November 4, 2011
The cottonwoods have just started to turn on the East Verde. Leaves turn after the tree withdraws green chlorophyll from the leaves, leaving behind carotenoids that turn cottonwood leaves yellow.
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“I need a Living,” says Tom, my beloved editor. “Guess you shouldn’t have spent your whole life in newspapers,” I say sympathetically. “No. I need a feature, for the Living page.”
Right. Write a story. Fall color. East Verde. Cottonwoods. Sycamores. The usual suspects. Except I just wrote about cottonwoods two weeks ago. And I got all gushy last fall about red and yellow leaves, bereft of chlorophyll but high on leftover yellow carotenoids and red anthocyanins. So now I gotta come up with something fresh. Besides, Lobo needs a walk.