Thursday, October 7, 2010

Color Observations Outside

Get outside and see our leaves changing. The Twin Cities are at about 50-75% peak color now. We have plenty of beautiful trees right here on campus including the MIA courtyard.  For farther afield check out the Fall Color Reports from the Minnesota DNR which show a state map, photos, videos and reports for each state park.

If you are wondering what is actually happening in the leaves take a look at Wikipedia's explanation with graphics showing the carotenoids and anthocyanins and how they form.

And if while you're staring at the leaves you begin to notice how much the leaves, bark and shapes vary from tree to tree you might want to use a key to identify the trees.  Try these:
Dichotomous Tree Key (DNR Wisc.)
Tree Identification Arbor Day Foundation
Key to Wisconsin Woody Plants for the iPod

The library also has some books to help you key your trees:
A field guide to trees and shrubs Ref QK 482 .P43 1972
The illustrated encyclopedia of trees, Ref QK 475 .E29 1978 
Trees of North America and Europe Ref QK 477.2 .I4 P45

Have fun observing nature and enjoy the wonderful color combinations.

Eva Hyvarinen, Visual Resource Assistant
MCAD Library

1 comment:

  1. This is great entry. Thanks for the information!