Still Learning To See


I remember in a forestry class learning about students weighing all the leaves on a tree but I don’t think I ever heard anyone estimate what the total weight of Fall’s harvest is. It is, I’m certain, an unimaginable figure, especially considering it happens annually. I love watching the wind and leaves seeming to play with each other, some leaves ending up much higher in the air than they’ve ever been, others mixing together with dozens of other species on the ground.


Just a few of the many species of leaves from nearby trees I found yesterday in our yard, including Bur Oak, Red Oak, Swamp White Oak, Catalpa, Ginkgo, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Norway Maple, Shad, Witch Hazel, and American Hazel.

And how pleasing it is to see the many different species represented in the leaf fall on our street compared to the few that were evident when we moved here forty years ago.


The Ginkgo trees have finally let their leaves fall this week, an impressive rush of gold. A Shad outside our bedroom window showed just one leaf remaining yesterday, a bright, complex color of orange. The Red Maples stand mostly bare now, showing off their lovely branches right down to the smallest twigs for all to enjoy, with birds nests that eluded us all summer finally revealed. The Honeylocust also bare and pointing upward to the bright, sunset sky. Norway Maples, invasives not knowing any better, still hold the bulk of their leaves making them vulnerable to the weight of early snows—none of which are in sight at this point but they can’t be far off.


So we are onward through November to shorter days and dark nights lit this week by a full moon and then by bright, bright stars in cold, inky skies. May peace fall on all of us as readily and as wonderfully as the leaves have.

This entry was published on November 4, 2017 at 11:07 am. It’s filed under Fall colors, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Leaves, Moon, Photograph, Trees, Vermont and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Falling

  1. Dianne Shullenberger on said:

    This is a lovely blog both in photos and words. The concluding photo is such a tribute to nature the ultimate artist. Dianne

  2. ehwfram on said:

    Echoing Dianne’s sentiments, what a wonderful mix of images and inspiration in this post!

  3. Karen Dailey on said:

    I, too, thank you for the inspiration of words and pictures…and for the work you have done in Montpelier to assure that future generations will have this amazing variety of trees gracing their streets, at least on First Avenue for sure!

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