The first signs of the approaching fall usually start with the arrival of Gingko leaves, delicate little yellow calling cards outside my front door announcing the inevitable. This year the signs were harsher, a week or so ago the pavement was littered with acorns and small oak branches ripped off in recurrung bad weather. Today, on the first day of fall walking around downtown Manhattan I noticed some crab apples on smaller obviously more recently planted trees. To be honest they didn't really look in the peak of health. Then there was the glimpse of a single red berry through a gap in a swathe of construction fabric. Fall is off on a slightly grim start this year and maybe all these visions of vertical gardens and skyscraper farms has made the actual reality of urban nature a tiny bit underwhelming.
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