Autumn is usually vibrant, but the season has mostly felt desultory so far. In our wooded corner of Upper Manhattan, under a heavy gray sky there is less sunlight than seems possible for daytime. Engines of trains and planes conspire to drown out the quiet. In the intermittent silence, green leaves rustle and flex in the wind, exposing their pale undersides.It has been only two weeks, and already one of our featured performers has bowed out. Mostly defoliated, the Juneberry shrubs hold on to a handful of thin, yellow leaves (seen at right in the photograph above).
What made them fall so fast? As with other members of the rose family, the plant is fodder for disease organisms like rusts, stem cankers and leaf spot that encourage early foliage loss. Now instead of a glowing golden understory, the ground has a fresh layer of leaves like shredded paper bags.
Also, click here for more Autumn Unfolds pics on Flickr.