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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Celebrate Fall Foliage

photo by Michael Jastremski at OpenPhoto

The Atlantic's blog is featuring Jamie Scott's time-lapse photgraphy of the changing colors of leaves in NY's Central Park this autumn.

Today I also happened to listen to recent episode in the podcast Stuff You Should Know about how leaves change color. It turns out the most vivid reds come when the tree is in dire circumstances that require it to reach deep down for the last bits of dried stored sugar, the stuff that's hardest to get at, that's the least accessible. That's when you get brilliance. Sound familiar, writers?

The last two years the colored foliage has been sparse here in Japan. The mountains we live on have remained almost entirely green all year round. I was afraid this might be due to global warming, and that my children might grow up not knowing the beauty of fall foliage. This year, however, the leaves are lavish in their colors. I go out almost every day just to look at them. Yellows, golds, oranges and some of the reddest reds I've ever seen.

This year I went to the chrysanthemum show at a local traditional garden quite a few times. I've never been a big fan of the huge chrysanthemums that you typically see, but it turns out there are all kinds, even some that resemble fireworks. And at the same time the Japanese maples were turning that unbelievable scarlet.
Japanese spider chrysanthemum. Photo from

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