Oaks On Parade

I know some towns and cities create “parades” of objects, such as the painted snowmen in North Conway, New Hampshire, or the painted bears that lined the streets of Belfast, Maine, a few years ago.

But this year, the northern red oaks are creating a parade of their own–all natural.

I have to assume that they’ve held the parade on an annual basis, but this is the first time I’ve stood along the route and paid attention.

Up until now, I’ve always thought of oak leaves as being green all summer long–which they are 🙂

green leaves on tree

And then, in my mind’s eye, they turned yellow-brown

dried leaves on tree

before falling to the ground, where they sported a completely brown coat.

brown leaf on ground

There seemed to be no redeeming value in these leathery leaves. And then I noticed that the tips of each lobe is bristly. And learned that they are marcescent, meaning some leaves, especially at lower levels, remain on trees throughout the winter. For most broad-leaf trees, the abscission layer that separates the leaf and its twig forms in the fall. Consequently, the leaf is shut off from its nutritious supplies and it drops to the ground. This layer doesn’t form fully in marcescent leaves. Why? Who knows, but it’s worth a wonder.

Here’s the other thing worth wondering about–their autumn display.

oak & beech in landscape

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear these were maple trees, rather than a red oak beside a beech.

oak leaf color 2

oak leaf color 3

oak leaf color 6

oak leaf color 8

oak leaf color 9

Is it just this year, or have they always been decked out in such vivid colors?

side by side color variation

Side by side, there is variation.

full head of color

against the sky 2

They light up the sky

green, tan and brown make their own statements

and make their own statement in the array on the ground.

puddle leaf, splotches of color

Even in puddles, their glory shows forth.

moon rise

As the moon rises, they dance in the breeze. Day is done, but the parade isn’t over yet.

Oak leaves–worth a wonder.

8 thoughts on “Oaks On Parade

  1. From all the pictures and comments this year, from family and friends…….it seems as if it’s definitely and autumn of reds!

    Faith sent from my Ipad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your pictures captured beautiful the shapes and colors oak leaves give us. Some leaves are real large and others beautiful red. By now so everything looks kind of brownish. Thank you always for your wonderful sharing. Ursula >


    1. Until this year, I found oak leaves to be unassuming. It never ceases to amaze me how once our eyes are opened, our focus changes. Thanks for aways taking the time to read and comment, Ursula.


Comments are closed.