Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn, Colorado-style / Take One

Right about now, each year, I start to long for New England. Mostly what I long for are the sugar maples. Especially the primarily red sugar maples nestled in the rolling hills of Berkshire County in Massachusetts. Each year that we've lived in Colorado, I've tried to get excited about the yellow aspen that pop up in pockets all over the Rocky Mountain-sides. But it's not really the same. I'm a red person.

The one tree I wanted to plant in our yard was a sugar maple. However, the man at the nursery talked  me into an autumn blaze maple, because it could withstand Colorado's conditions better (he said). I wanted to be, you know, sensitive to these things. It came with a nice little tag showing how RED the leaves would turn in the fall. The boys gave it to me for Mother's Day. I was thrilled.

"It was the very last one!" Fritz told me proudly.


Okay, no problem! I can cheer for the underdog! I anxiously waited all summer. It's turning color...
Ack! Ack! Ack!

[photo removed]

Do those leaves look red to you? They're not even yellow! They're mucky yucky brown. Please, don't try to tell me they'll turn brown and then red, that's NOT how it works! Should I dig it up and take it back?!

I'm trying to be an optimist. In New England, they say the fall colors won't be as good if it's wet. Maybe the tree is getting too much water. Maybe it will be better next year. Maybe I should have insisted upon a sugar maple, like I wanted. And then, if it still didn't turn red, we'd at least be able to tap our own maple tree to boil and boil and boil the sap away. (Thank you, Ox-Cart Man, for reminding me.)


Katie (Mama May I) said...

The eternal optimist in me says, "Give it time!"
Yes, I'm laughing (with you, of course!)

Pregnantly Plump said...

Maybe it just turns brown when it's a baby tree? You could hit it with a little spray paint for the first couple of years.
Can you grow Japanese Maples there? I'm not much of a tree expert, but I know they are red in the spring/summer.

Ann Wyse said...

Spray paint - absolutely, right! Ha! My aunt and my mother can't stop making jokes about me and red spray paint ever since I spray painted the plant pots in our stairwell windows.

Well! Maybe I should spray paint them!
You never know what I might try.

Or I could just give it time... SIgh. ;-)