Well, it is about that time of year when the leaves start to turn colors and fall off the trees. Around here, that color is usually brown with a tint of yellow or red, but mostly brown. A few of the Oaks are dropping their leaves now, but some are still green. My property has mostly oaks, pine, sweet gum, and black tupelo. None of these trees give much color and the ones that do, don’t change color at the same time. I do have a couple of small maples, but they are hidden in the back corner of the property.
The leaves are completely down around the middle of December. That is, the leaves that are going to come down. The Live Oak trees keep their leaves year round along with a lot of shrubs and bushes.
About the only thing that gives off bright fall colors are the trash trees and bushes. One in particular was imported from China as an ornamental tree, but the birds scattered the seeds and it is everywhere now. It is also very fast growing once it gets established. There is one next to my driveway that I cut off at the ground every year or two and it grow back. This year it only grew about six feet, but some years I swear that it grows faster than that. The picture below is a sample of some of the leaves off this type of tree, the Chinese Tallow. Notice that it can be red, orange, yellow, or green all on the same clump of small trees.
Go with me as I reminisce a bit about back when I was a youngen in the early 1950’s and it was the fall of the year in western Pennsylvania. There was always something about the Fall of the year that got my blood flowing. The smells of the leaves and the woods and of course all the goodies in the picnic basket.
A picnic basket was packed, a folding table was put in the car trunk, my Mom, Dad, and I would pile into the old car and go pick up my grandparents. We would ride up into the hills and mountains and be in awe of all the beauty of autumn. The hills looked like a patchwork quilt with every color you could think of.
Around lunch time we would find a place to pull over and we would have the finest tasting meal you could ever want. Being out in the woods, surrounded by all that beauty, with the smells and sights, and being with the people that you really loved; a person couldn’t ask for a better feast. There was always a variety of food and lots of it, but I would always start out with my favorite – a peanut-butter and pickle sandwich. I preferred candied dill, but any sweet pickle would do. No accounting for taste, right?
Speaking of my strange tastes, my Dad introduced me to the culinary art of putting horseradish sauce on chocolate cake. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? It was good. Something about the sweet of cake and the sour of the vinegar in the sauce and the tang of the horseradish that just livens it up. Not bad. You know, I haven’t had that combination in years. I have had horseradish, but no chocolate cake.
You all have a happy Thanksgiving. . .