October 1, 2020

The Truth Behind Why Leaves Change Color In The Fall?

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Ever since I was a kid I have heard the same explanation as to why the foliage changes color and becomes the perfect photo op, whether captured by camera or in the mind. Little did I know until today that there is another explanation, that to some – probably me – it is easier to grasp the concept of than trying to understand the chemical changes that result in natural processes of season, yada, yada, yada……

Native Americans have a legend that much more easily explains what happens. From the Star-Gazette, here is the legend.

“One day, three of the greatest hunters of the Lenni Lenape left their village to hunt a mighty bear that had eaten their corn and killed their wives. They swore that they would not rest until the bear was dead and its robe lay on their sleeping mats.

“One hunter carried a bow and an arrow to kill the bear. One carried a pot to cook the meat and one carried wood to build the cooking fire.

“The hunters followed the tracks until they found the bear. The bear turned and fled, showing itself to be a coward and not a warrior, as a bear should be. They followed him into the mountains, climbing ever upward until the bear climbed into the sky itself.

“Remembering their oath, the hunters, too, climbed into the sky, using the stars as their handholds and the moon to light their way. They are there to this day, running against the stars of the northern sky.

“Once each year, the hunters catch the bear. Blood from his wounds falls to the earth and stains the leaves red. Fat from the cooking pot boils over and stains other leaves yellow. So it is that the leaves change their colors every year, during the hunting moon.”

Now isn’t that much easier to grasp and understand?

Tom Remington

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