It’s time to say good-bye to Fall, at least the Fall when the trees paint our landscapes in glorious colors. I did not take the beautiful photos that are included in this blog post. They appeared in The Post Standard, in Syracuse, NY in the center of New York State, which is a perfect town from which to sally forth to places where Nature puts on a great display, at least in a good year, (and this was a very good year for Fall color). So I will not harangue you with any of my political commentary, I am just going to drown you in the beauty of what really fine photographers can make from the internal chemistry of deciduous trees.
The village where I live is on a lake. Along the shores of the lake is a very user friendly walking trail and a road for skaters, runners, and bikers. Everything in this northern latitude is beautiful in every season, but in fall things do their stuff in colors and crispy, crunchy textures. Sooner than we would wish the tree branches are once more totally empty and all the trees reveal their lovely bones. It is comforting to realize that they are only storing up energy for the great spring display. There is a small marina in the park which is very pretty even when the boats leave for their winter homes. My beauty offering for this week.
Fall, the lovely traitor, with its brilliant colors and crisp air, tempting me to shuffle through piles of rustling leaves, always lifts my spirits, only to deposit me in the long, dark winter. I always forgive Fall. My body is programmed to experience Fall as a season of beginnings. This could have to do with the fact that I spent almost my entire life going to school, first as a student, then as a teacher. Since the school year starts in September for me each year begins in September. I get that gut-wrenching mix of excitement and anxious anticipation still, even though, for this part of my life I no longer arrive at a school in September. However, being a devotee of beauty, the excitement does not go to waste because the colors and the freshness of the air seldom disappoint.
This is the tree at the side of my old farmhouse. Its leaves have turned russet earlier than most of the trees in my neighborhood. I recently learned that my beloved tree is a “bad” tree. It is a Norway maple. Norway maples produce a prodigious number of seeds. This maple variety is therefore taking over our forests and choking out other trees including the desireable Sugar maple. In fact my tree has been “banned”, poor thing and can no longer be sold at local nurseries. Still, I love my tree. Even a “bad” tree is better than no tree. On the day I saw my Norway maple I had a terrible feeling that I would somehow lose it. It is an old tree. I thought someone might consider it in danger of being uprooted in a storm. Now that I have been told that it is a “banned” tree I hope they don’t make me take it down. Although it was planted by the village and is on village land, apparently I, as homeowner, would have to pay to have it removed. That would be really rude and quite impossible for my budget at the current moment. Hopefully my tree will be “grandfathered in” and I will get to enjoy my “bad” tree for many years. However, it is ironic that, just as I have come to treasure it, its future is in jeopardy.
“If you would ever leave me it could not be in Autumn.
Seeing you in Autumn you never should go.” (loosely from Camelot)
(Yikes, pretty corny, huh? But I would mourn the absence of my tree)