Monday, November 2, 2009

The King of Autumn

It is October 30 as I write this. I think I'll probably post it on Monday November 2. On October 28, I stopped the bike and took some video of a tree that I have come to think of as "The King of Autumn". It is not an impressively large tree, but big enough, I guess. Situated near the middle of a small, out of the way park near Wellington Road, this thing had achieved an orange "glow" that I have never seen before and that kind of blew me away. I'm not a full-time nature junkie or tree hugger, but once in a while I'll see something that kind of feeds the spirit, if you will. This tree was one of those things. Despite a thick carpet of leaves beneath it, it still looked nice and full, right up to the top. When I got home, I plugged the camera into the computer and couldn't remember anything notable happening on the ride, so I just deleted all the files. I do this all the time. No big deal.

On October 29, I rode on streets only due to time demands. I still hadn't realized that I had deleted my King of Autumn video.

This morning as I cleared the camera's files once more, I remembered the King of Autumn, and resolved to ride by and take some pictures instead, because they would be more impressive than video. When I got to the tree, it didn't look anywhere near as good. The King had lost his Crown, and was thin-to-bare on all but the lowest branches. With so many leaves fallen, the glow was gone. I was really disappointed, thinking to myself, "damn, I really wanted to post on this. Ah well, maybe next year." I rode away kind of bummed out, without having taken any pictures. I thought about how quickly some beautiful things can pass: Blink, and you might miss 'em.

I stayed bummed out until I resolved to write this post describing what had happened, and to take pictures of the less impressive King anyway, which I did on the way home. I have heard that the colours achieved by trees in the fall can vary from year to year depending on what kind of summer it has been. If the King fails to achieve the same wondrous hue next year, I would have missed my one chance to share it with anybody, and that would suck worse than showing the tree in something less than its full glory. So here it is:

Try to imagine those low branch colours all over the whole tree, although it's a "you had to be there" thing, I'm afraid.

The King is Shed! Long Live the King!


PS - I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on the King of Autumn next Fall in the hopes of catching it at its very best.

PPS - This post ended up spawning a big fat foliage contest. Click here for the 2010 FARATS posts!


Steve A said...

Out taking pictures on the way home of the rather meager (meagre) North Texas fall color, I stop by Starbucks and I find Rantwick once again scooping me. I want to see a post about the Rantwick psychic spy network!

Oh, that tree STILL kicks butt over anything around here.

GreenComotion said...

very pretty, rantwick! let's protect her with all we got!!

peace :)

Big Oak said...

That's a sugar maple, the leaf that is on your flag. They are the tops for the best fall colors!

cafiend said...

I almost took a picture of a spectacular golden tree for you this morning, but I was sprinting through a dawn patrol before a dentist appointment I thought I had. I thought of you, anyway. This one was in full leaf. But then I thought it might seem like gloating.

RANTWICK said...

Big Oak - yes indeed it is! I've seen maples do all kinds of cool colours, but nothing quite like "the glow".

Cafiend - Gloat away! The King will take on all pretenders to the throne in next year's first annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown!(rules coming next August) In the meantime, I welcome previews of the competition.

Steve A said...

I'm sure that, with sufficient Photoshop expertise, we in Texas will be competitive in the Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown.

Actually, I did hear about a secret Texas color change location. Next fall is only 11 1/2 months away!

EVILFLU said...

That is so funny! I recognized that tree right away! Great post ;)

RANTWICK said...

EVILFLU - Thanks very much, and thanks for reading. I love it when local people read my stuff.

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