The Nature Report: The best leaves on campus

Courtesy of Nicholas Tillinghast

During a walk this Saturday on the south side of campus, I think I gathered what are possibly the best leaves that have fallen on campus this fall. Before we get to that, though, I’m going to answer the question on everybody’s mind this past week: how ‘bout that weather?

Tuesday, Oct. 25: The day before, I had checked my weather app and it called for a 100 percent chance of rain. How did the weather people decide that? Are you telling me that they had absolutely zero doubts in their minds that it maybe wouldn’t precipitate? Would they have taken a bet with me where they’d have bet a million dollars that it would rain and I’d have bet a dime that it wouldn’t? The weather people additionally said, confusingly, that it wasn’t going to rain on that Monday at all, but on Tuesday, water was most certainly going to come out of the sky. Sure enough, it rained all day on Tuesday, and I would have lost 10 cents to the weather people.

That Tuesday night I caught a beautiful family of deer standing out in the field in front of the library, getting rained on pretty hard. Regardless, I neither wanted to go through the hassle of pulling out my phone to take a picture of them while holding an umbrella nor put them through the embarrassment. They must have simply forgotten their umbrellas at home.  

Courtesy of Nicholas Tillinghast

Wednesday, Oct. 26: A little proverb—you can eat outside during angry winds but you can’t eat outside in the rain. This was certainly a tricky task though. One moment I was eating my Vassar beef chili with a spoon, the next moment I was eating it with a fork. That first utensil took to the wind and so there I was calling for backup. 

Oct. 30: What a great fall afternoon to take a walk and pick out some favorite leaves. The sky was nice and cloudy, making for cool walking weather. The results are in: From white oak to yellowwood, I have found some of the finest leaves on campus and I’d like you to judge them for yourself. I set up my guys on the outside of Skinner and left them there, so if you happen to see any exquisite leaves in front of Skinner, they might have been from my fine collection. 

Courtesy of Nicholas Tillinghast

Shortly after my leaf rendezvous, a nice deer family looking for a quick bite to eat met me. The one deer started munching on the planter of mums by the bridge. I was a little perturbed because I helped plant those mums just a few weeks prior, but I decided not to confront him on the issue. They moved down to eat the wild plants farther up towards Skinner and the mums were left mostly unscathed.

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