Autumn leaves

 I think! A seedling tree.
Sycamore Leaf

Interesting botanical fact : only eleven New Zealand native trees are fully deciduous each winter, and they don't seem to provide any autumn colour. All my beautiful autumn trees are immigrants from the northern hemisphere. They are all so very welcome.

Without these beautiful guests there'd be no colour-wave of yellows, oranges, or reds slowly trickling though autumn. No autumn comparisons from one year to the next. And nothing to puzzle over : like why some dogwoods colour so much earlier than others, and why some seedling Maples turn bright red and instantly drop brown, while others hold onto their flame colours for ages.

For example, the Liquidambar in my garden presents very bland late autumn colours. I remember a new variety in a local nursery. This was felt-pen bright, almost garish. Far too bright to fit with autumn's mellow mood? Maybe, maybe not. Here it is below.

 Mine never colours like this - it turns a pale,dull yellow.
Liquidambar Tree at the Nursery

I love watching the autumn leaves gliding peacefully down to earth, or whirling around in angry circles when the wind is blowing. I love scuffing noisily through the piles of dead leaves on the ground. One of my current walking circuits is in the orchard, dragging piles of suckers along the orchard floor, and placing them in piles by the fence-line. This is super-scuffy walking through the dead brown hazelnut tree leaves, crunchy and crackly, and most enjoyable.

So I'm off outside to take some more leaf photographs. Shapes of individual leaves are exciting (I love the large Tulip Tree leaves), as are the drifts which float on the pond like scum on the top of soup (eek?). It's a wonderful time of year - OK, so there's a lot of raking to do, but I could never have a garden without autumn trees and leaf fall.