As we observe the changing seasons at Wolf Ridge, one of the brightest signs of fall has been the changing leaves. When I first started closely observing the maple leaves changing color I had lots of questions- did they change from one side to the other? Did they change color from green to red to brown completely before falling? How long does it take for a single leaf to change color?
To investigate some of these questions I decided to observe a leaf over time and try to see it changing first hand. I picked a green leaf on a sugar maple tree not far from the West Dorm and tied a blue string to the leaf’s stem so that I could find it again. I visited the leaf every day for two weeks, taking a picture each day, which you can see above.
It was fascinating to watch the leaf change, but what I didn’t expect was how valuable it was to visit and spend time in one spot each day observing change. It became one of my favorite parts of the day to visit my leaf and look around at the trees, rocks, and wildlife in the same spot. If there are trees still changing color where you live, give the experiment a try- you may discover an unexpected new favorite spot!
Photos and story by Sarah Waddle