Friday, October 5, 2012

Early Fall Color

I commented on someone else's blog just a few days ago that we weren't yet seeing much leaf color in London. Then I went outside and BAM! Leaf color!

Either I hadn't noticed it before, or it literally showed up more or less overnight. I don't know. Once the leaves start changing it can be a rapid process.

One of the earliest plants to change is always the Virginia creeper (above). It still seems weird to see creeper in England, since I associate it -- of course -- with Virginia. (And the eastern U.S. as a whole.) We also have sumac, another plant I associate with America. I saw some yesterday, in fact, growing along the tube tracks near Earl's Court. It's beginning to change, too.

This is the same grove of horse chestnut trees in Kensington Gardens that I photographed at the beginning of May, when they were in bloom. Now they're lightly frosted with orange like a big Halloween cupcake.

I found this tree in a swanky neighborhood just east of Kew Gardens, where I went walking yesterday afternoon. (I wanted to get a good walk in because it's supposed to rain today, and though I have to go to school for a meeting this morning, I suspect I'll be staying more or less indoors all day.) I walked from Putney, in Southwest London, westward through East Sheen into Richmond, and then north to Kew. Along the way I stopped at a French cafe (run by an actual Frenchman, or at least a guy with a convincing French accent) and had a cafe au lait, and I popped into a charity shop where I got a nearly new Ted Baker shirt for £9 -- a deal I could not pass up! Now I've bought my new clothes for the year.


  1. we don't usually get fall color here. depends on when we get our first real cold front. if it comes too late in the year, then no color. we have a few trees that turn...the chinese tallow, the bradford pear, some of the oaks.

    Those wigwam looking things in my picture? That's the Tee Pee Motel on the other side of the 13 Acre Field behind us. One of only two left in the US. They were a train wreck, falling down rotting in place abandoned. Then a local man won the lottery, bought it and fixed it up. I like that they are fixed up. Don't care for all the sodium arc lights at night though.

  2. This is funny since I just photographed some Virginia creeper yesterday. I never thought to wonder whether it grows on the other side of the pond.

  3. Pretty trees! I saw some today that I need to go back & photograph with the "real" camera (that Mike usually has).

    That's funny about the shirt - I remember buying four shirts at Walmart in the spring & that's the last time I shopped for clothes (got new walking shoes, but that doesn't count). I hate shopping - & just the other day I thought that if I won the lottery I wouldn't have to shop because I wouldn't need work clothes. Ha!

  4. Those horse chestnut trees are magnificent! I hope you'll go back and photograph them again in full color. I like the way they are just tinged with orange.

    You're right--grab every opportunity that you can to take a walk outside in between the weather. Seems like every time I turn around it's raining!