Friday, May 14, 2021

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves

The soft delicate hairs on freshly emerged beech leaves (Fagus grandifolia) remind me of the waxy vernix that humans are born with ... well, similar concept, I guess. The furry-looking covering looks so soft, and ... touchable! No wonder the species name is grandifolia - meaning large leaf in Latin, but I prefer my take: grandiose foliage.

And then, there are these delightfully wrinkled convolutions on the beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) leaves, that have a little brown streaking on them. I've identified a little grove of these shrubby plants in an opening in my woods, and now that I know what they are, I'm seeing them everywhere.

The fresh green leaves shine luminously like chartreuse gems amidst the drab browns of sticks, branches and last year's decaying leaves on the forest floor in the spring sun, bright and vivid with life.

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