September 15, 2017. Winterthur, Delaware
When the Japanese red maple presents itself in wholesome green
Japanese red maple
sometimes on cloudless days, as washed with blue,
The same Japanese maple a few moments later
you imagine it is still summer.
And this is because when we are in full autumn, presentations of this tree range from pale orange to red-hot fire.
But it is clear that autumn is, nevertheless, on hand because the native Osage-Orange tree (Maclura pomifera),
An osage-orange tree bending over a path
has begun shedding its outer bark to reveal the very shades of orange which have yet to rub off on the Japanese maple as autumn advances.
Bark of an orange-osage tree
And when the hyacinth bean (Dolichos Lablab) is in full glory both in flower and seed
Hyacinth bean, a vine growing in Winterthur, Delaware
And when the berries begin to tempt with fabulously poisonous colours,
I don’t know the name of this plant which grows in Magnolia Bend in Winterthur, Delaware
Viburnum, Winterthur, Delaware
you know that autumn is almost here.
And when the pawpaw (Asimina triloba) tree looks gold-bearing
And when the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), full to bursting, is about to whorl out its seeds on filaments of silk,
And when the American black walnuts (Juglans nigra) begin to fall from a great height without a scrape, mottled green as autumn apples and with an indescribably heady fragrance
American black walnut tree and walnuts
ready to infuse vodka for winter cheer, you know definitively that autumn is very near.