It occurs only at this time of year. And for a short while. But for a week in spring, when the sun rises above the mountains beyond, we can look out our deck and see a beautiful tree all aglow. Not with fire, but with the sunlight illuminating this one small area.
Our back yard is wooded and slopes down to a creek below. When we stand on our deck, we can look out at trees across the creek. The tree prominent in the photographs is a Red Maple, often called a Swamp Maple. (Acer rubrum) It is one of the most common deciduous trees in the United States and is the State Tree of Rhode Island. It is well known in colder states as one of the maples that can be tapped for sugar.
Our house is located near the highest elevation of the Red Maple's range. It doesn't do well in elevations above 3,500 feet. The Red Maple is so named because almost all parts of the tree are red to some extent. It is one of the most brilliant autumn reds but the immature spring leaves are red as well.
The first sunlight hits the maple.
The tree is about 40 feet tall. We are at the same level because the hill we are built upon slopes down.
And the hill beyond the creek rises to where the tree stands.
Gradually the sun illuminates more and more of the area around the tree.
Soon the leaves will no longer be red.
And the sun will shine in a different direction.
But while we have this flaming tree we will enjoy it. We need some rain, but I must admit I'm delighted to see the sun rising on this lovely tree each morning. Weather predictions indicate we won't being seeing the sun rising for a couple of mornings. And that's all right. The woods are too dry. And it's a dangerous time since the trees have not fully leafed and the dry leaves on the ground are exposed.
Hope your Monday starts well and continues throughout the week.