When the Rhubarb Turns


In aspen groves all over the West, fall color is almost a religious experience. The intensity of the chartreuse, yellow, orange, and red leaves seems surreal — no Photoshop needed. We wait for the turning of the leaves in late September and early October with devoted anticipation.

But maybe I’ve focused too narrowly on the brilliance of autumn. This morning, the last day of June, I discovered this leaf the size of my head blazing away in the garden. Our rhubarb sprouts in April, grows like crazy through spring and early summer, then dies back with the first heat. Fall color comes early for the rhubarb and our patch is going out with a flourish.