Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11: Sumac

As I drove on an errand on this perfect, sunny autumn afternoon, stereo loud, I exclaimed to myself each time I passed a particularly stunning set of trees sporting fall colors. The garish colors matched the volume of my music and my elevated spirits. Roadside stands of sumacs in particular stood out, their long, arched pennants of leaves a deep, rich red.

If you look at the patchwork of colors that makes up a fall forest, you can often tell what species are in the mix. Poplar and birch leaves are yellow coins, maple leaves are yellow-orange-bright red hands, oak leaves are red-brown hands, beech leaves are yellow-brown flags, needles of the tamarack--the only deciduous conifer--form yellow-gold tufts. What at first glance looks like a random riot of color really reflects a certain order of things. But it's easy to overlook, amazed as we are by the breath-taking transformation of our woods, the trees' last hurrah before snow falls.

October's untamed:
red manes and tails of sumacs,
one black crow, roadside.

No comments:

Post a Comment