No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face.
John Donne


8:22 a.m. EST, October 30, 2016

I’ve been mesmerized by the autumn foliage of this tree on the far side of the Reedy River since I first spied it from the kitchen window of my new home, 6 years ago. In an instant, a shaft of light from the rising sun cuts through the surrounding canopy (as seen on the trunk to the left) transforming the tree into a flaming fireball. The effect lasts only a few minutes on sunny mornings, just a couple of weeks each year. Already, the topmost leaves have been swept away and soon the sun will play with empty branches.


20 thoughts on “Fireball

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Jessica–And well appreciated, especially since I see a bit less every year. A little walnut tree on our side of the river has grabbed a toehold since we removed invasive plants from its growing space and is shooting skyward in a great hurry. A good problem:^)

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Eliza–We have good color right now from sourwood, hickory, and dogwood, but many of the maples are behind this year and they typically provide the best color. This tree (unknown species) is always the highlight for me, though.

  1. johnvic8

    Fall is a time when I find numerous examples like yours. A tree just sits there in the green mass for the summer and then suddenly turns bright yellow or red and you are touched by its beauty.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      John–You are right, the tree is very nondescript most of the year, but I do admire it in winter too, because it has a beautiful shape. Even now, it looks rather ordinary after the sun tops the trees and moves overhead. The sun only ignites the foliage for brief time when it hits the tree at a particular angle.

  2. adelaide gantt

    Thought you might enjoy this! Marian is the master gardener who organizes garden tours annually. I have traveled with her twice in England and had to drop out of one to Italy in 2014. ag



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