Sunday, November 20, 2011

When Good Trees Go Bad

We knew when we moved here to Idaho that we would experience a different climate.  We have actually looked forward to the cooler weather and actual seasons, not just the hot and less hot seasons of Phoenix.  The leaves and trees and all the colors are absolutely amazing!  I feel like a kid sometimes in that I am awestruck by all the new scenery and sights and smells. 

Credit: Roadsidepictures/Flickr

It's all such a refreshing change of pace from the dry, brown desert we have lived in forever.  FOREVER.  FOR. EVER.

It's funny though, how things that look so cool on the surface can suddenly be not so cool in reality.  Like the changing leaves, for instance.  They are a canvas of colors and patterns that are so enjoyable to look at while we walk along the river banks.  When they started falling one by one from the tree in our front yard, they became individual pieces of art that the boys studied and collected.  Then we had an extremely cold night.  And when we opened the door to go to school the next morning we found this:

A Naked Tree!!  Just days before we were wondering why our neighbors' trees were all but bare, while ours was still full of green, healthy foliage!  Then BAM!  Just like that we have a 4 inch deep carpet of leaves covering our yard and driveway.  Apparently, our neighbors' trees have figured out that if they disrobe a little at a time, their owners can keep up with the raking and the bagging.  Our lovely tree  decided to give us a hearty fall welcome with a full-blown, leaf-filled ticker tape parade!  Which we missed, by the way, because it happened at night!  While we were sleeping!!   Either our tree isn't a very good event planner or it is an accomplished practical joker.  Either way we were shocked at how many leaves the thing had once worn! 

The first thing Little Man wanted to do was make a leaf angel.  I know!  What a great idea, right?  I was hormonal cold and grumpy when he asked and we were running late for school so I told him no.  Why did I say that?  I have no idea.  I just blurted it out.  It wasn't a complicated request.  It's not like he asked if we could snowshoe to Russia or use the leaves for toilet paper (oh, don't think he didn't think about that option, he's totally into Survivorman and Man Vs Wild.  It's only a matter of time until he tries it, believe me!).  It wouldn't have caused any harm.  What was my problem?  Gees, I've got to loosen up! 

Rather than start raking the minute I got home, I decided to ignore the leaves and check my email save the leaves for Little Man so he could have some fun before we disposed of the giant gift from our tree friend.  He and a few friends rolled around in them, jumped in them, made piles our of them and threw them for about an hour before they decided they were done. 

  (Leaf Angels)

The weather man kept saying it was going to snow, so Big Man and I left the leaves where they were for a few days, hoping that maybe we'd get enough snow to cover them and then they could just kind of hibernate and compost over the winter, thereby saving us from clean up duty.  No such luck.  We had no snow.   Just some rain.  Which made the leaves wet.  And heavy.  So the blower didn't work and we had to rake. 

Two hours and eight giant, stuffed bags later we had a clean yard again.  Actually, when I think about it, the tree kind of did us favor.  There are still a lot of trees around town waiting to shed the last of their fall foliage.  Everybody else has been raking intermittently for 3 weeks now and many probably have one more big clean up to do before the snow hits.  We got ours done in one shot.  Maybe this tree ain't so bad after all. 

So yeah...the fall colors and changing leaves are beautiful to look at, but not as much fun to clean up.  Still - I'd rather rake leaves in the crisp fall air that pull weeds in the hot desert sun any day.

PS - I forgot to do the Hexbug Giveaway, tune in Tuesday for the winner!!   


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