Ode to Fall in Danville, CA

Closeup of leaves and mushrooms on a Danville lawn

Art by Nature

As a new retiree, I have time to take long walks with eyes wide open. Here are the word pictures Mother Nature shared with me this Fall:

Neighborhood sycamore trees shamelessly flaunt their Autumn glory like can-can dancers flashing gold and red skirts. A single glorious specimen hosts clusters of yellow, green, orange and magenta leaves, blending into the graduated shades of a Neapolitan popsicle. Later in the season they prolonged the show with an elegant starburst of tenacious orange clingers on near-bare branches.

Two blocks further on,  Japanese Maples convert to a richly saturated, almost blinding crimson, while citrus tree fruit finally ripens from its camouflage green to bright yellow and orange, begging to be snitched. The leafless branches of persimmon and pomegranate adorned with red and orange globes trigger thoughts of both Christmas decorations and holiday recipes. Like holly surrogates, clumps of cardinal-red pyracantha berries drip from dense shrubs in front yards, while street-side ranks of California pepper trees drop a crunchy hot pink carpet on the sidewalks.

Down the frontage road, a long sound wall of newly planted ivy is brilliantly gilded with orange, gold and red, in wedges shaped like an assortment of exotic geisha girl fans.

After the first heavy rains thrashed the trees, washing mountains of leaves onto pavement and gutters, hints of green finally appeared on the slopes of omnipresent Mt. Diablo and surrounding hillsides, signaling at last, the end of brown season and the coming of green season.

These are more than enough hints that it’s time to get well and truly festive for the holiday season!


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