Watching the fascinating Countryfile Autumn Special on the BBC iPlayer yesterday, one particular image has stayed with me: that of a single leaf falling down into the river.
The narrator explained how the multitude of leaves falling from the trees along the riverbank would rot and get broken down to provide the basic food for the river’s living ecosystem. The leaves dropping and rotting was the starting point for the entire food chain. Amazing!
Earlier, a team from the Woodland Trust spoke about their scientific research, and also told us how the vibrant gold, red and brown leaf colours of autumn come about… how the green chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down and fades as the days grow colder, revealing the yellow carotene pigment already there. The red colour, apparently, happens in some trees when there are bright sunny days and cold evenings.
A lovely programme, reminding me of the miraculous processes of nature behind the beauty we see.
There’s still two or three weeks left for us to view the programme before it gets deleted. Buffering can be a bit of a bore… but it is possible to download the iPlayer to our computers now, which should help!