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Yesterday I noticed dramatic change in the color of the Autumn trees lining the two lane highway between Norman and Tecumseh.  Last week the bright red Sumac tree caught my eye; yesterday it was the glorious orange foliage of one continuous stand of native Oak trees. In a week’s time, the sumac red had faded to a wallflower rust.  I wonder how many more weeks will pass before this vintage of Sumac will cover the earth and lull the tree to rest. 

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Outside my Mesta Park Window

Closer to home, our Chinese Pistache tree is turning orange, from the inside out.  And the Shumard Red Oak is also beginning to ripen on its outer tips.  But, as it does every year, the massive American Elm just across the street begins the Fall leaf parade on our street.  To my surprise, last month it began dropping its yellow ticker tape leaves with autumn’s arrival.  Yet still today, it’s covered with more yellow leaves to drop.  I guess this American Elm likes to linger rather than bid a quick goodbye.  

Not so with the Sycamores, which cover the width and length of our old neighborhood.  Here and there, the tall Sycamores with their huge leaves are beginning to drop in mass.  It’s almost like the leaves are green one day, and brown on the ground the next.  The Sycamores remind me a lot of the autumn behavior of deciduous trees  in south Texas — it’s a hurry up and be done with it — Fall in one fell swoop — an Autumn in a mad hatter rush like the Alice in Wonderland hare who is late for an important date. 

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The Sycamore begins piling its leaves

I’m glad Oklahoma trees linger through the days of autumn before whispering their sweet goodnights.  Just as I’m glad that Daddy is taking time to linger before falling into his winter sleep.  Yesterday Daddy surprised me by pulling my head down close to his ear and whispering ever so slow and sure his ….I…..love….you.

No two ways about it, whether tree or human, lingering Falls produce priceless gifts to the senses.

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