Wednesday, September 28, 2011
"Desert Autumn" by Robert Wood (1889 - 1979)
The Rogue Speaks:
We all learned about chlorophyll in elementary school science class, so we know why leaves are green, but there is another very important component, xanthophyll, that makes leaves, flowers, fruits, and vegetables turn yellow by acting to moderate light energy.
When animals (including ourselves) ingest plant material containing the xanthophylls, it is metabolized and shows up in various ways. The macula lutea in our eye absorbs the xanthophylls, and is called the "yellow spot." You've been hearing a lot lately about lutein being good for our eyes, and it is one of the xanthophylls. Likewise, when chickens take in certain feed that is filled with xanthophylls, the eggs readily absorb it, causing the egg "yellow" to turn that yummy color!
The beautiful yellow leaves of fall, as seen in the painting by Robert Wood, come to us complements of the xanthophylls. Yes, we actually do have the theater of the seasons in the desert!! Van Gogh was grateful for xanthophylls, but he didn't realize it at that time in history.
When we lived in Tennessee, one of our favorite fall trips took us to the mountains to view the fall colors.
That's about all I have to say on the subject of xanthophyll, but in case you are interested, lycopene is what makes those beautiful RED fall leaves.
Please don't forget to check out the other entries for Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday this week. Oh, and in case you are interested, PLEASE click here to see my offering for Whimsical Wednesday! I'd love to have your reaction!!