Autumn Glory Comes in Many Small Ways

By Michael Leach

Traffic-stopping maples and forests aflame in gold, red, yellow and maroon foliage grab most of the attention in autumn. They should. Yet nature also offers visual delight that must be carefully sought out when scanning the fall scene. The rewards of such a leisurely pursuit are the grace notes of this splendid season. These small treasures range from dogwoods to tomatoes.

Dogwood trees are among those that make spectacles of themselves with dark red fall leaves. Their berrylike fruit adds a bit of sparkle — and a popular bird food.

red-foilage

Avian visitors, however, ignore the almost gaudy fruit of Callicarpa or beauty berry. These remain until early winter in my garden.

 beauty-berry

Autumn crocus flowers last only a few days but their overnight appearance surprises and delights. Plus they serve as a hope-filled reminder their spring-flowering cousins are only a few months away.

fall-crocus

Raindrops on fallen and fading leaves show nature’s magnificent artistry can be found on the forest floor as well as in the branches overhead. fall-leaves

While the flavor of tomatoes fades at bit with cool weather, their jaunty, party look lasts until frost.

cherry-tomatoes

The woody stem and smooth skin of a pumpkin makes an appealing combination that lasts far longer than a mere jack-o-lantern.

fall-pumpkin

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