On the last day of this four-day holiday weekend, I was outside scooping up wet and slimy leaves and pruning rosebushes. I mumbled my apologies to the rosebushes about my tardiness in attending to them, blaming not myself, but Mother Nature.
But first, I savored my walk at Council Point Park this morning as we are getting some type of slushy mess in the overnight hours that likely will stop me in my tracks tomorrow morning. I still have 18 more miles to go, and, had the weather been more cooperative yesterday (hint-hint Mother Nature), I had been hoping to get to my goal before the end of November.
Yup, that would be one month early!
But then, what do I do? Keep going like the Energizer Bunny, just racking up more miles? That’s what I did last year – 295 more miles in fact. Or, do I call it “done” and the rest is just gravy? I have a few days to dwell on this, plus 36 more days left in 2018 – it doesn’t mean all 36 of them will be conducive for walking though.
So, I lingered as long as I could at my favorite nature nook since I had to come home and get crackin’ on the long-overdue yard work and outside chores.
First to cut down those rose bushes and then to tackle those leaves … and, oh those leaves.
The fact that my ornamental tree has yet to shed its leaves, but once again I had multiple yard waste bags filled with leaves, always leaves me peeved quite frankly. Oh, it is stupid to be peeved about petty things such as other folk’s errant leaves, but it still irks me.
There are the behemoth trees that rise way about the houses behind me. They are likely well over half a century old, if not older. You see how large they are. Large trees means lots of leaves.
So, just imagine all those leaves fluttering down gracefully. In animated pictures of falling leaves, they twist and twirl through the air, landing at the base of the tree, right? Nope, that is not always true. They collect in the gutters and a big rainstorm comes along, the gutters overflow sending muddy droplets down, streaking your windows before you get the gutters cleaned out. Thanks a lot trees!
My neighbor has a beautiful maple tree. Just like clockwork, that tree turns yellow, then red, then it drops its leaves in the space of about 10 days. It is beautiful to watch that foliage turn, and this year we had a couple of blustery days so the leaves were whisked from the tree more quickly than usual.
I was going to write a post about that tree back in October, so I took some photos of it and the carpet of leaves on my lawn.
This was one day …
… and a couple of days later, the leaves had all dropped.
Guess whose lawn those leaves dropped onto? Hmmm.
Actually I despise that tree and have for a long time, but its time on Earth may be waning as the leaves have huge spots and some kind of disease as you see in this picture.
My neighbor and I joke about that tree and what a pain it is every Fall. I have told her that I watched that tree from its humble beginnings. Newlyweds moved next door – their starter home. One day they saw a Maple seedling that sprouted up in the grass on the City property. I was outside doing yard work, and, out of the corner of my eye, I watched them looking at that little seedling lovingly and then taking a spade to the grass.
They spaded out a circle around the seedling, got some potting soil and patted it down, then staked that seedling and even put a tiny fence around it. And, oh yes … they fertilized it. I witnessed the ritual and told my mother over dinner that evening. We each rolled our eyes and scoffed at the idea that the seedling would survive that Winter, let alone amount to anything resembling a tree. But, it not only survived the Winter, but with lots of TLC and Miracle Gro that seedling thrived. I began to rue the day that a helicopter seed drifted down and took root, and asked myself why I didn’t pull it out before they began nurturing it?
But alas, there will always exist the woulda/shoulda/coulda events in your life.
Like when I was a preteen and raked leaves in the neighborhood for pocket change. Yes, I got an allowance and had to help with our own family’s leaves, but then there were Bobby Sherman 45s or Tiger Beat magazines to buy, or whatever other little treats that a pre-adolescent girl covets and allowance doesn’t always cover. So, I had a reasonable fee and went around the neighborhood on weekends raking leaves.
I spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon raking leaves on a corner house for a rather crotchety older woman. It was a sizable yard and I quoted her $0.50 to do the leaves. There was a whole lot of rakin’ goin’ on and I finished up, lining up at least a dozen plastic bags crammed with leaves along the bottom of her City property for garbage pickup. In those days the garbage men picked up everything – no yard waste pickup existed.
Then, I went and knocked on the door to retrieve my pay. She didn’t answer the door, yet peered at me from the side of the living room curtains. I knocked and knocked and motioned to her to indicate I saw her watching me, but she would not come to the door. I went home dejected and told my parents what happened. My mother clucked her tongue and shook her head and said “poor kid” and my father called her a few choice names and said “I’ll take care of it for you.”
Well he rectified the situation the next morning before he left for work by taking a pair of garden shears and snipping off the knotted tops of each of the plastic bags and dumping them back where they came from, leaving a lovely carpet of colorful foliage on Old Biddy Burgess’s property. He came home and told Mom to tell me he took care of “the situation” and going forward to get paid in advance, or let that be the end of my leaf-raking career!
[Image of seedling from Pinterest]