Thursday, November 4, 2010
I am leaving campus, making my way home in the crisp fall air. Home. Home is a three story apartment building, gray siding with chipping paint, rotting boards, and rusting stairs. Despite the decrepit outward appearance, the inside has been transformed into a comfortable and cozy home. I am looking forward to making it back to the marginally warmer indoors. It is a bit nippy out and I am so very tired. A nap is more than welcome on my agenda.
Looking down at my feet and watching all the fallen leaves as I pass them, I start to see something unbelievable. Of course there are red leaves, yellow leaves, orange leaves, greenish leaves, brown crunchy leaves, but the colors aren't the peculiarity I'm seeing. Every so often, amidst the array of color, I see an enormous, gigantic, huge, impossibly large leaf. Some of them quite possibly have more surface area than a serving plate.
I, being the plant geek that I am, pick one up and continue my journey home, all the while staring in amazement at the huge plant appendage in my hand. I look back once or twice at the tree this abnormal thing must have fallen from. All the rest of the leaves look normal tree leaf size.
Once I arrive home and drop all of my things on the couch I begin comparing the leaf to all sorts of things to verify it's true size...
|Left: Platanus x acerifolia, Middle: Homo sapiens, Right: Acer platanoides|
I compare it to my face. It is bigger.
Maybe if I spread both of my hands across it...not even close. The leaf wins by a long shot.
Couch cushion...maybe 2 1/2 times smaller. Maybe.
Both of my neighbor's shoes...it wins again.
The large end of a guitar. Its lobes still hang over the edge.
My hips...it's a tie.
I compare it to a record case. Almost the exact same size across in all directions.
A cookie sheet...it takes up over half of its surface.
It is larger than the butt indent on all of our dining chairs.
An 8" x 11" sheet of copy paper...way bigger.
This thing is humongous! I could use it as a hat, it's that large. Like on the Disney movie, Bambi, when all of the little chicks are huddled under the leaf that outsizes them and their mother combined. But those are little prairie birds. I'm a human and I could probably shelter myself under this thing. And it isn't even the largest that I had seen lying under its mother tree.
I know what tree I want to stand under come drenching spring rainstorm. I say spring rainstorm because in a fall rainstorm...the huge leaves would fall and plaster themselves to your body. Unpleasant at best.