Sunday, November 02, 2008

The larch

What an amazing tree the larch is. All summer long it behaves like any ordinary coniferous tree. It is tall and pointed with branches and needles just like its evergreen neighbours in the forest. You wouldn't be faulted for mistaking it for a pine or spruce, though the odds are that you wouldn't have noticed it at all. It blends right in.

But then as the senescence of autumn takes firm hold something startling happens. It becomes apparent that the larch is not just another conifer. All along, appearances aside, it has been something quite different. Suddenly it turns brilliant yellow and prepares to discard its needles for the winter. It is obvious that it is not like all the other trees. It never was ... but you couldn't tell before.

For most of my younger years I felt like a larch in summer. Perhaps that's why "Reviving Ophelia" resonated so much for me. As I get older my yellow shows more. Do you suppose we are really all like larches?


  1. Trees seem to be inspiring lots of great thoughts right now! Just yesterday I had a thought that I hope to blog about soon and I just finished reading another blog post inspired by the trees. I could never remember the name of the trees that look like conifers but change color. Thanks to you, I think I have a better chance of remembering them from now on.

  2. Spending your teenage years as larch in summer sure beats being an autumn larch at that stage of life, I can assure you.

  3. Thank you so much, I was trying to figure out what kind of tree they were! :D


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