Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Value of Looking Down

--maybe not all the time--but definitely look down every so often as you walk.

Out walking the dogs on the same route I've walked perhaps a hundred times, a single leaf stopped me in my tracks.  

It was certainly a maple leaf, and was broad like the commonplace Norway maple, but this leaf was toothed more like a red maple (also commonplace).  (If you're curious, you can learn to distinguish these here.)  It is also more strongly-veined than either of these. 

Only one tree fit the bill--sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)--an introduced tree.  I know it only from the neighborhood where I grew up: it grows on the grounds of the old Aldrich Estate, where I assume it escaped from cultivation.  (The one little sycamore maple I could reach there without trespassing died last winter.)

Where is the tree this leaf came from?  I'm sure it isn't near the street, or I would have been able to find it.  Probably it is in a nearby backyard.  I will keep my eye out for others; maybe I will be able to triangulate.  

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