Amazing amazing trees grace Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass, and perhaps the most impressive of them are the Japanese maples who were trying hard to leave me breathless, and succeeding.
Japanese maples, especially the weeping and cutleaf variety (Acer palmatum dissectum and other varieties) are very slow-growing trees. I don't know how old these are, but they are venerable in the extreme.
To truly appreciate a mature weeping Japanese maple, one must enter it, as one enters a secret chamber, a vault, a wine cellar--slowly, with wonder and respect.
Extreme contortions and intertwinings make a maze of the branches, and the deep shade produced by the leaves makes for a bare, duffy floor inside the chamber.
I have spent many hours in such chambers, reading, studying, thinking, dreaming. Here's the tree from afar. Would you know there was such a room within?
The garden variety Acer palmatum were at the absolute height of their glory on November 10. By the next day, they had their party dresses on the floor.
Not far away, the glacial erratic that marks the grave of the great scientist Louis Agassiz. Geologist, paleontologist, natural historian, Agassiz was the first to put forth the theory that ice sheets had ground over and sculpted our continent. This erratic was brought from the Aar Glacier in Switzerland to grace his resting place.
And near that, a mighty beech tree showing its imminent moment of mortality, bracket fungi marching up its flank.
And there's little quite as magical as leaves still green in Massachusetts in mid-November. I don't know what's going on, but I enjoyed this little reprise of summer and full salvo of fall, much more for being in the company of Kris. We managed to fit in two Mt. Auburn walks, two Fresh Pond walks, and two visits to the Watertown Diner in my five-day visit!
Graceful branches, black on scarlet.
A bold backdrop of gold.
Marimba graceful limbs and quiet tombs.