall colors this year.

Photo below is the same spot of the above photo a few days later with more of the beautiful leaves falling to the ground.

Here are more colors of the fall:

(*photos taken during my morning run)


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