As December passed and Christmas approached the last of our fall color passed through north Texas. Every week saw the wind take more and more leaves. The bradford pears turned red and a few red oaks held on to some color as the rest of the trees lost their leaves and entered our short winter.
I actually like this part of the season as much as the peak colors. There is something of magic to see that last bit of the colors next to the starker bare branches of the early turning trees. Once the trees are all bare and we get to winter the palate of nature is practically monochrome. However with that last color to add a splash of interest to the scene.
I returned to the West Fork of the Trinity River for the best of that late season color. The trees that had been in peak color two weeks earlier were either bare or the leaves had faded to brown. The last few holdouts and stragglers stood in the forest of bare branches.
The late changers are usually not near as vivid of color as the peak but seem to stand out more since the rest of the trees are so empty of leaves. One red tree for ten trees with bare branches is certainly a contrast and that red pops all the more.
The reds, oranges, and yellows mixed with the patterns from empty gray and brown branches put on the last hurrah of the fall season. Winter Solstice arrived and took with it the last of our color and the start of our brief winter.