Oct 3, 2002

Leaves falling from birch trees like gold rain. A gentle drizzle brought on by the lightest touch of breeze or bird. Beautiful!

I've noticed that the birch trees change color regardless of the temperature. I think they go by amount of daylight. As the days start to shorten, they start to turn yellow and then gold and then rusty orange. In the dimness of twilight, the leaves seem to shine.

There is a birch tree right outside my living room window. It has shown me that I have made some wrong assumptions about trees. I've been taught they shed their leaves and then go to into a sort of state of suspended animation until spring, doing nothing all winter. Not so! In February, the birch tree's naked silhouette becomes subtlely less naked: It puts out flower buds – long, knobly things. There may still be snow and freezing temperatures for another couple of months, but the tree is doing something, regardless.