At the end of the swamp, a narrow road turns right to the house. The giant sugar maples that surround it are spreading a deep green canopy above the slant roof and I look up at them and tell them that the first swamp maple is turning. Whether they believe me or not, I do not know. They are inscrutable. They are also very independent. sometimes the biggest one at the corner of the yard will be summer green while the one back where the barn burned is flaming with glory. Why?
Weather conditions are the same for all of them, one is no more sheltered than another, and they are the same age, judging by their size. I like to think one tree decides to keep summer a bit longer and one impetuously responds to the tide of incoming autumn. Trees are not remotely like people, but I reflect that I know some people who have never let summer go and others who begin to think winter thoughts in July. Perhaps it is all temperament.