While we’ve had some warm days this Autumn, which is nothing unusual, there’s no doubt that Winter’s tendrils are slowing creeping upon us. And no where is this more evident than with the deciduous trees that decorate the region and especially those at Mossvale Park. The leaves have rapidly changed colour and fallen away from their hosts, carpeting the land with all the colours of Autumn. I’m not sure if the leaf Diaspora is happening faster or slower this year, but the mass migration from tree to ground is certainly happening apace.
The process starts fairly early, with often quite green leaves falling away, whether from spurts of cold, wind or rain. However, you know that things are changing as more leaves lie underfoot each day that you visit those familiar areas. Whatever it is that influences these changes, it’s always interesting to find something different about, as long as you look for the less obvious.
The transition from green to lean doesn’t happen overnight, but it can be surprising how quickly some trees can divest themselves of the year’s coat, after holding on tenaciously over most of Autumn and suddenly preparing for their Winter slumber. On first appearances, some areas look more like a mass migration of Christmas Island crabs, until you look more closely and discover the almost infinite variety of characters that have settled on the forest floor.
The trees always tend to produce different scenes because of the nature of the tree and their leaves. Some, have a vast variety of hues as they die off, from vibrant yellows to brilliant reds, while others just produce muted tones that vary only in degree, but make up for it with vast quantities. I often lament the fact that we have so many gum trees on our property, which drop leaves and branches all year round, but I sometimes wonder how things would unfold if those gum trees were instead deciduous trees and each Autumn we’d have to gather and dispose of an ocean of leaves. I suspect that I’d be wishing once more for the gum trees.
Anyway, it won’t be long before all the deciduous trees are bare, the blankets of leaves swept or mown away and the grass once again exposed to Winter’s frosts. Mind you, frosts have been fairly frequent over the last month or so, despite some rather pleasant days, and without a doubt there’s only more to come.