Leaf Luck

Last fall, I didn’t rake leaves. The neighbor’s giant mulberry tree was bare, many of its leaves piled against the fence on the south side of my yard. But the tree in my front yard, the paradise tree, was the last on the block to lose its leaves.

I didn’t even see it happen. I came home from work one windy November afternoon and my tree was bare, its leaves, and those of the neighbor’s tree that had fallen into my yard, blown away. Gone. All on their own.

My yard was cleaned up for the season, fortuitously.

This fall, thOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe mulberry has dropped some beautiful yellows in and around my yard, but, for the most part, it still has most of its leaves and they’re still mostly green (the tree in the background of the photo). My paradise tree, however, is bare, the ground beneath it littered with groups of flat, gray, ugly clumps of leaves connected with spindly stems. I love this tree for its straight trunk and size, not for its foliage.

This November has had nothing but beautiful days–warm, sunny, no rain or snow, no wind. I always wonder what it is, exactly, that makes different trees’ leaves change colors and drop at different times. And why, for some trees, it’s a two-month process, and for others it seems to happen all in one day. Why some years you’re lucky, some years you’re not.

This fall, I had to rake. I  say had to rake as if it’s horrible, horrible to be outside on such a glorious day getting a bit of exercise and fresh air. I consider myself fortunate. I have a yard, I’m capable of raking, and, on top of that, the leaves were dry and light and easy to move.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI raked the driveway, swept my porch area, and moved all the leaves from my yard to the street in about two hours’ time. The city workers pass through with their leaf vacuum three times each fall. I am grateful that our city offers this service. Do you have leaf vacuuming trucks where you live?001

I just hope they get it done before we get a super windy day, before the light, dry leaves that were so easy to rake get blown right back into my yard. I enjoyed working outside today, but that doesn’t mean I want to do it all over again next weekend.

When I finished my yard work, I sat outside and read and admired my spruced-up yard, the afternoon sunshine warming my back.

And I tried to ignore all those green leaves, on the neighbors’ mulberry tree, that still have yet to fall.