Monday, October 31, 2022

Our personal fireworks show

We are blessed to have two oak trees (and a honey locust) in our yard. This means – drum roll, please – fall color!

Living in the Inland Northwest means living with conifers. These are beautiful and stately trees, but they're, well, evergreen. The exception is the tamaracks (larches), which turn yellow and drop their needles in the fall.

But when I was a child, I lived in western New York State and never forgot the fall fireworks that happened every year from the deciduous trees.

So imagine my joy in having two gorgeous oaks in our yard. Even better, these oaks go through absolutely rapturous colors every fall, giving us our own personal fireworks display.

Interestingly, I documented the colors last year, and the leaves fell much earlier. They were pretty much done by the end of October. I think it had something to do with the heat and drought we had that first summer we lived in our current home.

This year, the leaves are still on the trees and still sporting glorious color. Moreover, leaves on trees all over the region are still peaking. We had such a wet spring that I'm sure the fall foliage is reflecting that.

Anyway, I've been watching the colors turn. By late September – weeks behind last year's schedule – just one branch had turned.

By October 10, more branches were sporting color.

What is it about colored leaves that just rivets me?

The honey locust doesn't make flamboyant colors like the oaks, but it turns yellow and adds to the overall cheer of the yard.

In fact, it's the fallen locust leaves that carpet the path with such picturesque beauty.

But it's the oaks that steal the show. Kapow! Boom! Bang! Look at those fireworks.

During the evening "golden hour" a couple days ago, I took photos of one of the oak trees from the south side, where the colors are brighter (since it faces the sun).

The colors were so glorious, they almost looked fake.

Even Mr. Darcy seems to enjoy the show.

Soon enough I'll be raking up the dropped leaves and adding them to the compost pile. And then soon enough after that, we'll have snow. I'll enjoy the fireworks display while I can.


  1. Those are beautiful. Nothing like that here.

  2. I was born and raised in Illinois and remember very fondly all the fall colors. Here in Texas we do not have nearly the same amount of deciduous trees hence not very much color. When we moved 13 years ago the wife planted 400 small trees. Many were oaks and sumacs but unless the moisture is right the colors are minimal. I think we have had one good year so far. Of course many of those trees are now only about 20 ft tall. I can remember when we moved down here in the middle 1970's seeing a sign saying 100 year old oak trees. They were about 20 ft tall. Back in Ill. they would have been 5- or 60 ft tall!

  3. Save those leaves if you are getting chickens real soon, they make good floor litter if dry.
    I used to have a single oak, the only one in our cut de sac, I loved it. Now all get are evergreens and cottonwoods. At least the cottonwoods have bright yellow leaves and they are the only ones to signal fall. Some bushes also.