Autumn abundance

With all my recent talk of gloves and wind-chills, you’d think winter had definitively arrived in New England, but that’s not entirely true. The leaf bags and barrels lining Newton streets tell the story better than I can: still, even in the chill, there’s a whole lot of raking, blowing, bagging, and barrel-filling going on.

Vine-twined tree

But the time for leaf collection won’t last for long. Compared to this time last year, when the trees were still brilliant, most of this year’s leaves have already fallen. There are still some hold-out oaks clinging to copper like misers clutching coins, but November winds have scoured most branches bare. These days, the only reliable green you’ll see overhead comes from evergreens or ivy. Summer’s fecundity has given way at last to autumn austerity, the abundant fertility of yesterday’s leaves being gathered as tomorrow’s trash.