This past early Sunday morning was crisp and clear in downtown Detroit. The bright fall sun was sparkling in the calmness of the Detroit River. The tall gray and brown office buildings offered a stark, interesting contrast against the cloudless blue sky above. The streets had little car traffic and a few bicyclists and runners were taking advantage of the carless streets by using them as their own private routes. There were a few fisherman and dog walkers along city’s RiverWalk, but overall, that beautiful walkway nested along the river was quiet and pedestrian free.
As I rode from the RiverWalk up through Hart Plaza on my way to downtown, I was struck by the vibrant gold, orange and yellow colors of the leaves that were still clinging to the trees that lined the Plaza. Those tough survivors of recent heavy rains and winds seemed to glow in the sunlight. There was a gentle breeze in the air and that slight, but steady wind made the leaves sway in rhythm, like a well-performed jazz piece. Those that had recently fallen created a bright, golden floor on the grass below.
Rolling up Woodward from the Plaza and crisscrossing various downtown streets, I spotted countless medium-sized maples and other smaller, ornamental trees edging several of the sidewalks; like umbrellas found at an outdoor cafe. They too still had most of their leaves and were at their colorful peak. Some were planted in well-defined landscape cutouts and at their base, was a variety of multicolored seasonal mums. Even the Burning Bush plants I came across were holding on to their eye-squinting, fiery red colored leaves.
Quite a few of the older brick buildings in Detroit are covered with ivy plants. Their leaves had changed from the green hues of summer to fall’s red and gold, complimenting the vintage building’s reddish brick. Although many the trees and shrubbery planted within city’s intricate freeway system have been stripped bare of their leaves from gusty wind and steady rains, there was still plenty of them holding their prime fall colored leaves.
Yes, Detroit was ablaze with fall colors this past weekend. Unfortunately they will quickly fade and wither away as the late fall and winter seasons work their way in.