Friday, December 2, 2011

Lingering Leaves, Late-Season Trout

Deciduous trees shed their leaves in fall. Well, that’s sort of true but not quite. Some trees, beech for instance, hold their leaves until spring. Others, such as some oaks and to my surprise, certain apples, hang on to their leaves a lot longer than seems natural.

The reason for this, I’m told, is that trees that hold their leaves until spring have a need for spring mulch and if the leaves all fell in fall, as in October, they would suffer for it. This sounds to me like a reasonable explanation, especially since I cannot think of a better one.

Another thing that had not come to my attention until this past Wednesday is this. Some trees shed their leaves all at once rather than piecemeal.

An apple tree in front of my house held its leaves until Tuesday night. This, in fact, made it difficult for me to get a good view of the sky and caused me to walk just a bit further when setting up my telescope at night.

Anyway, I went to bed Tuesday and the leaves were all there. Wednesday morning they were gone. And yes, it was windy. But that wasn’t the cause, since instead of being scattered about, all the leaves were, and remain, directly beneath tree. It was as if someone had pulled a lever and “presto,” the leaves all dropped off en masse.

In other news, I took advantage of the lingering warm weather and went trout fishing Friday afternoon. Sure, my fingers got a little chilly, but the trout bit well, making any minor discomfort more than worth the effort.

This is the absolute latest that I have ever taken trout in open water. All of this thanks to new and more liberal regulations on open-water fishing, thanks to the Maine Department Of Inland Fisheries And Wildlife.

And if push came to shove, I could probably have gathered a mess of some kind of wild greens. This warmer winter weather may have serious consequences but for right now, it saves on wood and allows outdoor folks to get out and enjoy themselves even into the last month of the year. For me, that’s a good thing.

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