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Don’t leave me again

Leaves. Where would we be without them? I would be in front of the television sprawled on the couch, a cool beverage and my favorite cheese crackers close at hand, not out in the yard wrestling with them. It’s another one of our silly conventions. We think leaves on the ground are bad. They don’t seem to bother us in the woods, though. By my calculation they should be about 10 feet deep in there by now. Who takes care of the leaves in the woods? The leaf fairy?

I tried ignoring them in my own yard, but the fairy did not come. Another of our odd customs is the growing of grass and a carpet of leaves is not conducive. Here are some choices.

Prevention. You can remove the source. This is a little expensive, but in the long, long run may be the most effective. However, most people are attached to their trees. They take a long time to raise, sort of like children. The idea of chopping them down seems vaguely homicidal.

A good method is to hire someone to do cleanup. This is my favorite. The pros will take them away and it will be like they never existed, sort of like that inconvenient witness in The Godfather. Most people are not willing to pay, however, at least not until they have struggled with the testimony, er, I mean the leaf deluge, for awhile.

Disposal is a separate issue. In my town we do not have that neat truck with the huge sucker hose that inhales leaves, sticks, stones, stray cats and unwary toddlers. Your options, after piling leaves up in front of your house at the street,  are: (1) Hire somebody to cart them away, the best answer if you have the money; (2) Cart them away yourself. This is often done at night by folks with a vacant lot or an unwary neighbor nearby; (3) Burn, baby, burn. The highway department does not like this. It seems the heat disassembles the components of the asphalt street.  Also, the phone company does not appreciate the melting of the insulation on the overhead wires. (4) Wait for the neighborhood  kids to disperse them by jumping in the seductive leaf pile. (5) Pretend you don’t notice that the wind is spreading them all over the neighborhood.

Or you could just move to Nebraska. Leaves are not a problem when you do not have trees. However, this does bring us to the issue of grasshopper cleanup. It seems that when your entire state is basically a huge grain field….

Bill Abrams resides (and ponders on the leaf situation) in Pine Plains.


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