Saturday, November 1, 2008


I have always loved autumn. It's one of the reasons I like living in Michigan, because the colors here are spectacular. Sure, it's no eastern Seaboard, no tiny town in Vermont surrounded by mountains, but it's what I love. I love the light that comes with autumn...the sky looks different, it's bluer somehow. The sunlight is different than in the middle of summer. I know the scientific reasons for this, but still it never ceases to amaze me to look outside my window and see that perfect golden day that happens every October or so...the one that makes you think "I'd like to wear corduroys and go to the cider mill today".

The house we live in now has an added advantage. This tree, above, is just magnificent in the fall. Seriously, on a cloudy, rainy day the thing practically creates it's own light. It's a Japanese Maple that was here when we moved in...and given the landscaping disasters the previous homeowners left us with, I seriously doubt it was their doing.

Living in our neighborhood presents a sort of game with Mother Nature every fall. We are surrounded by trees here. Lots of them. Our yard consists mainly of Oaks, which are beautiful and provide a lot of shade. They also hang on to their leaves like noting I've ever seen. So every year about this time we start to wonder...should we rake? If we rake too early, more leaves fall and the leaves in the yard to the north of us always blow onto our lawn...meaning more work. If we wait too long everything gets wet then snowed on and the job in the spring is tantrum-worthy. After four years, I'm starting to learn how things go. Trees start to turn. Then the Japanese maple turns and is a brilliant red-orange for about three days, then some big windstorm comes along and it loses all it's leaves. Then this will happen:
These are our burning bushes. They are just starting to "burn" right now. I've learned that if we wait until they are totally red before starting to rake, we're pretty safe. If they've dropped their leaves, even better.
That is, of course, if it doesn't rain....which is another problem entirely.

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