Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Autumn but no maples

Fall is definitely here in the Arizona mountains. While we tend to remain mostly green all winter -- our forests are piney -- the settlers, old and new, did plant deciduous trees. Great for autumn color, tho we miss that glorious pool of red that surrounds eastern sugar maples. (When it comes to fall color, I don't count those year-round red-leafed maples that the landscape people plant.)

There are a handful of small maples that turn brilliant red in wetter crevices and canyons up in the hills, but as a rule, our bright reds have to come from plants such as Virginia Creeper -- hardly a substitute for a bountiful, tall tree!

Another source of red is the squaw bush (three-leaf sumac in PC-speak), though like the creeper, it needs back lighting to bring out the color (above and below). The bush does turn color in starts and fits, often leading to individual leaves that shade from green to red!

Purslane is a little ground growing plant that goes red in the fall... is plumbego. For that matter, so do strawberries.

While the choke cherries generally don't do a major display comes October, these leaves were a neat exception!

Surprisingly enough, my little volunteer peach tree (above) and my several apricot trees (below) have provided much of the best autumn color that I've seen. Often very subtle, if you are into that sort of thing.

Of course, there's the aspen; I especially liked these leaves (below) in the process of turning.

While aspen are celebrated for their golden glow, most of the aspen in my neighborhood seem to have preferred a slightly orangish yellow. Still a wonderful finale for an Arizona mountain fall.


k said...

Oh, pretty!

Anonymous said...

The colors are spectacular.

Granny J said...

Thank you! There are so many pretties to photograph
and today, the autumn was looking even more spectacular. All kinds of trees are golden!

Lane said...

Big flashy carpets of colored trees are wonderful, but I'm a bit more microscopic and believe a beautiful leaf is a beautiful leaf. Lovely shots! Here I am always drawn to the yellow ginko fan-shaped leaves. I always want to pick them up, press them, paint them gold, and make some tacky pseudo Asian design on black velvet...hasn't happened yet.

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