What gorgeous fall color. This is a Flame Amur maple and I bought one two years ago for my front yard. But mine doesn't look like this.
No, it looks like this. Does that look like "Flame" to you? Where's the bright red leaves? This is the second autumn I've eagerly awaited a fiery display of crimson, only to have my hopes dashed.
I even planted a Burning bush near it a few weeks ago to give it some encouragement. I found a specimen with a bright red leaf on it at the nursery. That should help, right?
Umm, no. The one red leaf fell off immediately and now there's only a handful of sort-of-reddish leaves. The Flame maple couldn't care less what its neighbor is doing.
It taunts me. A few russet-colored leaves is the extent of my fall brilliance. I've asked everyone what the problem could be. I'm told it takes warm, sunny but dry days and cool but not freezing nights to bring out the color. We've had that kind of weather all fall. It seems the real problem is that not all Flame Maples are created equal. I have an underperformer. The lesson is to buy the tree in the autumn when you can see what color the leaves have turned. Well, no one told me that while I was buying my tree in late spring.
I'll just turn my gaze to the backyard which doesn't pretend to have any red leaves, just lots of on-the-ground leaves. I'll get to them in a couple of weeks. Besides, I like to see leaves swirling around. What's more evocative of the season? (Besides red maple trees). After Halloween I'll get serious about raking them all up.
Some real flames in fall were an unwelcome surprise at Darling Daughter-in-Law and My Sweet Son's house a couple of miles away. The electrical transformer on the power pole blew out and threw sparks all over. Which quickly ignited the backyard. Juniper bushes are not only highly flammable but threw flames high enough to scorch the top of a 40-foot tree in the next-door neighbor's yard.
This was a 6-foot privacy fence. The firemen stopped the flames just short of the house.
Darling Daughter-in-Law surveys the damage and decides that, except for the immediate terror of getting my Five Adorable Grandchildren to safety, this was a fairly efficient way to clear the back half of their property for a vegetable garden. Only a mother of one-year-old twins, a three-year-old, a five-year-old, and a six-year-old could react with such equanimity.