The tree that signals the end of summer for @parul2411’s #ThursdayTreeLove

The idea for this Thursday Tree Love post about the tree that signals the end of summer popped in my brain a few days ago, as my husband and I were coming home from shopping. As we came around the corner of a road not too far from our place, I noticed a tree was already putting its fall colors on. I said something to the effect of, “Cut it out, you 🤬 🤬 🤬 tree – summer’s not over yet!” to which my husband laughed and responded, “Don’t you say that every year around this time to that same exact tree?

He’s not wrong. 😂

Then I realized that every year when I see the early autumn leaves, I think about getting some pictures of this distant early warning tree (and incidentally, that song came on the radio on the way home), but I never actually do. So I figured that making it a subject for this #ThursdayTreeLove would help me finally get around to doing it. And as you can see, I did!

It ended up being a bit trickier than I anticipated, as the tree is situated in a somewhat bad spot for stopping, either in a car, or by foot, as it’s on a sort of blind corner. Given the 93F/34C temps outside today, it was an easy decision to have my husband drive me down to take some shots out the car window, rather than park nearby and walk. I got about a dozen from across the street, then another dozen-ish after we drove down the street and came back in the opposite direction. The twelve best are below.

But before I get on with the pictures, a quick shout out to my WordPress blogging friend Parul to say thank you for hosting this awesome blog hop every couple of weeks, especially knowing what a challenging time you’ve had recently. If you want to join in the Tree love blog hop fun, it’s wicked easy – here’s the description from her latest post today, called #ThursdayTreeLove – 111:

Thursday Tree love is a photo feature hosted on this blog on every 2nd and 4th Thursday of a month. The next edition will go live on September 9, 2021. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog, tell me where did you spot the tree and link it back to this post.

If you don’t see the pingback, please leave a link to your post in my comments section. Please make sure that your post’s link is showing up on this latest edition. I will link your posts on my blog in the next edition and spread some love. Let’s come together to appreciate the beautiful nature around us.

As for these photos, as per my usual FYI – these were taken not too far from my Durham, NH home with my Nikon (no tripod this time, just my arm braced against the door of the car…lol). All were resized, then cleaned up a bit with PicMonkey (mostly the exposure and sharpness, but with a few other tweaks like vignette filters for the corners here and there).

Now for the photos…

The tree that signals the end of summer.

The tree that signals the end of summer
1. This shot, even with the fancy PicMonkey filters, doesn’t do justice to the pop of color this tree has in this sea of green.

The tree that signals the end of summer
2. More filters and a different angle help a bit, but it’s much more dramatic in person. I think I need to plan to work on my fall foliage skills this autumn. Oh, and I didn’t crop out the top of the side mirror with the little bit of my wrist showing because I thought it made for kind of a cool way to show where I was when I took the shot.

The tree that signals the end of summer
3. Funny thing is, for many years I’ve always assumed this was a Red Maple tree, because of the shape of the leaves, as well as the fact it turns bright red so early in the season. Made enough sense to my brain that I never bothered to confirm.

The tree that signals the end of summer
4. But after a little bit of Googling…

The tree that signals the end of summer
5. I discovered that this is actually a Sugar Maple Tree!

The tree that signals the end of summer
6. The difference between the two, according to Northern Woodlands Mission (an educational nonprofit located here in New Hampshire), is “The leaf margins tell the main story: sugar maples have smooth edges while red maples are toothed or serrated.”

The tree that signals the end of summer
7. There are lots of other ways to tell the difference between the two (be sure to take a gander at the original article for more of them), but that sentence alone confirmed it for me. And I’m thinking in about another week or so, this will be entirely red, without any hints of green.

The tree that signals the end of summer
8. Even though I’m complaining that summer is almost over already, I never get tired of seeing this beautiful combo of red and green, light and shadow.

The tree that signals the end of summer
9. I didn’t realize until editing this shot that you can see the “helicopters” or seed pods almost ready to fly off the sugar maple branches.

The tree that signals the end of summer
9a. Here’s a zoomed in & cropped bit of the previous picture to show what I mean – I’ve always known these as “helicopters” or sometimes “whirlybirds” but according to the Farmers’ Almanac article, When Will You See Maple ‘Copters Flying?
“First, the technical term for this winged seed is samara, which refers to a specialized fruit that is designed to travel long distances from the parent tree. Some ash and elm trees also produce samaras, although the maple’s samaras are the very best at flying.”

The tree that signals the end of summer
10. The FA article has lots of other cool bits of info, so I definitely recommend checking it out. And in this shot, you can see more of the helicopters getting ready to fly in the upper right corner…

The tree that signals the end of summer
11. … along with this rather striking shadow. Is it just me, or does this look like a young girl and boy, sitting face to face high up in the tree?

The tree that signals the end of summer
12. Maybe it was the heat causing this optical “delusion”…lol! Regardless, I like to think I caught a couple of young fairy folk planning some magical shenanigans while the warm weather is still here to enjoy. And according to the calendar, there are only 27 more days until the official first day of fall.

EDITED TO ADD: In chatting with @ninahaskin in the comment section on Hive, I remembered that I completely spaced mentioning in my post that the best thing about those copters, besides throwing them back up in the air and watching them spin back down, was to split the green seed at the end in half, and sticking it to the tip of your nose! Like this (and yes, there’s a reddit for that)! 🤣



Hope you enjoyed my photos of the tree that signals the end of summer. Happy Thursday Tree Love everyone!


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My photographs are taken with my trusty Nikon,
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Blog graphics created on Canva

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14 thoughts on “The tree that signals the end of summer for @parul2411’s #ThursdayTreeLove

Add yours

  1. Loved your photos Traci! And the added info as well!! Some plants growing in our part of the world also fruits that are Samara. Their ‘flying’ action is really amazing!!

  2. Love your shots, Traci. The close ups, the red leaves are so lovely. I love seeing pictures of the fall season. The foliage, the colors are just drop dead gorgeous. Thank you for joining and I am looking forward to seeing you back tomorrow.

  3. Oh yes, those helicopters! That sticking to the nose brought back childhood memories. Even in New York City, we had maples! I’m in Southern Vermont right now and I’m seeing the early signs of turning on the trees here. Tomorrow I return to my home in New York State and – well, I’m always dragged into fall kicking and screaming (because I know what comes next – WINTER.). Once the kicking and screaming stop though, I love fall.

  4. Gorgeous! The first sign of a new season is always a shock. I felt exactly the same the other day, when I saw a tree in spring bloom. I am not really ready for winter to be over yet, believe it or not.

  5. haha! If the same tree has to get yelled at every year, it sure has to be a big signal. 😀 😀
    I love this story. 🙂
    And those close ups!
    Such pretty leaves. Now maybe I’ll be able to tell the difference between and Red Maple and a Sugar Maple.

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