Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leaf peeping

The American expression "leaf peeping"—which I learned from Google—designates the preoccupations of people who are enraptured by autumn panoramas of colorful foliage. Aficionados would be overjoyed by visions of the Vercors at this time of the year. Here's the view, from my house, of the wooded slopes on the other side of Gamone Creek:

[Click to enlarge slightly, then hit ESCAPE to return to blog.]

Throughout the warm season, these trees are uniformly green. So, it's only when autumn arrives that they start to display their specific visual characteristics. While not vouching for the veracity of my facts (since I'm not an expert on the identification of trees), I would imagine that most of the trees that remain resolutely green are oaks (chêne), whereas those that are starting to turn brown and yellow would be beech (hêtre), ash (frêne) or birch (bouleau). As for the two or three spectacular reddish specimens, they are almost certainly maple (érable) trees.

Down from my house, a huge golden-leaved tree dominates the hairpin bend where the road crosses over Gamone Creek.

The road, at that corner, is a carpet of autumn leaves.

I picked up a few specimens of dead leaves.

Unless I'm mistaken, this giant tree—composed of four or five pale-barked trunks emerging from the embankment—is a maple.

Some of my Gamone trees are less splendid in autumn. For example, the foliage of the walnut withers away rapidly and sadly.

And the fallen walnut leaves are uniformly brown and wrinkled.

Obviously, for my grand old lady dog Sophia, a golden maple carpet is more appropriate.

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