The Joys of Fall, or Lack Thereof (D7)

I love Fall. I love it for all the reasons you tend to hear — beautiful colors, sweater weather, warm soups and beverages, just to name a few.

Of course there are the not so fun parts. Winterizing the outside of the house, clearing and preparing the yard and planting beds, storing away the porch furniture and yard decorations. And my personal favorite — raking, raking and more raking! This last reason was why we searched for a home in the city with fewer trees on the property.

Of the 3 trees we had, two have been removed because they were not in good shape. The third, also with growing signs of unhealthiness, is on a list with the City for removal. However, it tends to drop its leaves late in the season and in a fairly contained area of the yard. Bonus — that area is in close proximity to the street curb so you can simply blow or rake the leaves directly to the road for pickup.

Of course we also have the enjoyment, and I mean enjoyment in the most sarcastic way possible, of the trees that are located just outside of the property lines of our back yard. There is a black walnut tree on one side and a maple tree on the other.

The walnut is manageable, though it drops mass quantities of these weird little leaves and branches. And and OH THE NUTS! The squirrels pretty much take care of those green bundles of joy. The other items honestly just get mulched by the mower.

Then there is the maple. Who knows how old this tree is, but two people probably couldn’t combine spread arms to wrap around the trunk. It’s branches reach well onto both sides of the property line and it is very alive and thriving. In honesty, it is a beautiful tree!

The previous owner, a wonderful older woman, had a service that annually came out near the end of each season to trim off any dead or obtrusive branches and clean up the leaves both in her yard and ours. We loved her very much for that! The new owners…well, not so much! There are branches that sway very close to our barn and can dip down in strong winds close to where we park our cars. And it’s leaves go everywhere! Not just covering their yard and ours, but even into the neighbor’s yard on our other side.

This tree tends to drop its leaves over time. So just when you have cleaned up the last dropping, it can’t wait to share another, and another. There is no annual tree maintenance or leaf service now. In fact I think they installed their nice privacy fence so they only had to ponder the leaves and branches in their own yard, without any worry about what was next door.

Now I don’t mean any of this in an unneighborly way. We love the neighbors — they are very nice people. And we get the whole concept that when it comes to leaf cleaning — it’s all about location, location, location. So we clear the leaves. And we clear them again. And again. Until there are none!

Last year, my husband was the proud recipient of an old John Deer tractor. The mower deck was very rusty and had to be removed, but he had visions of re-purposing the tractor into a make-shift plow for our very long driveway. The plow part has not yet come to pass, but he was able to borrower his Dad’s lawn “sweeper”. He drives the tractor around and around until the leaves are all caught up in the hopper on the back. Then he backs up and drops them at the curb. Walla — yard done in about an hour!

This new contraption (did I really just use that word?) Has made Fall cleanup a little more enjoyable. For my husband, because there is very little raking anymore. For me just the fun of watching him ride around on his tractor, in the city!

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