Is it stress, or some kind of innate arboreal pessimism, that causes them to give up so easily?
If the word "frost" be so much as mentioned in the weather forecasts, these tender trees grow blotchy and pale (or blotchy and red, according to their chemistry), and begin to tremble with autumnal fear.
When the nighttime temperature drops below 40º, they shriek and throw up their branches in surrender.
Add a cold north wind (the final blow), and they burst into leafy tears.
Usually it's the sensitive young maples that first succumb...
...but this year, thanks to the drought, more trees than ever have taken an early leave and are shutting down operations. You can almost hear the chlorophyll saying, "We've had enough, thank you very much, and it's time for a long winter's nap."
(Meanwhile the ever-young pines stand greenly by, wondering what all the fuss is about.)
Even the stubborn oak in our front yard - usually the last to shed its leaves - is showing signs of crumbling.
There is, no doubt, some sort of valuable moral to be drawn from all this - but I have no idea what it may be. (Something to do with aging gracefully, perhaps, or not giving up the fight?)
In fact, there's really no point to this post - it's just an excuse for me to show pictures of trees, which I love, and leaves, which are endlessly fascinating. (And blether on betweentimes.)
What is your favourite tree?
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