Autumn Leaf Prints

On the way to work this morning I came across this stretch of sidewalk. How could I not stop in my tracks?

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The ghostly stains were the traces of fallen maple leaves.

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As I was to learn later from research on Google, it sometimes happens, when conditions are just right, that a strong natural dye in dying leaves (tannic acid) leaches out to mark each leaf’s temporary resting place on the concrete bed:

As the death-bed, whereon it must expire, consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.

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Winds come to blow away the leaves and what’s left behind are what some people call “leaf prints” — representations that are spooky in the same way fossil imprints in shale, and X-rays of human body parts, are spooky.

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These impressions are images of passage, signs of dissolution befitting autumn.

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Two other bloggers who’ve been captivated by this phenomenon report their reactions¬†here and here. An alternative version of my post is found here.

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One Response to “Autumn Leaf Prints”

  1. […] For a previous post of mine discussing another instance when mother nature displays her art on man’s concrete, click¬†here. […]

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