This is a half-assed explanation. There's a much more in depth explanation here, but when nights start to get longer, the chlorophyll in the leaves stops being made and that allows the naturally occurring colors to show thru - the green from the chlorophyll covered them up before.
In other words - nature is art like no other!
Let's tour my yard, shall we?
The burning bush.
Let's not talk about this poor old cherry tree. There's only one branch still alive.
One confused Easter Lily.
I honestly thought all my mums were goners. But we have Red Wings colors!!
(or Razorback colors if you ask the hubby)
The hostas are giving it up.
The crabapple tree usually is naked by mid-September.
And the glorious big maples that the Maple Grove Cemetery is named after???
Nothing. A tiny bit of fading, but that's it. Dammit.
They usually wait until after the last yard waste pick up to drop them completely anyway.
2 doors down has color.
Across the street has color.
I have a hard time deciding which season I like better - autumn or spring. Spring brings new life and warmth after the long, usually crappy Michigan winter. Autumn brings the cooler temps, glorious color, all the pumpkin things, hockey season and of course, Halloween.