Monday, November 6, 2017

A Smoke Tree Gets Creative

Text and photos by Nancy Partlow©
Smoke trees are really cool shrubs.  The gazillions of teeny flowers that smother them in the spring attract pollinators like nobody's business. But that is a story for another time. 
This tale is about a plain, ordinary smoke tree that one autumn did something extraordinary.   

Smoke trees are noted for their fall color, with leaves that usually look something like this:  
Yet in the autumn of 2010, this humble, alley-growing smoke tree, for whatever reason, put on the most marvelous display of leaf-artistry I have ever seen.  It reminded me of 60's pop art.  Each leaf bore a unique design of pattern and color.   
I'd like to share some of these nature-made compositions with you: 


I never saw the smoke tree do this again, but I will always remember its wildly creative gift of beauty to the world.