Maples Flashing and Burning

October 22nd, 2010 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

’tis the season…to admire the premature defoliators. Our sugar maples abound in Hyde Park, all Boston and New England.

They also flash and crash, with short, intense color. Far more patient trees, such as Norway maples and beeches, deliver the color and coverage long after the sugars are nude.

With apologies to botaniphiles (surely not a word), I note that plants, even large trees, are very, very short on brains. They can’t benefit from psychological counseling for their problem. How is it that we have not breed these colorful trees for longer display?

Consider (and click a thumbnail for a larger view):

mapleriver From the historic stone Paul’s Bridge, the contrasting undercoat of the dark Neponset highlights the too eager maple.
In Boston, often sugar maples are on every street corner. maplecorner
maplereadytodrop Several maples in the backyard are as garish as any fop. They remain delightful, but for all too brief a time.
Even the decrepit ancient maple in the front — all too eager to let wind take its branches the rest of the year — seems to know when it is time to perform. oldandpretty
maplesteps To the eye is one thing; underfoot is another. When the maples finish their tricks, someone has to move, compost, bag and otherwise deal with the little dainties on the ground.

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