A reminder before you rake

October 20, 2010
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As the autumn leaves begin to pile up in backyards everywhere, perhaps what all of us who groan at the hours of raking ahead could use is a reminder of the pleasures that those leaves brought us through the summer.
Fortunately, as Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune pointed out on Sunday, we’ve got just that: The Book of Leaves: A Leaf-by-Leaf Guide to Six Hundred of the World’s Great Trees.
jacket image
Keller, after admitting that she has “lost her head and is swooning” under the influence of The Book of Leaves, writes:

This big, beautiful, shiny, sumptuous and informational volume will enhance your appreciation of the natural world, but it does something else as well. It reminds you that wonderful things are often right under your nose. The most familiar entity—in this case, the leaves on the trees—often are the most enchanting, but we overlook them because they’re so common. So ordinary.

The print edition of Sunday’s Tribune shared some of the visual glories of the book with readers, but those of you reading the article on the Web need not be left behind: we’ve got a gallery of images from The Book of Leaves to entice you, too.
Check out the images, read Keller’s article, then pick up a copy of the book and take her advice:

It needs to be spread out on a kitchen table, preferably with a couple of kids hovering nearby, so that you can all marvel at the colors and shapes that have been here all along, hidden in plain sight.

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