Posted by: atowhee | June 22, 2021


I could see it shining, glowing, turning, floating in air. It was bright golden yellow. Sunshine? Maybe some internal heat? A swallowtail butterfly? Over the lawn, not near flowers, bounced by the breeze, alive or a phantom, must be seen up close.

Once alive, it was a small crabapple leaf from the tree overhead…drained of chlorophyll* in death. It was yellow with its underlying pigment, and suspended on a long thin spider fiber hanging down from a tree limb above. The glow was all from reflected sunlight as the bright object danced before the dark shaded areas behind it. In front of a blooming rose bush or honeysuckle it might have vanished from view. The background darkness made the light object an objective of curiosity.

Xanthophylls are yellow pigments that are in many leaves and don’t break down as far as the over-powering chlorophyll that begins to disintegrate vene before a leaf dies–see “autumn color.”

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