It's as if all of autumn has condensed itself, coalesced into the remaining leaves on deciduous trees, which are never more beautiful than in the first week of November. Any leaves left after Saturday's windstorm, anyway.
Now's the moment for unabashed tree worship. Take a few moments to stand beneath a tree on a windy afternoon when it's shedding its leaves. Fluttery confetti in vivid shades rain about your head, crispy, papery thin, leaving branches bare. The garden becomes more transparent by the day, light slanting through as it hasn't since last April when the leaves came on.
A few trees, like sugar maples, still hang onto their leaves, while others like katsuras, are already bare bones. Ginkgos drop their gilded leaves all at once, so they pool up like pure liquid gold around the trunk, a mirror image of what the tree itself was only a week before.
Katsura leaves fallen on cobbles...
No tree is more brilliant red in autumn than sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), its droopy, white calyxes contrasting with the leaves, which are still hanging on after the weekend windstorm.