A few fallen leaves

The thing about deciding to post every day is that it means that every day, you are faced with the reality of posting something. Even when you are tired. In keeping with my grand tradition, I am sharing some photos. And seeing as it’s fall, the photos are of leaves.

I do love the fall, and seeing the spectacular show put on by the foliage. Even after they’ve fallen, a lot of leaves still catch my eye.

various variegated leaves

I did promise leaf photos. Here are several leaves that caught my eye for their variety of color and pattern.

In my part of New England, this fall has been a strange one, foliage-wise. Well, weather-wise, which affects the foliage. First, the cool weather of fall was late to kick in, and we only had our fist chilly nights pretty late into October, which meant that most of the leaves stayed green up to that point. When those cold nights hit, we had a sudden dramatic change to the warm side of the spectrum. Then we were hit by a big storm a couple of weeks later, with high winds that pretty well cleared the trees of leaves. As one friend put it, we had a “pop and drop” foliage season.

A gallery of damaged leaves

This seems to have been an especially good year for caterpillars, because I’ve noticed that almost all of the leaves that fall (as well as those still up in the trees) have quite a few holes or other evidence of having been munched. In spite of these flaws, I still find the leaves to be quite beautiful. Many of the holes even add to their character. (This is not the first time I’ve made that observation.)

An orange leaf (or what’s left of it), outlined in red.

This leaf was thoroughly munched before falling to rest on the thick carpet of moss.

The bright orange and red leaves tend to steal the show, but bright green and yellow leaves can still be quite eye-catching. (It was the colors more than the holes that caught my eye with this fellow.)

I like the way the mottled surface and holes of this bright red leaf echo the patterns of the rocks in the asphalt.

This graceful oak leaf has tiny holes spread out over its surface.

The holes in this oak leaf look quite lacy.

After taking this photo a few days after the photo above, I realized that it was almost certainly the same leaf that caught my eye again. (If you mentally flip it over, you can see the same shapes in the holes.) It’s interesting to see how the color of the leaf continued to change after falling on the ground.

I am not the only one who enjoys finding interesting leaves. Also, notice the funny ring of green around a hole in this leaf.

indigo oak leaves

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a set of photos showing a range of colors that can be seen in the fall foliage of my neighborhood. My wise and astute friend Magpie chastised me for leaving out part of the spectrum:

Red, orange, yellow, green, BLUE, INDIGO, violet. That is, you’re missing two. :)

It was a tough order, but I think I found some indigo leaves in a photo taken a year ago today. While the leaves in front are of a more expected rusty orange hue, the leaves showing up behind them appear to be a of a deep indigo. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Maybe.)

polychromatic, idiosyncratic

Yesterday, the kids and I spent some time playing out in the front yard at my in-laws’. Phoebe had collected some pretty leaves, and I found myself joining her. Fall comes a bit later here than at home, so the big maples in the yard were still leafy and bright. I kept finding interesting individual leaves, with interesting patterns and color arrangements. Of course I had to photograph them. First individually, then in groups. Before you knew it, I realized I wanted to spread them out and arrange them by color.¹

I was channeling Andy Goldsworthy, one of my favorite artists.

I found I had to hunt around to find more of the brightly-hued freshly-fallen leaves among the crinkled older leaves, which had turned a fairly uniform shade of brown as they dried. I paced around the yard, poking at the leaves, looking for more oranges and reds. I was enjoying myself immensely.

I was somewhat startled, therefore, when a woman from across the street yelled across: “Did you lose something?”

“No,” I replied. “We’re just playing with leaves.”

The neighbor took my explanation, with a nod and a slight look of confusion, and went back into her house.

I was reminded a little of that time I probably confused (or amused) some passersby back at my house by my rather unusual approach to shovelling snow.

Do you ever confuse your neighors?

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¹ Much like I once did with tomatoes.

ridiculously colorful Fall leaves

New England is known for its spectacular Fall foliage, primarily for the show put on by the sugar maples that are native to the region. However, there are plenty of other plants, trees and shrubs that put on autumnal shows of their own. And I have no idea what most of them are.

These are some photos I took around and about over the last 2 weeks.

This little guy is a shrub on the campus of BU. The leaves reminded me of confetti.

These leaves were on a smallish tree on the MIT campus. I loved the way the colors changed variably across the surface of each leaf, making striking multi-colored outlines.

This plant caught Phoebe’s attention at an apple orchard we went to a couple weekends ago. Likely a weed, these plants grew over 6 feet tall, and had very soft, fuzzy stems. (Phoebe wanted to just stay and pet the plant.) We were all amazed by the varied colors, covering quite a large range of the spectrum, and often over the surface of a single leaf.

This is just another shot of that same plant.

Anyone have any idea what any of these are?