Sunday, November 25, 2018

Autumn in Sacramento

Years and years ago, Jo Stafford, whose voice was like velvet, sang a song called "Autumn in New York." It was a beautiful, plaintive song with a haunting melody. A love song, of course. But I think there should be a song called, "Autumn in Sacramento," one with a deeply stirring melody to capture the lushness of color and the pleasure of walking around Midtown with leaves crunching under one's feet and beauty stunning one's eyes.

For starters, there is the brilliance of Ginko trees, their leaves a bright golden yellow that simply dazzles me:


















       Autumn has become my favorite season. In spring, I love the colorful flowers, but I've come to realize the power of autumn is the range of colors in the trees themselves. In early spring, you get the flowering fruit and nut trees for a short time. Then the green mist of unfurling leaves, and finally the green of summer. But in fall, a season that unfolds in various stages, you get a range of rich colors in the trees themselves. Some leaves still cling to their green; others are in various moments of turning: the liquid ambers, the Japanese maples, the elms, the plane trees, and several whose names I don't know:

















                                       

There have been various names for Sacramento: Often it is called the "River City." Sometimes "City of Trees." There has been a tentative stab at "The Big Tomato," I suppose due to the past history with the canneries, and maybe with a nod to calling NYC "The Big Apple", but the tomato moniker didn't stick. I'll go with "City of Trees." The trees really make Midtown, and in summer even make Midtown about 5-6 degrees cooler than the suburbs.

Here are more brilliant colors. Every street in Midtown is like this.




































           Sadly, I have to include a tree I love but doesn't love me: the beautiful plane trees of Sacramento. During the spring they grow pastel patches of bark and by summer the trunks and branches have shades of sandy yellow, pale green, a pinky tan, pale taupe, and ivory. As  fall comes, the colors start peeling, exposing the underbark, and by winter's end, trunk and branches are a smooth ivory/bone. Then in spring, it all begins again. Well, I just love this tree! Unfortunately, it has three pollen seasons, and I'm allergic to every one of them. So, as I walk down the street, eyes appreciative of their beauty, I am sneezing and coughing during those periods. But I can't help loving their beauty.

Plane tree in distance, already
shedding its patches





















Finally, I couldn't resist these two pictures below on my "nature walk" today: a cute little bungalow whose owners have already decorated for Christmas. The two trees out in front just blew me away. They were so beautiful, they made me wish I had a leafless tree in front of our house to hang Xmas balls on.






















How about you? What is your favorite season? I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Are you starting to decorate now for Xmas?




24 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Arboreal fireworks mean that autumn is one of my favourite seasons too. And a little later as they lose their leaves I love that crunch under foot and the elegance of bare branches filigreed against the sky.
Thank you so much for sharing the joy.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, EC, yes, I like that crunch of leaves underfoot. And the smell in the air of the fallen leaves. And you are right about afterwards, the patterns of the branches. All so beautiful.

Kate Larkindale said...

Looks gorgeous! I love autumn colors too. Unfortunately we don't get much of them here because our native plants are not deciduous, only the introduced species.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kate. What are the usual plants in your area? Do you get a flowering spring?

Vicki Lane said...

Beautiful trees! I especially love the gingkoes and liquid ambers

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I do, too, Vicki. There's something so special about the particular shade of those liquid ambers. And Ginko trees just knock me out in autumn! Have a great day.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Beautiful pictures. I'd like to just sit under thee trees and enjoy the day. I like the autumn season too. We have trees with colorful leaves. I can't name them all. In our pasture we mostly have mesquites that don't have the colorful leaves. Thanks for showing your beautiful trees.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Sitting under the trees! What a lovely idea — all the moreso because the past couple days have been rather mild, not chilly. We do have two crape myrtles in our back yard that are turning a beautiful golden color. Your comment really tempts me! =-)

Kenda Turner said...

"City of Trees"--that would get my vote, too :-) Beautiful pictures from your neck of the woods. I, too, love the fall. All the colors and richness of the hillsides when in full autumn colors. I recently ran across a quote from John Burroughs: "How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." Pretty much sums it up!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Oh, thank you for such a beautiful poetic quotation by John Burroughs, Kenda! It captures so well my feelings about fall. It's such a magnificent time. Have a great week.

Rosi said...

Sacramento is a well-kept secret. My granddaughter and I were driving around the other day admiring the fall colors, and she said, "Fall is my favorite season. I don't know why it can't be like this all the time." I reminded her it wouldn't be nearly as special if it were always like this. Fall is my favorite season too. I enjoyed your nature walk photos. Thanks for the post.

Geo. said...

I retired from gardening public places 9 years ago, but still remember trimming plane trees and sneezing constantly. I still like them, from a distance. Land Park was probably the worst allergy offender. We gardeners made very short work of Vallejo Drive especially. Still, fall is my favorite season.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Rosi, I agree. Midtown for sure is a well-kept secret. But even surrounding areas like William Land Park and East Sacramento. I delivered books yesterday to a school out in the Pocket area last week and drove through more of this beautiful scenery. I'm glad you liked the photos. While I agree it wouldn't be as special if fall were all year round, I certainly hope it lasts a bit longer!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Geo. Nice to see you back! Thanks for stopping by. I see Norma's beautiful garden pictures on Facebook quite often, but I didn't realize you had been active in public gardening. That's another part of Midtown and Sacramento in general I love so much: the public parks and gardens. I read recently that physicians are starting to prescribe nature walks for health, and I can certainly see why. A walk in all this beauty makes me feel so good afterwards.

Julia Thorley said...

What beautiful photos. After a grey, stormy morning here, the sun has finally come out and what few leaves are left on the trees in my garden are a mix of gorgeous reds and golds.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for coming by, Julia. A few splashes of color from the last leaves of fall can be so beautiful, too. I love the way autumn gets prolonged that way. This stage prepares us for the next — the spiderwebbed branches and twigs making fine lace patterns against winter's skies.

Sandra Cox said...

Beautifully written. Wonderfully descriptive.
I'm not familiar with the plane tree but it does sound delightful.

Daniela Ark said...

too bad for all the sneezing and coughing :( .. but, those plane trees of Sacramento do sound beautiful! You describe them so well! :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Sandra. The plane tree really is a beautiful tree. I used to read about them in English novels and wonder what they were like. And then we moved to Midtown. For some reason, it's been planted all over, a very popular shade tree. That's probably the reason. I'm in love with that tree. (Unrequited love, sniff.)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Daniela. I don't seem to be the only one allergic to them, but they do add enough beauty to make it worthwhile. :-) Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Mark Noce said...

Definitely pretty in the city of trees:) Although I think I like springtime in Sacramento the best:)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi there, Mark! It's interesting what seasons people like. My neighbor told me people like the season of their birthday. She's May (spring) and prefers spring. I'm November, and love fall. Well, I like spring, too, the early part of it — again because of the trees: all the flowering nut and fruit trees and the redbud. I love flowers, but I think it's the blooming trees that make for a lovely spring.

DMS said...

I love fall- so many gorgeous colors. Your pictures are beautiful. I am sorry to hear about the plane tree and your allergy to all its pollen. That stinks! Thanks for sharing these pictures with us. :)
~Jess

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Jess, I'm glad you like the pictures. As for the plane tree, I just sneeze and cough a little, but it seems worth it. :-) Thanks for stopping by.