Sunday, December 6, 2015

Jack Frost!

Jack Frost is the personification of frost, ice, snow, sleet, and freezing cold weather.  He came out of 'Old Man Winter'.  He's been given the accountability for nipping the nose and the toes.  He's also responsible for colouring the foliage in autumn and leaving fernlike patterns on cold windows in winter.  Over the years he's become more sprite-like, and is now more of a sinister mischief maker.  
I hadn't thought about Jack Frost and how early he gets started:

"As fall approaches, temperatures cool and daylight hours shorten, production of new chlorophyll begins breaking down and slowly disappears as fluids are withdrawn from the leaves. The green color in the cells began to break down and the color show we are used to seeing really begins.
The red color like a similar one we see in the Cardinal or red apple, and also in blueberries, is called anthocyanin. 
The yellows and oranges of Sassafras and the maples, and also known to occur in bananas and pumpkins, are due to the pigment, carotene. 
In oaks and hickory leaves, the chlorophyll simply fades from tans to brown, produced by tannins that we find in teas and coffees. 
Scientists claim that it is sunny, warm fall days, followed by crisp, cool nights that “trap” sugars and other chemicals, particularly in the maple trees, as they are drawn from the leaves. These extremes in daytime and nighttime temperatures are what produce the best fall color. From the leaves, fluids are slowly drawn through twigs and down into the trunk and finally into the roots. In the spring, when we say the “sap is rising,” just the opposite happens. The fluids return and the production of chlorophyll begins, anew."

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