Focused on Mississippi: The Colors of the Fall

Focused on Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Around the middle of November, drivers coming into Jackson from Rankin County on Lakeland Drive get to see the sun setting behind the city skyline. The sun doesn’t set in exactly the same place every day. In the summer, it’s way north of the city. In the winter, it is a little farther south. But the week and a half before Thanksgiving, it washes downtown Jackson with a backlight. One of the signs of fall. 

For a state that is not known for fall color, we have a good deal of it. One of our brightest is not even one of our own trees, although it has taken over. You will see groves of red oriental popcorn trees until the first frost. Then, they turn brown and die.

Speaking of oriental, the ginkgo trees at the Governor’s Mansion and at the New Capitol turn their annual yellow. The road to grandma’s house may be leaf covered by Thanksgiving day.

Your own yard may give you fall color in those trees you planted there for their spring blooms.

What is it about color that is so magical? We see these same trees all summer long in their best greens when their leaves are really working, doing their photosynthesis and making plant food from sunlight and think very little about them. But when the days grow shorter and the nights grow chilly, the leaves start to turn and it’s a brand new world. Maybe we need to have us a brand new world every so often. 

When the leaves start to fall from the trees in autumn, we get a better look at the sky and can see tell tale signs of changes in the weather on the way. Clouds streaming in from the south often foretell a cold front coming in, and hard cold rains with those fronts will often strip the rest of the leaves from the trees leaving only Christmas lights for color next month. 

Even the autumn sunsets get in on the fall color. So don’t quit looking too early.

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