Oak Leaf Ballet

By | April 6, 2017

Did you ever wonder what happens when leaves fall?

Oak Leaf is the last of the leaves to drop. The oak leaf seems almost reluctant to face the cold of winter. But the sap stops flowing into the leaves and they turn reddish or orange and then brown. They still hang on by their stems unless wind or rain or scrambling squirrels knock them down.

Then one windy day when the sun is shining, if you are watching, you can see an oak leaf and then another and then a storm of them float downward in a drifting sort of way. Sometimes you can

fall colors oak leaf

just one type of oak leaf

catch them, or think you can. You dart across the field with your arms outstretched and eyes on which oak leaf  you will catch. Sometimes it makes a turn just before it gets to you, or the ground level wind pushes them upward for yet another oak leaf flight.

When most of them fall to the forest floor, they lie flat on top of each other or whatever they landed upon. If the wind blows before they get wet or decayed, oak leaves rustle across the yard or street like brittle brigades.

Now it is spring.

Yesterday, I noticed the cat intently looking out the window, in a crouched pre-pounce position. Not seeing birds or squirrels, I wondered what captured his attention.  Standing back but looking out the same window, I saw with delight what looked like a yard full of birds getting ready for flight.

But no, it was the largest oak leaves standing on edge and waving in the ground level wind.

The entire yard was filled with waving oak leaves like a synchonized ballet.An oak leaf ballet.

Soon the cat realized they were not birds and went to perch on a different window sill.

But I stayed and watched the ballet until at last the oak leaf stopped waving, all at the same time. Then the yard was covered with flat and dry oak leaves again.

Another magical moment of seasonal surprises.