Wednesday, October 27, 2004

When we had drought conditions here a few years ago, we had two or
three autumns in a row where the prediction was for dull foliage.
That's because when the summers were excessively dry, the trees didn't
get the resources they needed to build up... well, whatever it is that
produces the BRIGHT fall colors on their leaves.

Well, THIS summer was a total rain-fest. I should have a dime for every
occasion where my weather-alert radio sounded the alarm for
flash-flooding... and that was BEFORE we got the remnants of four
hurricanes coming through here. My take on it was that the fall colors
ought to be so bright THIS year, the leaves had better glow in the
freakin' DARK to make up for all the aggravation that the excess rains
were causing.

I'm happy to report that, although Mother Nature hasn't taken me up on
that idea of glow-in-the-dark leaves yet, the foliage we've had so far
has been SPECTACULAR. The only disappointing thing about it is that it
can only last for a few weeks per tree before the leaves drop. But,
fortunately, since each type of tree (and possibly each individual
tree, depending on what kind of summer it had) is on its own autumn
timetable, the net result is turning into a prolonged visual feast.

Good. I could use some pretty things to look at during my commute. It's
a nice way to get my spirits lifted a little bit twice a day. In
particular, there are some intense hues of yellow and orange that I
can't help but notice every time I pass by. It always makes me wish
that I was a passenger, rather than the driver, because I'd love to
take a photo of some of these trees before they shed their leaves.

In the meantime -- for anyone who's got the option of driving on Kings
Highway for one reason or another, I recommend doing so at least once
during daylight hours before winter sets in. That big canopy of old
trees that line both sides of the road, for miles on end, are putting
on quite a show this year.

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