these fallen splashes look ready for a brush to dip into them and begin painting autumn. in our part of the world, shoreline trees are just beginning to pale, partly from drought, but mostly from cool evenings telling the trees it’s time to pull all that sap back out of their leaves to be stored for next spring, when the big outward push will begin again.
assorted early fall leaves
saint paul, minnesota
the days are warm and the nights are cool now. autumn is the prettiest time of year here in the upper midwest. my husband’s favorite time of year. but i have a more complicated relationship with fall–the threat of so many months of deep cold, and early darkness weighs on me. i know it is not very zen of me, but I wonder, if the buddha had grown up in minnesota, whether a little bit of worrying about the future, putting up some firewood and root vegetables, wouldn’t have been considered a path to enlightenment.
river willow leaves
rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota
this fragment of bark, looking like the skin around an elephant’s eye, was falling off of a long-dead pine tree at a little over 8000 feet outside park city utah. the trunk was mostly bare and there were no needles, so identification has eluded me, especially since we live among eastern tree species here in minnesota, and with this specimen, i find myself in the realm of western species growing up near the tree line. if i had to hazard a guess, i would say whitebark pine. the altitude is right, but i can’t confirm definitively. i know it looks like poplar bark but it was definitely not a poplar or an aspen, based on the the shape of the trunk and the growth pattern of the very pine/spruce like branches. can anyone help me solve this mystery?
deer valley, utah
either this is a sprig of cedar with some nice, photogenic blue and white berries, or it is a sprig of juniper, with berries that might perfectly flavor a venison roast, or which might turn, eventually, into a gin and tonic. after some research, i don’t know which it is, but i know which i sort of hope it is.
sprig of cedar or juniper with berrries
avenue de fontcerise, autignac, languedoc, france
as i had feared, the oak leaves in my back yard are starting to fall without having first gone through their more familiar, drawn-out, orange-and-red farewells. i am guessing lack of rain. sort of sad, but on the other hand, if you like a subdued palette, as I do, these metallic hues are almost as satisfying.
red oaks leaves from the back yard
saint paul, minnesota