Dear Readers, I have always been fond of the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem ‘Spring and Fall – to a Young Child’, which seems to me to sum up the human predicament.
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
But it seems to me that part of the glory of the ‘unleaving’ is the extraordinary range of colours that the leaves achieve before their eventual demise. How brightly they shine at the end! Something to aspire to, surely. And so, for this week’s quiz, let’s have a look at some autumn leaves, and see if we can pair them up with their names. You have until 5 p.m. UK time on Thursday to pop your answers into the comments, and if you don’t want to be influenced by anyone speedier, write your cogitations down first :-).
I think this is a pretty tough quiz, and would be delighted with myself if I got half of them right, but then you lovely people always surprise me, so let’s see….
Onwards! Just match the photo to the species. So if you think photo 1) is of a horse chestnut, your answer is 1)a)
a) Horse Chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum)
b) Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
c) London Plane (Platanus × acerifolia)
d) Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
e) Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
f) Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
g) Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
h) English Oak (Quercus robur)
i) Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
j) English Elm (Ulmus minor)
k) Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
l) Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)
m) Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis)
n) Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
o) Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)