“The Inevitable Transition”
“All things change, it is inevitable, even the things that appear to be constants eventually pass into history. The cycles of time and nature cannot be stopped.” – Ed Lehming
I’ve written a few times about the beauty of beech leaves in the dead of winter. As other leaves have long since fallen to the ground, these leaves cling to the branches with incredible tenacity and offer much needed brightness to otherwise dull winter forests.
They hang on all winter long, and then, within days, they are gone, their purpose served. I’ve often wondered about this phenomenon and set out to understand it better. This spring I spend some time observing the ‘fall’ of the beech more closely and now understand the process better.
The previous years’ leaves are attached to the stem at a ‘bud point’. I’m sure there is a scientific term for this junction, but I’ll use my own expression here. Where other species’ leaves loose the connective fibres that attach the leaves, beech leaves do not. They remain connected to this ‘bud point’ all winter long. The connection is not broken till a new bud forms and pushes outwards, severing the connecting tissue. That’s why they all seem to fall off at the same time. Their cycle ends and another begins.
I can’t help but relate this analogy to what’s going on in our world right now. We are clinging with all out emotional strength to the world we have known for so many years and we will, by human nature, resist the change, each in our own fashion. But the change is already underway, all we can hope for is something better.
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200
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Interesting. Thanks for doing the research on this mystery of nature.
Ed, I have not given much thought to the leaves until I read your post. Very interesting on the ‘bud point.’ Your last paragraph makes a profound analogy and resonates with me. A great post!
Thank you, it seems nature is speaking to me a lot lately.
Love this shot Ed—the bokeh is especially appealing. The tenacity that you refer to is called “marcescence”, or withering without falling off. Young beech trees are known for it as are red oaks in our neck of the woods.
Thanks John, it’s good to know what it’s actually called. Now I will have to look it up 🙂
I really love this analogy. I hope we are “pushed” to new and better levels of humanity and compassion.