Spring brings the warming days and bright emerald hues of newly budded leaves, summer gives the eye the deep substantial greens of the hot hazy days, but there is no season like fall to see the true glory of nature revealed in the flaming foliage of fall’s most brilliant trees. It is in the fall that in many parts of the country parkland and rural wooded areas will be filled with slowly cruising cars from the cities and suburbs as people get out into the countryside to see the wooded hillsides resplendent in the flame reds of the Red maple and Black Gum trees accented by the vibrant yellow of the sugar maple and poplar’s Autumn foliage.
The poplar, a very common and often overlooked tree is often one of the first to change from its emerald summer plumage and into the golden coat it wears in fall. When this harbinger of Autumn begins its transformation ‘leaf watchers’ know that in a few short weeks the hills and hollows will shine like a pirates treasure as the still warm afternoon sun dances on the glittering leaves of Autumn. For these people there is nothing better than taking a short vacation or a long weekend at the height of ‘leaf watching’ season to take in the natural beauty on display as the days begin to shorten and the nights begin to cool.
Once the poplar has put on its fall brilliance the Sugar Maple soon follows suit, losing the green of summer in favor of shimmering golden or vibrant orange. As if nature itself were set aflame the yellows of poplar and sugar maple are soon joined by the crimson of the Red Maple and Black Gum trees until the forest seems blossom with a living fire that adds beauty and warmth without the consuming flame. For those lucky or blessed enough to own property containing any of these, fall’s most brilliant trees, the few short weeks when Autumn colors are at their peak are a few short weeks of unparalleled splendor.
As with all things, those weeks must end, but the task of collecting those fallen gems of Autumn is worth the effort when sure in the knowledge that when spring has come and gone again, and the heat and haze of summer have faded, fall’s most brilliant trees will once again usher in the season of harvest and plenty as they paint the world with the blazing colors of nature’s fiery pallet.