I like looking at dead trees. They always die so grotesquely – in funny little twisted shapes, all jagged broken edges and charred, flaking surfaces.

On the way to the airport today, I saw a few I especially liked. Normal dead trees at first glance – appearing in erratic turns as we rush past, slim ashen trunks sprouting into dense clouds of threadlike twigs…until you see the unexpected clump of green on top, sole surviving little brigade of leaves fighting to the last, glowing defiantly bright under the assault of the afternoon sun.

It’s so jarring. So incongruous. How is it that these trees are dead all the way down to the root, yet still bear the greenest of leaves?