|Autumn color at the Kobe Municipal Arboretum in Japan|
Here in the Lowcountry, we don't often get a colorful autumn and most of our leaf color arrives in late November. Our ubiquitous live oaks drop their leaves in the spring and never sport the bright colors of Japanese maples or ginkgo trees. The native dogwoods and Virginia creeper provide a bit of color but not enough to make it appear that we have four distinct seasons.
|Autumn color at the North Carolina Welcome Center on I-40 |
near the Tennessee state line early yesterday afternoon
Thursday morning as I walked along Main Street in Danville, Kentucky I viewed the trees and ornamental plantings, as around me townspeople, and visitors in town for the Vice Presidential debate, chatted on Main Street, enjoying a crisp, clear day. The ginko trees that line this charming town had just begun to go from green to yellow. Maples blushed, but many continued to contain branches that bore partially green leaves. Purple petunias and orangey geraniums brightened up the exterior of a real estate office while pots of yellow or lavender mums stood near other doorways.
|Fallen leaves near the labyrinth in Danville, Kentucky|
|Ginkgo trees line Main Street in Danville, Kentucky|
On the day of the Vice Presidential debate at Centre College, the leaves
on the sunlit side of the street had just begun the transition to yellow
On a walk though the woods with a friend in Tennessee, I saw plenty of colorful dropped leaves. Black walnuts, hickory nuts, and tiny persimmons also were scattered along the path. As we approached Sycamore Creek, a large flock of blackbirds (starlings, perhaps) flew in and settled in the tops of trees.
One of my favorite past-times, during autumn and winter, is watching flocks of blackbirds gather and disperse, gather and disperse. Their calls might sound raucous, but their movement is like a symphony conducted by God.
|Red maples at Tofuku-ji in Kyoto, Japan|
Last year I had the good fortune of visiting Tofuku-ji in Kyoto during early December. I was there to see the moss checkerboard, but because the peak fall color came slightly later than usual, I also saw the valley of red maples. So many tourists filled Tofuku-ji on that day that security guards were needed to maintain order in the temple grounds.
|Maple leaves in Kobe, Japan|
|Red maples in Mino, Osaka Prefecture, Japan|
|Ginkgo leaves in Kobe, Japan|
|Kobe Municipal Arboretum, Kobe, Japan|
Over the past eighteen months I've planted a ginkgo tree, two Japanese maples (one red), and an ornamental cherry in my front yard. Within a year or two perhaps my Lowcountry autumns will be more colorful.
|These leaves, fallen from ornamentals at a Raleigh, North Carolina hotel,|
I found so beautiful that the next year I made a detour just to see the fall color
Because You Asked
All photographs in each of my Traveling Gardener blog posts were taken by me (Frances J. Pearce) unless otherwise noted.
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Fallen leaves in multiple colors on the outskirts of Danville, Kentucky