Autumn Leaves

Here in Maine, the leaves are red, yellow, and orange. They crunch and swish as you walk down the driveway. When the sun shines on them, they glow, and when the wind blows, they flutter in the breeze like confetti. Fathers rake them, and children jump in them. They cover the hills like a colorful shag rug. They even have their own dusty, musty scent.

When I was 9 years old, I moved to upstate New York. In our art class, we were asked to draw a tree. Just coming from the Bahamas, I drew a palm tree. The others drew trunks and branches. Even if I drew a deciduous tree, it had a round top with lots of leaves. Theirs looked like dead sticks to me.

It wasn't until I lived in Maine for a few years that I realized that's what trees look like most of the year up here in New England. The leaves fall off in mid-October and don't bud again until May! That's seven-eight months!

In the springtime, the tree branches start looking bumpy. Then there is a pale, minty mist in the woods. The new light green leaves are a striking contrast to the dark spruce and pines. Young maple leaves are red!

Then the world gets green! The grass, the woods, the gardens...everything is GREEN! By July, we're used to it, and in August, much is dying and turning brown and yellow. It saddens all of us to see the first red leaves in September. We will have to say goodbye to summer and the leaves for the long winter.

Did you know that the colors are there all along? They are just covered with the green from chlorophyl. When autumn comes, a little trap door closes the sap from feeding it, and it falls off.

So, kick and scuffle and crunch and throw those leaves into the air, and enjoy those wonderful, beautiful leaves while they last.


Patty Wysong said...

Fall is what I miss about Maine. Here in Illinois we go from green to brown, with just a touch of color--if we're lucky. Enjoy those colors for me!!

Laury said...

I love fall, Vonnie, but Peej is right, it lasts for such a small amount of time. Thank you for bringing a Maine Fall to all of us:)

Amy said...

Oh, please take some pictures and post them of fall in Maine. Been there twice at this time of year and there is nothing better!


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