Maple leaves

Last month, during a freakish stint of unseasonably warm weather, our neighborhood maples began to unfurl leaves more than two weeks ahead of last year. Then, the weather cooled, and the leaves simply stopped unfolding.

Norway maple flowers

It seems strange to see something sprout, spread, and then stop, its eventual development held in abeyance. Do leaves grow tired of being bound within buds? Do they yearn to strive and stretch? If I were a leaf or flower, I think I’d grow impatient during these brilliantly bright but brisk days: days when the sunlight says Spring but the wind says Winter, or at least Wait. Having waited all winter to unfold and unfurl, how can newborn leaves find the patience to pause?

Just a dusting

A dusting of snow clings to leaves and highlights hidden hollows. Even the bellies of juncos and chickadees look whiter.

This is my day ten contribution to this month’s River of Stones.

Dew on changing leaves

Storm drain with fallen leaves

Autumn leaves with new growth

Even as most leaves are changing and falling, some shrubs are sending out fresh green leaves as if it were spring.

Withered

Off season