Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Turning Leaves

Posted to OGR on 10/24/2010

When I looked at the comics section of the paper this morning, it seemed that there must have been a run on red, brown and yellow ink! Art is truly reflecting life! Down here in the south we are a week or two away from the peak leaf colors. Some of my Facebook friends have posted pictures that are all awash in fall colors and I am anticipating the trees in my neighborhood to take on those colors. Most of the trees in my yard are evergreens but there are some dogwoods and pear trees that accentuate the scene with their colorful mantles. I love the way the sunlight plays on the leaves for those precious few days before the leaves fall to the ground.

You may think that having mostly evergreens make it easier raking the yard but it really doesn’t. You see, evergreens shed in the fall, they just don’t shed everything. So there are plenty of pine needles to rake up in my yard. Moreover, they take a longer time doing it. The pine needle shedding season lasts a couple of months, instead of the much shorter time the deciduous trees take turning and shedding. So from September to late November, I am out there with rake and leaf blower making the yard presentable again. I wait until mid November to have someone come over and clear my roof in order to have all the pine needles removed all at once.

When I was younger, I used to hate yard work. As I got older I began to appreciate being out of doors on a crisp cool fall day, under the bright yellow sun and rich blue skies, gathering the pine straw into a large pile at the edge of the street. Somehow that pile never stays there until the city picks it up. Many of the surrounding neighborhoods don’t have pine trees and those needles are like brown gold. Some weekends, the pickup trucks stop by even before I get the leaves completely raked up. When that happens I really enjoy the conversations with the leaf scavengers as we work together to load their pickups. The camaraderie of the rake; the conversation turns from the gorgeous fall weather to an evaluation of this years’ pine needle crop. I never thought of myself as a farmer, but maybe in some small way, I am. Oh MY!

Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley

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