12.10.06

The Catalpas Have Spoken: Fall Has Fallen

There are two catalpa "bean" trees in my front yard, funky herky-jerky trees with big fat leaves as big as your head and little bean pods hanging down from all about. These are strange trees, and their large leaves bud very late in the spring. It's practically the middle of June before you've got full foilage.

And I each year I think that those giant leaves will last through 'til November, like the guy who shows up five hours into your party and doesn't leave until 3 A.M., drinking the last remnants of a vodka bottle on your couch and talking on and on about how impossible it is to meet people in this town.

But the catalpa always surprises. Yesterday, when I went to bed all those big leaves were firmly attached to the tree, as per normal. Not a single one had de-branched. This morning, I kid you not, I walked out my front door and was stunned to find thousands of leaves on the ground. Almost the entire tree had jumped ship, taken the plunge, called it quits, jumped the shark, cashed in the chips, kicked the bucket, said sayonara, arividerci, Geronimo! I take my leave, good sir.

I got home today from work and there wasn't a single leaf left on those trees. Not one. Like lemmings, it was. I've never met a tree with such an on-off switch as these two. They're passive-aggressive, schitzophrenic. Sure it snowed a little. There were some flurries... but last week it was 80 degrees outside, and I was basking on the riverbank in the goddamned heat. And now I'm going to have to put on my snowsuit and rake about thirty cubic feet of leaves into bags and bricks of compost.

6 comments:

The Truth Hurts said...

We had two catulpa trees on the farm growing up. The bean pod things and huge leaves were such a chore every fall to clean up. They were fun in the summer though...I remember riding my bike through the branches.

The trees ended up getting a disease so we had to cut them down. It's interesting how attached people can get to trees.

Andy said...

Those are come nice catalpas, Bill. Very nice. In the middle of the plains, we are at the mercy of the warring elemental forces every autumn. Any front that seeks to gain new territory pummels us mercilessly. It is my prediction that the Tundra will emerge victorious and establish a stalwart kingdom that will reign for quite some time. But the catalpas will endure.

cuz said...

I notice the ..TCH sign in the yard. Is this an official endorsement? Does it signal the end for the third party crusader?

Wm said...

is it short for (hu)TCH(inson)?

hell now. i'm all about mr. hatch. i think he'll make a great -- nay, Ventura-esque -- governor.

Les Catalpas said...

We have 4 approx. 100 year old catalpas here in France. They only shed suddenly with the first early night frost. Love those trees, especially the orchid like blossom.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering about the catalpa worms used for fishing. What time of year do they come out and for how long? Excellent bait!!