Red Leaves

In early autumn, one always hears stories about leaves: it seems almost obligatory for national news media to do annual stories about driving through Vermont and New Hampshire to admire scarlet, anmber, and gold clad mountainsides during the "peak fall foliage."

Growing up in Nevada, I recall seeing trees, here and there, in which the leaves turned some color other than brown before the wind picked up and swiftly blew them hither and yon. But there weren't many. The main entertainment of the fall foliage season—back in the dark ages before obnxious leaf blowers—was raking up leaves the wind scattered across the lawns and piled against walls and fences (and in bushes and brush) and stamping them into garbage bags and the occasional tin garbage can. Fall foliage season was usually interrupted—or even pre-empted—by first snow. Once snow hit Peavine, you were well advised to forget autumn enter Full Winter Mode.

Seattle is a bit different. Plenty of trees here, and in winter the landscape is virtually defined by ferns assiduously sticking out the season through a blanket of decomposing leaf-fall. I gather we're no New Hamsphire or Vermont, but there's certainly a wider variety of foliage here than where I grew up. Case in point, a Japanese maple outside the side gate, in a rare burst of sunlight.

Japanese Maple, November 8

Japanese Maple, November 8
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