Nov 11, 2008

Getting Rid of Leaves?

"The first Thanksgiving coincided with what was, for the Pilgrims, a new and startling phenomenon: the turning of the green leaves of summer to the incandescent yellows, reds, and purples of a new England autumn. With the shortening of the days comes a diminishment in the amount of green chlorophyll in the tree leaves which allows the other colors contained within the leaves to emerge. In Britain, the cloudy fall days and warm nights cause the autumn colors to be lackluster and muted. In New England, on the other hand, the profusion of sunny fall days and cool but not freezing nights unleashes the colors latent within the tree leaves, with oaks turning red, brown and russet; hickories golden brown; birches yellow; red maples scarlet; sugar maples orange and black maples glowing yellow. It was a display that must have contributed to the enthusiasm with which the Pilgrims later wrote of the festivities of that Fall."

Nathaniel Philbrick

I have been reading Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick and I thought this was a great description of what happens to the leaves, how they look here in the Fall and how they make you feel. ( you know the fixing a huge meal with a turkey feeling) A couple weeks ago I blogged a little bit about the leaves and at that point they were bright yellow, orange, pink and red and I could not imagine there was anything more too it. And then to my surprise it is not just a one act show here in New England. After the bright colors comes the changing of the trees with darker color leaves. And that was definitely my favorite.

But after all the amazing scenery came the price you pay for beauty.....raking. And this is not just your Grandmother's raking this is some serious raking. The first morning that I woke up too so many leaves that I could not see my driveway or my lawn I was a little discouraged. Don't get me wrong I do not mind raking. The last time I had to rake my yard was when we lived in Kansas. But I could be out in the yard all day long with nothing else to do but be outside with my little kids "helping" me and wanting to be around me. HA. That is not happening now. We are in the "complaining about raking leaves" stage of our lives.

Not only that there are so many leaves that you have to make decisions. There are serious options to consider when getting rid of your leaves.

There is Mr Leaf Blower. I cannot help but think this is the option that may get this generation interested in leaves. I have seen countless examples of the leaf blower all over town. Mostly men working them. They definitely look fun. But you still have to figure out what to do with them once you blow them somewhere. And I cannot help but hear the "cha ching" of a cash register when I think of this option. And I have too many items on my list of things to spend my money on.

I have also seen a lot of people with these truly amazing lawn mowers with immense bags on the back of them. And they sit on these lawn mowers in their tuxedos and prom dresses and nonchalantly drive around their yard through the leaves, thinking about appetizers, and leaving a perfectly clear path behind them. Then when they are done they have their servants spread the perfectly shredded "leaf mulch" somewhere in their yard. This method greatly appeals to me but there is that cash register sound again. HMMM leaves gone or eating 3 meals a day?

I have also seen the "tarp" method. Lay out a tarp rake all the leaves onto it and drag it somewhere. But where? The evil voice in my head says to the neighbors :)

In the early stages of leaves dropping from trees I tried to get Miriam to mow over them with our riding lawn mower, I read that they were good for your lawn if broken into little pieces. But we never got the lawn mower to start. Which is a good of place as any to start my bitter, hating on the husband sentences.

He seems to put off my leaf concerns. Dismiss them with nary a worry. I am very obsessed about them in the gutters. We lived in a house in Kansas that forever shaped my fear of leaves in the gutter. It is sadly so intense that I will casually, but with humor, even ask friends about their leaves in their gutters. It is none of my business that they have leaves in their gutters but I had many a flood in my basement because of leaves backed up in the gutters. Spent many a rainstorm outside with the hoe trying to reach the gutters and get the leaves out of them so the water would go away from the house. So I never want anyone else to have to go through that. Yes, I know I need leaf therapy :) It creates a small anxious feeling in my little old tummy. Leaf anxiety is a fairly new thing but beware it could happen to you :)

What I hate the most is when you get to the point that you have your piles and then you have to go fix dinner and the piles never get in the bag. Then it rains on the piles. This is a bad situation that you want to avoid at all costs. Trust me.

I wish I could figure out an amazing use for the leaves and make an amazing amount of money with my discovery. Or better yet if I could make it socially acceptable to have them all over your lawn and then I could fit in just fine.

So I guess I need to figure out how to have a leaf raking party.


Brianne said...

You live in a good can rake the leaves onto a tarp, drag it across the street, then dump them in the river! We always end up putting them in those huge paper bags and leaving them on the curb for leaf pick-up day.

Bernd and Rachel said...

I feel your pain Jenn! We have mowed, raked and bagged them and they are still all over the place. My favorite is driving down the road and having leaves blow off my car as I go.:)

Jenn said...

I feel your pain...let's have a progressive leaf raking party moving from one house to another. Let's start at mine. LOL. :) It is too bad that money doesn't fall from the sky like those New England leaves do! Drat!

Kristy said...

I would attend your leaf raking party! My elderly neighbor is way too fond of her leaf blower and I've seen her on the roof with it more than once. It must be a really amazing invention and when I have trees with leaves, I will get one.

Melissa said...

My kids would love to come and play in the leaves- raking is another story! Good luck!