In the early years of our Canadian gardening adventure we purchased a Katsura tree from the arboretum and planted it next to the pond.

We were advised that this was a small tree, maybe 15ft tall when mature … that was wrong, it is a good bit past that height now and going strong. Should it prove to be Cercidiphyllum japonicum it could reach almost 150 ft high (probably not in our lifetimes), if a Cercidiphyllum magnificum then a more modest 33 ft is predicted. But either way, this Japanese gem is a superb and hardy tree which at this time of the year turns a fantastic rich gold colour. In fact, Katsuras are so superb that we have purchased a second one, one that will turn red, a cultivated variety, for the southern side of the garden … though that has some growing to do before we will see it at its best.

The colour of the golden tree is particularly striking at dusk when it seems to have an inner glow that makes it stand out as if spotlit from its backdrop of pine and cedar trees. Every year I try to photograph this but so far have been unable to really get quite what you could see if you were here – but I will continue the effort. You have to see it to really appreciate it but I have included, further down the page, a couple of the nest pictures in near-disk that I have yet managed to get..

Here are some late afternoon images to give you a flavour of what we enjoy every autumn.

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However – I do have a couple of near-dusk images that, although not truly capturing the beauty of the tree, will  give you some idea of what the tree can achieve

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Meanwhile … yesterday was wet. It rained steadily pretty well all day and a gray squirrel chose to shelter in an old and redundant bird feeder near our dining room window. When we first saw him he was so curled into a ball that it was hard to see where his head was but after a bit he woke up as the rain lessened and decided to have a snack (had he brought it as a packed lunch when he went to shelter? Not sure) before going about his business. Apologies for the quality of the photo – taken at close quarters through a windowpane.

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