Posted by: christinelaennec | April 28, 2011

mysterious moment

All winter long the beech hedges hold on to their dead leaves, refusing to relinquish them through gales and snow.  In the spring, when everything else is greening up, they’re still attired in their autumn colours.  And then, seemingly from one moment to the next, and in sections, the dead leaves have disappeared and green leaves cover the hedge:

Beech hedge at Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire. 23 April 2011.

I know this doesn’t actually happen in the blink of an eye, but near enough. For many years I’ve tried to catch them at it, but this year I have succeeded:

The moment of transition: the dead leaves have dropped and fresh green leaves are born. 28 April 2011, Aberdeen.

Every year at this time I feel like, on a deep level, I’ve missed spring happening.  This spring I’m trying hard to experience the transformation.  I hope spring is bringing you many happy, and indeed pleasantly mysterious, moments!



  1. The turning of the seasons are, indeed, a mystery. But what beautiful sights we’re treated to. Great shot of the emerging leaf.

  2. What a nice photo you showed us….and yes Spring has been wonderful to me this year,thanks to some wonderful friends like you Christine…
    Hugs and love

  3. i have enjoyed spring very much this year. i don’t like extremely hot weather so for me it’s always a delicious time of new birth and sunny, windy days that are just the right temperature. I have a mystery tree that we grew from a sprig growing out of the ground where it shouldn’t have been. I think, looking at your leaves here, that you may have solved the mystery for me … I am thinking now that it might possibly be a beech tree. 🙂

  4. Dear Martin, Erna and ajb,
    Thank you all so much for your kind comments (which I’m late in replying to!) Ajb, how funny if I’ve solved another spring mystery!

  5. How interesting to hear your musings about the beech hedges as I myself was always puzzled by the same question. How come they hold on to their leaves throughout the whole winter? They are even pose resistance when you try to pull them out. And then, all of the sudden new leaves! I used to have this imagination that the new leaves push the old ones out like the permanent teeth push the baby teeth out when the time for them comes. I miss beech hedges, can’t find them in this part of the world.

    • Luciana, I love that fact that you, too, have pondered over this mystery. I also used to think that the new leaves pushed the old ones out. Maybe they do – the old leaves obviously drop off at the precise moment that the new leaves emerge. The other mystery is, why aren’t there drifts of beech leaves everywhere? They seem to evaporate into thin air! Hmmm…

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