The Leaf Man Cometh

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So much for plans to sleep in on Saturday. Late last night I realized that TODAY was the volunteer leaf pick up in my town. Most years the city provides leaf vacuuming, curbside, but the last two years, no-go. Budgets and all that. This year a mayoral candidate organized a volunteer effort to pick up the leaves and take ’em to the county mulch pile. Cool.

I’m not a leaf raker & bagger normally. I believe in mulching the leaves to feed the grass, rather than consigning bags of leaves to the dump. But I haven’t kept up with raking this year, so this was an opportunity to support the cause, ensure the leaves go to mulch and not landfill, and catch me up. There are still leaves around to mulch, so fall’s duties are not quite over.

Pickup starts at 8 a.m. so at 6 a.m., wishing I was still snug in my warm bed, I’m out there in the dark, raking and bagging. A street light made it reasonably possible for the first hour or so, but I still felt a bit sneaky doing it in the dark! Results? My shoulders ache, I’m still amazed my little yard could generate twelve bags of leaves, but at least the task is complete. Now I can shower and leaf (groan) to go the coffee shop for the day to work on the Nano novel.

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Fall Signs

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My favorite time of the year is here once again. Autumn brings renewal, refocus, and the reminder to pull out and clean heavier clothing. For all the beauty autumn brings, it does so only briefly, giving way to winter (my second favorite season) sooner than I’d like. Brief or not, it’s a marvelous time to spend outdoors.

Here in Northwest Ohio colors are beginning to peek out here and there. Fall is a relatively short season, and if one isn’t mindful of the days, hours, and minutes, it’s easy to miss the transformations. Having spent 35 years in Texas, where fall colors are best seen in a book, after a long airplane ride, or earned via a long drive (Lost Maples State Park comes to mind). I have some glorious photos taken there pre-digital, and one of these days I need to try to scan and share them. I’m sure a good portion of New England’s leaf peepers come from the Lone Star State.

Fall is a great time for leisurely strolls, sweater weather, rustling leaves, and visual delights from Mother Nature. After a warm summer, we’re all ready to slow down and take a few deep breaths. The temperature shifts, vegetation thinking of sleep, and the light shifts that signal our bodies to start the renewal process. Pay attention and the autumnal glories can calm the inner self and set up for winter’s cocoon.

I live in a small town where Main Street’s old, beautiful houses are surrounded by trees that choregraphically burst into color every year. If the weather’s been right, enough rain but not too hot, it’s a glorious sight…at least for a few weeks. Add to that treat are my planned color day-trips, one south to Hocking Hills mid-October, and one north into Michigan late October. If I time it right, they both should provide good opportunities to deplete my digital camera batteries. Meanwhile, there’s plenty to see locally, and in a few weeks that other treat of the season should appear: pumpkin pie. With whipped cream (of course).

Good and Bad

Fall Colors