Fall is the most unique of the four seasons. Many trees turn bright colors, creating a fall palette of reds, purples, oranges and yellows. People travel to the Northeast from all over the world to view the beauty and wonder of the area’s fall foliage.
Why Leaves Change Color
Leaves are a tree’s source of food. Roots absorb water from the ground and trees take carbon dioxide from the air. Then, trees use the sun to turn water and carbon dioxide into a type of sugar called glucose. Glucose feeds the trees and gives them energy to grow and store food for the winter months. This process is called photosynthesis and, combined with the chemical chlorophyll, gives leaves their green color.
As the days get shorter, trees take the hint and begin preparing for the winter, when there won’t be enough light or water for photosynthesis. As the trees begin to shut down the food-making process, the chlorophyll ebbs, leaving behind the leaves’ true colors. Yellow and orange are always present in the leaves, but are masked during warmer months. The deeper reds and purples are actually produced in the fall by glucose trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops.
The exception to this process is an evergreen, or a tree that has leaves resistant to cold and moisture loss. Pine trees with their long needles and holly with broad, waxy leaves, are able to sustain photosynthesis during the winter, therefore keeping their green appearance year-round.
Fall Harvest Party
Fall is a time when many vegetables are harvested, like gourds, pumpkins and winter squash. You could send invitations decorated with pumpkins, and if your birthday is in the early part of fall, consider hosting a pumpkin carving party. You could ask everyone to bring a pumpkin and provide the necessary carving tools.
You could also host a harvest potluck, sending invitations featuring a horn of plenty, overflowing with the bounty of the season, and ask guests to bring dishes that use seasonal ingredients and colors. Perhaps butternut squash soup, crusty French bread, and mulled apple cider could make it onto the menu.
You could let the falling leaves be your inspiration and send birthday invitations with pictures of colorful trees inviting guests to a fall picnic. You can bring red and gold tablecloths to throw over the picnic tables and serve sparkling apple cider with an apple spice cake for dessert. Then, invite guests to take a walk in the woods to admire the colorful trees.
Fall is a wonderful time to take a drive in the country and end up at a vineyard for some wine tasting. Send guests gold invitations with wine bottles on them, or invitations with grape vines as a border. If you already have a favorite vineyard, make arrangements for your party to be given a private tour followed by wine tasting and light hors d’oevres, like cheese and crackers. Or, you could use this opportunity to choose a new vineyard to explore with friends and family.
Whether you take a stroll in the woods, toast your birthday with a glass of wine or host a fall harvest, your birthday party is sure to be as colorful as the season.