Although New England is renowed for its fall foliage, there are many different places around the country to see this amazing autumn phenomenon. The photos to the left, for instance, are from Colorado where, every year, aspen leaves turn vibrant yellow and bright colors highlight the land below the Rocky Mountains.
Leaves change color due to pigments called anthocyanins. As the weather becomes colder, leaves struggle to move the sugar they produce during the warmer daylight hours down into the branches and trunk. This is when leaves begin to produce anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help the plant recover nutrients in the leaves before they fall off and produce the bright shades we associate with autumn.