How do plants and animals survive the winter? (Part 2)

Strategies and adaptations All wildlife at higher elevations or latitudes face the challenge of adapting to winter. In part 1 of this post, we explored the challenges that wildlife faces during winter. To recap quickly: Food can be scarce! Starvation or lack of energy is a major survival risk for all kinds of wildlife—plant, animal, or otherwise. It gets cold. …

Fall Foliar Fruit Flagging: Are trees talking to us?

The dramatic color changes of autumn leaves in some parts of the world are captivating, seemingly magical, and widely appreciated. Dazzling reds and oranges pop up every year while we’re planning our Halloween costumes or breaking out a flannel shirt. Plant scientists (called botanists) are working to understand why these gorgeous displays happen. But there is more to the story: …

Why are trees Green?

The bright greens of living plants are uplifting, relaxing, and one of the most natural things we can think of. Green is such an ever-present and widespread color in nature that it symbolizes the health and vitality of our natural world.  Almost anywhere you go in a springtime climate, you can expect to see green; from mosses and algae to …

Why do trees lose their leaves in the fall?

Why do trees lose their leaves in the fall? For people living in temperate or northern climates, the Autumnal transition into winter usually involves lots and lots of leaves. Leaves turning beautiful colors, leaves blowing in the wind, leaves covering the ground, crunching under foot, or being raked into huge piles or blown away by landscaping crews. Trees lose their …

Why do trees turn colors in the fall?

The most iconic sign of autumn is the turning of the leaves. But why do the trees turn colors? If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with dramatic “fall colors”, then you’ve experienced the incredible beauty of landscapes painted with dazzling reds, oranges, and yellows.  Poets from all over the world have described this sudden, incredible transformation with over-the-top language …