We are well and truly into fall at the moment, Walt will attest, having raked up a ton of leaves from our one tree in the front yard yesterday.
Every year at this time I look hopefully at the tree in our back yard and, once again sigh in disappointment.
I love fall color, but we don't really get the riotous displays of color that people in other parts of the country do. Growing up in San Francisco, I was barely aware of changing seasons from looking at shrubbery. It wasn't until I moved to Berkeley that I realized that trees really looked different at different times of the year!
I remember the very first time I encountered true "fall color." I had gone to Brattleboro, Vermont in October for a meeting and everywhere I turned I was hit with a color palette that would have impressed even Vincent Van Gogh.
It was October of 1999 before I got a full dose of fall color again. It was a year we were all in need of something to lift our spirits. Walt, my mother and I flew to Boston to visit Jeri and to take a drive up into Cape Cod to see the fall color. It was worth it, and yes, it lifted our spirits!
When we were deciding on the kinds of things we wanted to plant in our back yard, I was determined to have fall color. Chinese Pistachio trees are all the rage around here and at this time "raging" is what they are doing. They turn bright yellow, brilliant red, flaming orange, often on the same tree. They line some streets in our area and it takes my breath away whenever I happen to come across a street of Pistachio trees in full bloom.
So when it came time to plant a tree for color in our back yard there was no question but what it would be a Chinese pistachio tree. I eagerly awaited the first fall and was disappointed when the leaves went from green to the ground without any noticeable change of color along the way. I figured it was just a baby and surely by the time it became an adult it would burst into color. Year after year, I hope that it will join its brother or sister trees in a glorious fall display of color, but it just sits there, drab and colorless until all the leaves fall to the ground.Why does my tree hate me?