Writers have long waxed poetic over the turning of the leaves. Nature’s annual colorfest has dazzled with hues of red, orange and yellow. Fall is celebrated for its wondrous beauty.
Yeah, let me tell you about the people who pen those odes and saturate their mega-pixel cameras with color. They don’t have trees in their yards!
They aren’t standing in yards looking at all that color that now lays dead on the ground. As much as the wind blows in Kansas, it doesn’t blow hard enough through our yard to take away our leaves. What that means is that we must rake.
We don’t have a big front yard. What we do have are two monstrous sweetgum trees, a deciduous tree – meaning its leaves fall off at maturity. Forget deciduous, the tree is insidious. In a gradual, subtle evil way those trees have sucked every ounce of ground water out of our yard and have grown to monstrous size. With no chance grass will ever grow again, Laura and I have developed a little love and a lot of hate relationship with our trees.
Maybe our problems with leaves stem from past neighbors. We have two trees, the houses to our side and across the street do not. There are many other trees along our street, including two mighty oaks; yet, our trees have been deemed the bearers of the fiendish foliage.
An older lady that lived across the street would rage at us claiming our leaves were the culprits blocking her gutters. Our neighbor chose to condemn us by raking her leaves across the street and into our yard.
Former neighbors to our west would come out when we left home to rake all their leaves into massive piles in our yard. I once tried to point out the differences between leaves from sugargum trees and those from an oak tree as proof that not all their leaves were from our trees. That proved pointless when the father’s many grown sons came storming out of the rental house to defend their father.
Fortunately, that issue didn’t last long. Turns out multiple families were packed into the house like a semi-trailer crossing the Texas border at night. Eviction quickly followed. Since then, we have been left in peace to deal with our annual leaf battle. We even rake a major portion of our new neighbor’s yard.
So, there we were last Sunday, rakes in hand, readying ourselves for what turned out to be 2 1/2 hours of work. Twenty six large plastic bags later, the job was done for another year.
Hopefully, soon, we will see the tree buds of spring through our bedroom windows. Of course, that also means along with those leaves come the green seed pods that soon turn brown and fall to the ground causing another set of problems. Let’s not even go there. Like I said – insidious!