Autumn leaves will make me happy year upon year until I die. The variety of colours, all hanging on the same tree, or piling up below, contrasting with the green grass, never fail to catch my eye. My favourite days of the year are possibly the crisp autumn ones with bright blue skies, coloured leaves and golden clouds. I’m sure they are sweeter for knowing that all too soon the chill of winter will descend, leaving the trees bare and sending us to hibernate inside.
The soft green of eucalypts is a particularly Australian colour and one that warms my heart. Over my back fence, near the creek is a big space of young native trees, all growing like mad. I’m particularly fond of the leaves with wobbly edges resplendent in the late afternoon sun.
Banksia plants are terribly interesting, from the dark green of their upper leaves, to the soft pale green of the underside, their knobbly trunks and intricate, large flowers. For such a spiky looking tree, the inner part of the flower stalk is remarkably soft like velvet. I spotted a coastal banksia recently with curious lumps on its flower heads – some kind of disease or parasite, but aesthetically very pleasing.
(Big Bad Banksia men are the villains in the classic Australian children’s book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.)
I love the way tree branches look like roots or rivers or nerves or lungs or capillaries – an organic and frequently occurring formation. The morning light in the trees in Adelaide created perfect shapes with verdant green.