Best Described as Vermilion 

The pear tree, planted three or so years ago, seems rather poor at producing pears, a typical issue this far north. What it lacks in fruit production it will certainly make up for, eventually, in autumn finery. 

Every August I marvel as this rather placid little tree turns its leaves the most beautiful shade that is best described as Vermilion. 

This scene from my front window view is rather typical of Canadian urban—cars, pavement, many homes visible. Newer areas often look different, but this area was built in the 70’s so it has typical homes of that era. Larger yards than the new homes have, but still, too close of density for me to ever feel I have my own slice of privacy. How people live in closer proximity puzzles me. I think being raised in the country left me feeling claustrophobic in the city. I see quaint shots from other parts of the world where people truly live in close quarters & it can look sweet—images of old Italian towns & picturesque French villages comes to mind, & I think, I would love that. But here, I find after a decade living in the same house, with mostly the same neighbours, we ‘know’ each other just enough to talk vaguely, but never really like or trust each other. Classic North American suburbia. 

Your proximity makes you aware of each other but not close enough to really know anyone. It’s like you know you’re never in private, but have only a vague facade of community. It’s a strange thing, one that makes no sense to me. We shelter in our homes six months of the year during winter & come summer, we catch up with everyone, then hibernate again. 

Anyway, the point is, I like privacy. I like trees, & fences. I’d like a whole countryside to myself, but that is a dream that has faded like the memory of the old rail-fences on my childhood farm. When we bought this house it had a lovely mock plum with beautiful blooms in spring & leaves that turned from purple to green then in fall to red, but, it was as old as the house & as it goes with most northern trees, the life span was short, thirty years, so it was dying & diseased so we had to cut it down. 

A Mayday, a most weedlike growing tree, had naturally seeded where the Plum tree had stood, and so we are letting it grow for now to give us some quicker privacy. But, also, a Japanese maple, a super slow species has naturally seeded & I look forward to that as well in the fall in the years to come. I noticed, an Oak has also seeded itself in the Juniper shrubs as well, it can stay too. All three of these have varying life spans & growth rates, the Oak being the slowest but longest life span. 

In the mean time, I planted both an Apple & a Pear tree, before I realized there was a Maple or an Oak, thinking they will be my official front yard trees. While they’re growing from seedling to tree, the Mayday will do, and then, when they’re big enough I’ll cut down the Mayday, which is lovely but too common & a massive allergen in the spring, seriously, I think everyone is allergic to Maydays in Alberta. 

The Pear, was my least favourite of these. The blooms are beautiful, but so delicate & fine, a strong spring storm will blow them all off before they can even be pollinated. So, last year we managed three or four really tiny pathetic pears off it, but this year, none. I have kind of regretted this pick of tree because it just doesn’t seem worth it. But, then, every August, as the nights grow darker & colder, it pushes forth the most gorgeous colour. I imagine what one day will be a full sized fruit tree, Vermilion outside my front window, blocking out the pavement view, & I think, yes, it was a good pick, to have this lovely splendor before the six months of indoor life. 

In the morning light, it is so beautiful it can literally make me stop everything & just stare. A small small fragile perfect thing. They say to stop & smell the roses, but stopping to stare is also a small joy in life. 

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