This picture is from a few years ago, the leaves are just starting to color here. Seeing the first color reminded me of a story a friend told me a few years ago.
When he was growing up his father planted a Japanese Maple tree in the front yard of the family home. Dad loved that tree, every summer he carefully pruned it, watered it, checked it for pests, replaced the mulch around it. He spent so much time working on it that the family kidded him that he was going to kill the tree by fussing over it. In the fall, when it was at it's peak of color, he would haul out a lawn chair and sit for hours on a saturday looking at it. It was the setting for numerous family photographs. His father died one July, and was cremated. The family gathered around the tree and scattered his ashes around the tree. Two days later, all of the leaves fell off the tree, and it never came back. The family has had an ongoing debate for 20 years. You see he was a very difficult man with an angry and sour disposition. Some say his ashes must have as angry and bitter he was and that is what killed the tree. Others say the tree died in a show of solidarity with the person who had tended it.
When my time comes I hope my tree dies in sympathy.