Below is a sample of a bright red oak (shrub) from Sunday's trip to Crex Meadows. It's followed by a picture of leaves that may be common but I don't remember seeing, orange leaves on aspen (poplar) saplings. They aren't as distinctive in the picture as they were while we were driving past, but I think you can see to the right-center that the leaves aren't the usual aspen yellow.
Crex Meadows "scarlet" oak?
Photo by J. Harrington
Crex Meadows orange and yellow aspen
Photo by J. Harrington
In past years, I've noticed whether the leaves were colorful or not, but never paid much attention to the details. This year's observations help me to realize how much more of what goes on in the world I've probably failed to notice over the years.
This year one of the oak trees in the back has turned bright coppery-orange. If I didn't know it's an oak, I'd mistake it for a maple. The maples this year seem to lack the vibrancy I'm used to seeing in their Autumn reds and oranges and yellows. I've also noticed quite a few oaks that turned burgundy and even a few scarlets or garnets. These figures below come from Ingrid Sundberg's color thesaurus and display much of what I'm talking about. Using the orange shades, one of the oaks behind the house is tiger. Many of the oak leaves still on the branches are rust or bronze or spice or amber. After they've been on the ground for some time, leaf colors dye out and fade, just as wood turns to reds and oranges in a fireplace and then to dull, gray ash.
Just for fun, which shades of orange and red from the thesaurus do you think show up the most in the leaves shown here or in your neighborhood's trees?
Getting in the Wood
The sour smell,blue stain,water squirts out round the wedge,
Lifting quarters of roundscovered with ants,"a living glove of ants upon my hand"the poll of the sledge a bit peened overso the wedge springs off and tumblesringing like high-pitched bellsinto the complex duff of twigspoison oak, bark, sawdust,shards of logs,
And the sweat drips down.Smell of crushed ants.The lean and heave on the peaveythat breaks free the last of a buckedthree-foot round,it lies flat on smashed oaklings—
Wedge and sledge, peavey and maul,little axe, canteen, piggyback canof saw-mix gas and oil for the chain,knapsack of files and goggles and rags,
All to gather the dead and the down.the young men throw splits on the pilesbodies hardening, learning the paceand the smell of tools from this delvein the winterdeath-topple of elderly oak.Four cords.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.