Further adventures in tree knowledge.
Looking at pictures from yesterday, before the rain came back to soak us all day today, it occurs to me that I no longer know--if ever I did--why leaves turn red in fall. And so I do what any couch-bound questioner does: I google. And I learn, among other things, that red pigments, caused by anthocyanins, may be a tree's last gasp to protect itself from an overdose of light, once its leaves' metabolism starts to decline. And I also learn that some French scientists have hypothesized that brilliant leaf color may serve some of the same functions as the bright hues of male birds' plumage. It may be the case that my trees are showing off so that our remaining insects won't regard them as vulnerable, able to be picked off or decimated. I love that possibility. Perhaps I should throw out some red leaves, somehow.