The pear tree is showing early signs of autumn. It’s old and tattered and unpredictable, the fruit prolific but lousy some years, scanty and excellent others, I can’t spot the pattern. This year is lean but good—the best pears I’ve ever tasted in fact—but we need a visit from the tree doctor, the leaves are going too early and showing signs of disease. But the symptoms are not unpleasing to the eye.

Red pear leaves

Blow that one up full-size and the colour is remarkable, and on my screen at least, close to what meets the eye. There’s a visual effect that I’ve only seen here in rainy green B.C. and has so far eluded all my cameras. It works like this: On a grey day, as dusk gathers, something you’d think would be unremarkable, like a fern against old wood, or these autumnpearleaves, can make you look twice or three times, colour reaching deep into your machineries of vision. I think it’s of the mind rather than the eyes, but haven’t abandoned hope for lucky light on a dark day with camera in hand.

Anyhow, the leaves. I tried and tried to get one with the pretty colours which was perfect, without any tears or spots or galls. But in aggregate they find their own perfection.

author · Dad
colophon · rights

September 08, 2003
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