The Cornell Botanic Gardens is one of the many great gems in our area. We joined a few other folks for a splendid walk through parts of the F. R. Newman Arboretum led by “Garden Guide” Dr. Peter Davies, a retired Cornell professor (46 1/2 years!) and expert on plant physiology.
We learned about fall colors, the dominance of green chlorophyll pigment which breaks down in the fall to reveal the yellow and orange carotenoids, and the anthocyanins generated by some species to create the vivid reds and bronzes, notably red maples here in the northeast.
We also learned of the effects of, and losing battle against, invasive species and the homogenization of the biosphere throughout the world. We also learned of Ithaca’s four seasons: pre-Winter, Winter, post-Winter, and Construction season.
It was a comprehensively entertaining and interesting stroll on a beautiful Fall day. The Arboretum is a wonderful and ever-changing place to visit any time of year–highly recommended.