Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lessons in leaf removal

by Scott Dalen

I thought about doing homework today. Really and truly I did. But alas, it was not really meant to least for the most part. I also thought about taking a nap this afternoon, as is my normal Sunday custom. This one really didn't happen.

It's my own fault though. I'll claim it.

Here in northwest Iowa, we have a wonderful (catching the sarcasm yet?) season when all the trees turn beautiful colors (aka really ugly brown) and fall off...all over my lawn. I swear that there is an invisible barrier that separates my back yard from the three adjacent lawns and ever leaf stays in my yard. Actually, the boundaries are caused because I have retired neighbors on all sides. They have the oppurtunity to clean up the leaves during the day when I'm slaving away at work. But that's beside the point.

About a week ago, a pretty fair share of the leaves had dropped, so I went down the street to my in-law's to borrow their mulching mower. That did a pretty good job chopping everything up. Well, fast forward a week and it was time to do the followup leaf cleanup as the trees were pretty much done shedding. I began this process yesterday afternoon.

I had no more than started raking and burning leaves slowly in my fire ring, when my neighbor from across the street (ironically another online seminary student...though not through Luther) came walking over with his leaf blower.

"Here man, this makes it way easier."

Which turned out to be true. I worked on blowing the leaves into very large piles and continuing to burn them (very slowly) until it got too dark to see. I knew that my mission would continue to though, so all was not lost.

Well, I did in fact finish it all up this afternoon, but in doing so, I learned two very important lessons.

Lesson #1. Never mulch leaves before using a leaf blower. Even a week later, the little chopped up leaf pieces are a major pain in the tail to blow around.

Lesson #2. Only applies to my personal situation. Loading the leaves up into the truck and hauling them across town to the dump works much faster than trying to burn them all in very small fire pit. Someone with a large garden or other type of bare ground could burn much large quanities faster, and someone that does not have a truck would have a hard time loading up leaves to haul them.

Lessons learned.

I just wish I'd gotten a nap.


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