I hope you appreciate this. Pulled off to the side of a very busy road and jumped out of the car to pluck these two leaves from trees lining the sidewalk. Did it for research for a post I’m working on. One of my “Let’s pretend I’m a nature writer” posts.
Those weren’t the last leaves on those trees, by any means. Most deciduous trees around here are bare but there are still more than a few that are not only holding onto their leaves, they’re still green or partly green. Mainly maples, but along that stretch of road there were some ashes, aspens, and birches, as well.
It wasn’t so much the case that I needed to identify the leaves in the sense of learning what the were for the first time. I recognized them as soon as I got up close. But I needed to see them up close to know what trees haven’t yet dropped all their leaves so I would have an idea of what trees might have still been in leaf in the foothills of the Catskills when I drove through them on my way to Syracuse a few weeks ago. Those few weeks ago, a hundred miles west by northwest from here, the fall foliage had peaked and what little color was left was pale yellow. Like the yellow of this pair. The larger leaf on the left is from a black maple. The other’s from a sugar maple.
I didn’t need to take them home or get out the guide books when I did. But I wanted to be sure about the black maple. And I wanted to take this picture to show off the fact I have guide books. They’re a big help in pretending to be a nature writer.