Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The trees

Occasionally a tree catches my eye; usually because it’s in flower or has unusual leaves. This group of three stood out because of their beautiful “spring green” color, even in late September. They’re growing at Willamette Park in SW Portland, where I sometimes manage to escape from the work day for a quick walk around the park with my friend Denise.
I have called myself “tree stupid” many times so hopefully you won’t be surprised when I admit to having no idea what they are. Do you know? I just love how they are grouped there, the three of them, so bright and happy in a sea of dark evergreens.
And speaking of trees, deciduous ones now, there is no denying it. I saw color this morning on my way to work, the faintest hint of gold and on the darker leaves, a tinge of purple. Fall is here, and I am adjusting to the idea. Of course the fact that we hit 92 degrees yesterday and set a new record for number of days above 90 in a year (24…and counting?) is helping me ease into it, slowly. Others are running to it, I also saw a pumpkin on someone’s front porch this morning, and it was carved. Slow down people! It’s not even October yet…


  1. My god, I saw a pumpkin on someone's doorstep here in Austin a few days ago. Couldn't believe it! If they've carved it, it'll be an ant-filled pile of mush before the week is out. I've told the kids the Halloween decorations at our house don't come out until the first week of Oct., and most years it's hard to muster the enthusiasm even then because it's so dang hot. But this year? Cool weather! I have the windows open right now and rain is falling. If your Portland weather has gone missing, I know where you can find it. But you can't have it back.

    The trees look like bald cypresses, though I'm no tree expert either.

  2. Yay - I received slacker mention in your blog! My neighbors have a pumpkin on their porch. I give it the evil eye every night when I am watering.

  3. Oh dear, oh dear...I thought it was only the retailers rushing the seasons. If the general public is getting into the act, who knows where it may lead?

  4. I am so not running, DG! In fact my heals are laced with dust as I dig them in with my stubbornness. But I'm weird like that.

    The trees are really nice. The foliage looks soft and so I'm going to guess it's a type of fir. Did it have cones? I used to work in a nursery and the trees were the most difficult to ID and remember. Especially the conifers.

  5. I *think* those are dawn redwoods (metasequoia). And, believe it or not, they're deciduous! A lovely beautiful tree that gets huuuuuge.


  6. agreed on dawn redwood. their fall color is amazing, i think its probably starting to turn.

    they are a pretty small tree- for a redwood. top out at 200 feet. its a very PORTLAND tree, hoyt arboretum prominently figuring into its modern history.

  7. Pam, this weather trade thing is working out just perfect for me.

    D+N, Wow even you with your Halloween loving ways think it's too early for a pumpkin?

    ricki, Christmas in July, that's where we are headed...

    Grace, very soft foliage but I am not remembering any cones. Hope your part of Oregon has been as sunny and warm as mine the past few days!

    Anonymous S, ah! I think you are right. Besides the fact that "eeldip" seconds your vote, the name Metasequoia set of bells in my head! My husband and I dug fossils in Republic Washington and we found some Metasequoia. The foliage in the fossil looks exactly like this! Good work S!

    Thanks eeldip, love the Taco Town video btw!

  8. If those are redwoods, they are probably planted too close together... I just saw some tree butchers taking down three cedars on my street because of that very reason, so I hope someone moves them further apart before it's too late!

    I am one of the fall-pushers. Summer is just not my season! 24 days over 90 is 24 too many for me. I know you have SoCal blood so differ on that score. :) I would never put a carved pumpkin out before the last week in October, though, geez!

  9. Oh if they are the metasequoia and they turn color in fall, I hope you get a picture of that, too. I'm not one for seasonal decorations, but in my head, I'm embracing the arrival of October. Can't wait for one of those blustery drizzly days perfect for a hot chocolate in front of the fire.

  10. Karen, glad to hear that you have seasonal restraint! I doubt the parks people have any intention of moving the trees. There are several others that are similarly close together in the park.

    Megan, I will definitely share the fall color. Even though I don't get excited about it's arrival I do enjoy it when we are in the middle of it. I think if we went right to spring from fall then I would feel differently about it. It's the fact that fall means winter up next that chills me (no pun intended).

  11. I'd concur that it looks like a dawn redwood -- and they do come in a gold-leafed variety. They'll reach a nice size, but aren't the drive-through-an-archway-in-the-tree-trunk redwoods, though as they mature their trunk flares out at the base attractively. They're borderline hardy here in Toronto (USDA Zone 5/Canadian Zone 6).

    I'm of two minds about the fall colour, which can have a brownish cast that makes the tree look unhealthy, if you're unused to seeing conifers lose their leaves. Might not be old enough yet to make cones yet, but they'd be itty bitty when it does.


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