Where Does The Green Go?

One bright, crisp October morning about twenty years ago my young daughter awoke to discover that most of the trees in our backyard had turned a vibrant red, orange or yellow.  That prompted her to ask me “where does the green on the leaves go, dad?”  I tried my best to describe the photosynthesis process to her by explaining that the trees stop producing the green chlorophyll pigment that tints the leaves in the summertime, thereby revealing the underlying hues of the now bare leaves.  It sounded like a good explanation to me, but she wasn’t buying it.  “If the leaves were green yesterday, and today they are red, the green had to go somewhere.  Where did it go?”  I contemplated my next response very deeply and finally replied “better go ask your science teacher”.

I may not know where the green goes, but I do know when it comes back, it returns with a vengeance.  Just before Memorial Day in Maine, the state sheds its drab brown winter coat and dons its St. Patrick’s Day wardrobe. The abundance of rain cranks up the saturation level and lawns and forests magically re-discover their emerald-like vibrancy.  It’s a great time to be outdoors.

One outdoor place that my wife, dog and I like to visit is the Ovens Mouth Nature Preserve in Boothbay.  This 146 acre parcel is formed by two peninsulas – separated by a wooden foot bridge – that border the Sheepscot and Back Rivers.

The preserve is very dog friendly and is reportedly home to deer, otters, osprey and bald eagles.  Although I’ve yet to spot an eagle there, I remain hopeful.  A well-marked and maintained shore loop trail takes visitors to either peninsula named West and East.

I highly recommend a visit to Ovens Mouth.  Just minutes from Boothbay Harbor the place is scenic, interesting, and as unique as its peculiar name implies.


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