View through the maple tree in fall

Fall Light (Bigleaf maple)

The days are getting shorter and our weather is alternating between “rain” and “showers”. The ground is sodden, the clocks are going back an hour, and we’ve entered that dark time of year.

But every time I look out our north windows, I feel my spirits lift, thanks to the show that our Bigleaf maple is providing.

The leaves of these west coast natives (Acer macrophyllum) don’t turn red in fall like their eastern relatives: instead, our trees specialize in yellow. And how!

The Bigleaf maple is aptly named. In the photo below, you can see how the leaves measure up beside my very average-sized feet (shod in customary Gabriola footwear, i.e. gumboots).

Bigleaf maple leaves measured against my feet

As fall progresses, Bigleaf maples light up our coniferous forest canopy, and as their leaves drop and the layers accumulate, our driveway and patio (shown below) become a veritable light show. Looking out the windows, it’s almost like a summer day.

Maple leaves on the driveway

Just the tonic I need at this time of the year – and a great excuse for waiting awhile longer to bring out the rake!

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About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

13 responses »

  1. Fred Bailey says:

    On Golden Pond! Hasn’t it been a great autumn for colours? Now for all the shades of white!

  2. Roy says:

    Only thing better than maple leaves in the fall… Bigleaf maple leaves in the fall. Glad you included your boots for size reference! Very cool.

  3. […] Big Leaves, Big Light – we get to enjoy a great photographic study that takes a look at the natural effects and light tones you find in the autumn on Vancouver Island.  Laurie MacBride showcases our island and the incredible natural beauty that is found in our big leaf Maples during this time of year. […]

  4. […] or bigleaf maple leaves, which are very much larger than you might expect. For instance, see this Eye on Environment post for a photo of leaves with human feet in them as a scale. I should have put my foot in the […]

  5. Thanks so much for your kind words, Toad & Judith!

  6. An absolutely wonderful study in autumn on the island! Love it!!

  7. Judith MADSEN says:

    Lovely Laurie I love looking at your photos as you lead me through with your text. The trees this year with their glorious Colours were inspiring and you captured this in words and photos. Judith

  8. ehpem says:

    Lovely pictures, and great to have your feet for scale. I was just taking pictures of spawned out salmon, thinking the leaves would provide scale, but when I look at the photos, the salmon look trout sized. Which is going to be interesting to deal with.

  9. Sherry Galey says:

    Thanks, Laurie, for for sharing this beautiful display. It’s glorious. You guys really super size your leaves out there 😉 I love that last images of leaves blanketing the ground. What a great view!

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