Monday, October 25, 2010

Take a Look: Good Morning, Maple

I was planning to write a wondrous first person description of a really cool spider I recently saw while hiking,but it looks like that will have to wait.

When I began this new strand, I mentioned that I might revert to writing about the beloved maple outside my office window, and that time has come sooner than I expected. It was a dry, hot summer here in Massachusetts, and we’ve all been wondering if that would affect the fall foliage. Because I took weekly photos of my maple for a whole year, it’s easy for me to make comparisons.

To be sure, some years the autumn leaves seem more fiery than other years. And this year, it seemed to me that the oranges and reds were much more dominant than usual. And it turns out, that wasn’t just my imagination. My photos provide irrefutable proof.

Here are photos of my maple tree last year on October 19 and October 26.

On October 19, the tree is just beginning to show hints of yellow.

By October 26, nearly all the leaves are bright yellow. Some leaves have brown areas near the center.

And here are this year’s photos of the same tree on the corresponding Mondays, October 18 and October 26.

On October 18, about one-quarter of the leaves are orangy-red. Some are yellwo around the eddges with red in the center and along the veins.
Now about 80 percent of the leasves are red or orangy-yellow.

Wow, these photos show two very interesting things:

1. The leaves on my tree started donning their bright colors a little earlier this year, and the colors are lasting a little bit longer. I wonder when the leaves will wither and fall off?
2. Last year the leaves were predominantly yellow, and this year they are much more orangey red.
I never really realized the same tree could turn different colors from one year to the next. I guess that explains why autumn seems more ablaze with color this year. Pretty amazing.

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