The Last of the Fall Color

The Bradford Pear trees in the front yard are always the last to change color in the fall, which means occasionally I get pictures like this, when all the other trees are bare, there’s frost on the ground and the Pears are saying “hey, fall’s not over yet.” No, it’s not. It’s nice to be reminded, and I’m enjoying it while I can.

35 thoughts on “The Last of the Fall Color

  1. Brittle damn trees, though. We’ve lost three of them to high winds. One more to go and it lost a big limb a couple years ago.

    Our three used to hold their leaves until about March.

    I just noticed our remaining one today, it’s lost about half its leaves, all on one side. The other half is a nice flaming red.

  2. Mark Terry:

    “Brittle damn trees, though.”

    Yeah, one of ours lost about a third of its branches when the residue of Hurricane Ike blew through last year.

  3. I’ve found our tulip poplar to be about the last real showing tree. My bradford pear is still green (I’m outside of Detroit). And then it truns brown and drops, usually after there’s snow. Once again, a nice pic.

  4. Pines, pines, pines; Blue Spruce, preferably. We are in transition from a gob of White Pines (which litter the yard) to the venerable Blues. In ten years or so, I will live in the middle of a thick pine forest.

  5. I’m here in class watching my Law Studies I students take a test and am also looking at the beautiful photo!! It must be nice to live in an area that has seasons. In New Orleans our fall last for about 12 minutes in late November! One day when I retire I would like to take a trip up north to watch the leaves change color. By the way, how are the pears from that tree?

  6. Our Bradfords are just starting to think about changing color this year. Last year I got some lovely pictures of them in full color in a snowstorm.

    Ours are brittle too. The ones over the road like to drop large limbs on cars dumb enough to park under them. One on the side of the house has become very two-dimensional, as one side cleaved off and took out the patio furniture, and the other side was shorn off by a locust tree that committed suicide on a sunny day.

  7. “Other” Jeff:

    I usually get the mail when I go to pick up Athena from school.

    Charles K. Bradley:

    The Bradfords are ornamental trees; I don’t think we’ve ever got any fruit off them. When I lived in Virginia, we had a fruiting pear tree in the back. Those pears were quite good.

  8. John, @ 8
    It looks like a great tree. I have a Satsuma tree in my backyard and its loaded down with furit this year. A satsuma is a cross between a tangerine and orange and are easy to peel. They will be ready to pick in about two or three weeks. Would it be o.k. if I sent you and your family some when they are rready? It’s time for my next class to come in (World Cultures).

  9. Satsumas are mandarins, as are tangerines. (“Tangerine” is actually an early example of a marketing term; the original English grower got his trees shipped through Tangier.) Mandarins are often called “zipper fruit” for their ease of peeling. Oranges are actually a cross between mandarins and pummelos.

    The only reason I know this is the Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn, California, which features about thirty growers who all give out free samples, so you can pick the best ones to buy. I usually get about twenty pounds, and some go into the cranberry sauce.

    I love fall.

  10. Is there any possibility for getting a larger version of that picture for pure cc-non commercial use, ie my personal desktop background?

  11. B. Durbin @ 11
    Thanks for the correction about the satsuma. I had always heard it was a cross between the tangerine and orange but I went on the internet and found out you were right. The first week in December they will be having the Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival in Belle Chasse, LA. It’s about 10 miles from where I live. Citrus growing and oil production are the two things Plaquenmines Parish are known for. They have everything you can think of that has to do with citrus. My mother put satsuma in our crandberry sause as well. I’ve had to take over that job since she has passed away. Your part of the world sounds nice to. Hope you are having a great day!!!

  12. Brittle indeed…but when those big branches fall off (or the trees get cut down because of the threat) it’s a bonanza for wood-turners like me. I’ve made some really nice pieces from Bradford Pear. Especially turning it green – which can lead to some interesting warpage and cracking in the final product.

    Here in GA we get fake snow from these trees in the spring (about the only time we get “snow”) – when they shed their petals. Enough so in some places where it can be a hazard for motorcycle navigation on a wet day…

  13. Ahhhh, frost. On a unrelated note…. since you live pretty far out in the “sticks” what kind of internet connection do ya get? Just curious.

  14. Gray Area @3
    I’ve found our tulip poplar to be about the last real showing tree.

    Bizarro. Around here (central NC), the tulip poplars are among the first to change color. They’ll start dropping leaves early September. Best color this year was from the red maples and sourwoods. Last to drop leaves (apart from beeches and oaks that will hold onto them until Spring) are some of the sweetgums.

  15. Seconding Dylan. This is an absolutely gorgeous shot, and one I would like to look at more often, in a larger format.

    I would be happy to offer compensation of some sort for this. A donation to the charity of your choice? (Or the charity of Scalzi?)

  16. What is this “frost” you speak of? And why are your palm trees such a curious shape and color?

  17. Beautiful picture, beautiful tree, but brittle no doubt. When an ice storm rolls through, they end up peeled like bananas.

  18. Gorgeous shot. What kind of camera do you use? The aspect ratio makes it look like medium format.

  19. Wow. Just bought a Bradford Pear for my wife’s Mother’s Day present this year, and your picture makes me glad for the purchase. It’s only a sapling, but it’s still clinging on to its leaves, like yours. Fast grower, too!

  20. Woodturners like the wood, too, so if you get a large piece break off, give one a call and make them happy!

    Leaves are just starting to turn here in the deep south. In the 70′s here. Low 50′s in the morning. Needed a jacket for the first time. Wish we had snow!!!!!!!!!!! (really, I do. I’m weird like that.)

  21. Oh, excellently cool. And possibly the reason for Bradford Pears to continue to exist.

    Do you, like me, wish at times that there was a powerline deletion tool on photoshop? It’s merely there, in this photo, and not a problem in the image (rather some sort of autumnal funerary festoon) but the closest view I have of Mt. Rainier has a full set of power, phone, and cable lines across it and that’s not what I want to see.

  22. There is a power line deletion tool, and it’s called time and work. (I’ve worked for a photography studio, so believe me, anything can be done if you want to expend the time to do so.)

    Doing it well is the hard part. I’d take several photos at the same time with slightly varying angles; you’ll be able to match up Rainier pretty easily and then mask off the power lines on certain layers. Be careful around leaves.

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