Here is a new blog post written by Poplar Stream Falls Hutmaster Ellen McDevitt. Sounds like the hut crews are looking forward to your October visits. Enjoy!
In August, the only red objects visible from the Poplar porch were our ripening tomatoes. It’s September now, and the tomatoes are picked, but now we see red on the leaves. I majored in history, not biology, so I turned to Wikipedia to see why leaves turn red. It turns out that the red and purple pigmentation visible in late fall is due to anthocyanins. Anthocyanins combine with already-present green chlorophyll and yellow-orange carotenoids to create what we think of as fall color. Anthocyanins are also responsible for the coloring of cranberries, red apples, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and plums.
Henry David Thoreau certainly didn’t know about anthocyanins, but he still appreciated New England fall colors. I hope Thoreau would approve of our upcoming Annual Members Barbecue; I think it is shaping up to be just the sort of cheap and innocent gala day he describes in “Autumnal Tints,” published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1862:
“But of much more importance than knowledge of the names and distinctions of color is the joy and exhilaration which these colored leaves excite. Already these brilliant trees throughout the street, without any more variety, are at least equal to an annual festival and holiday, or a week of such. These are cheap and innocent gala-days, celebrated by one and all without the aid of committees or marshals…”.
If you haven’t been out on our trails lately, be sure to take a walk in October and check out the foliage. Or here’s an even better idea: put the Annual Members Barbecue on your calendar for October 9th (click for event details). Free for all members and $10 for non-members.