Now It’s the Oaks

Most folks “from away” think of a New England autumn as the relatively short stretch of time when our trees reveal the colors they’ve been hiding behind their chlorophyll since spring.
Red oak leaves in sun

But the first signs of autumn—or at least the change in seasons—actually begin in early August when the leaves on certain trees begin to take on a yellowish cast.

And then, of course, there’s the August version of solidago (goldenrod) that blooms along the river behind our house.

The first trees to turn on their fall foliage are the birches. Then it’s maples and ashes and the incredible staghorn sumac.
Red:green oak leaves in sun for web

The last to take their star turns are the oaks and beeches.

Usually, our oaks turn from green to a rich coppery brown with not a lot of other colors in between. But in this magical fall, they are revealing the depths of their redness.

There was frost on my car’s windshield this morning when I walked to the end of the driveway to get our newspaper. (Yep, still enjoy my wood pulp and ink with breakfast.) And the predictions are rain for the rest of the week, by the end of which we probably won’t have much left on the trees.

Yellow to brown beech leaves for web

But it’s OK because for this lifelong New Englander, this is truly one of the best falls ever.

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