Why do Leaves Turn Red in the Fall?

by Sandy Swegel

Because the Wind told them they were naked and they turned red with embarrassment.

There’s a Native American story that says it’s because hunters in the sky killed the Great Bear and his blood spills on the trees. (When the hunters cooked the bear, fat from the pot spilled and turns some of the trees yellow.

Scientists have a story that the trees stop producing chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes leaves look green. When it disappears, the leaf’s true color (red or yellow or orange) shows through.

I’m at an awkward time of life when there are no young children in my life.  No one to tell me riddles. No one I can tease as my father teased us by telling us very tall tales that we never quite knew whether to believe or not.  No one to tell me riddles like the old Cajun guy who lived down the street who never answered a question with a straight answer but told a wild story about the bayou.

So if you know any kids or myth-makers or sacred storytellers….can you ask them why leaves turn red in the Fall?  That chlorophyll story is a little hard to believe and kinda boring if you ask me.

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