Photo gallery: a ghostly relic


Friday, November 09, 2018

Fall foliage is where you find it — and not always on the trees. Maybe I'm spoiled, but I thought this year’s crop of colors was a little subdued compared to years past, more dud than delight (though with many exceptions).

However, in its place, the overly wet autumn has brought us more of this intriguing phenomenon — leaf-stenciled sidewalks. I guess the longer a leaf stays saturated in one place, the more likely it is to leach the tannins that leave these ghostly white “tattoos.” It’s like the dying leaves are saying, “Well, yes, we’re outta here, but here’s a lasting mark to remember us by.”

If you research this process on the web, you’ll come across lots of advice to homeowners on how to remove these “stains.”

To each, his own.

In Florida, I’ve seen the driveways of snowbirds who have paid to have them stenciled with patterns not too different than these. So, I think of them as a treat.

—Text and photo by Kevin Gutting