The Arnold Arboretum is nothing short of spectacular this week, with whole hillsides ablaze and astonishing landscape scale views everywhere. But my mind kept focusing on the minute; the individual leaves and extraordinary beauty of their edges. Perhaps it is the brilliance of autumnal colors that brings leaf shape into such vivid display.
Sugar maple (Acer saccharum, 688-2010*A) leaf with insect-created margins (holes), sinuses, and lobes with pointed tips.
American chestnut (Castanea dentata, 24-80*A, lower left) leaf with saw-like teeth, in the midst of mobilizing its last nutrient reserves into the wood before dropping to the ground.
White oak (Quercus alba, 130-2016*A, lower center) leaves with rounded lobes and deep narrow sinuses.
Japanese beech (Fagus crenata, 429-87*A, lower right) leaf with soft undulating margins caught in the late afternoon sun.