Yes, another autumn is here.
The time of year when the trees become a grand kaleidoscope of scintillating colors…
for about a day and a half prior to a massive and complete shift to variations of turd brown followed by them covering the world in a blanket of rotting decay.
I hate fall.
People will actually plan trips around watching leaves die!
Hey, if you want to see nature, go to the forest when it’s verdant and teeming with life.
If you want to see dead things, go on a tour of old graveyards.
At least you’ll gain some historical knowledge.
There is an Unholy Trinity of yard work:
Lawn Mowing, Leaf Raking and Snow Shoveling.
However, the one associated with autumn is by far the worst.
Deciding not to mow one day may make it a little slower or messier the next time around.
Even while digging out of the worst snowfall, in the back of your head the thought exists that if you gave up and went inside; someday the stuff would eventually melt.
But once those leaves pile up, they aren’t going anywhere on their own. Time will only congeal them into a larger, more unpleasant mass.
Because of these differences, a rainstorm just before a planned mow can be a respite.
One before winter driveway cleaning may actually melt the snow to make shoveling easier.
But for leaves, precipitation forces you to stand and watch the job get heavier and more disgusting with each falling drop.
Then there’s the wind.
A breeze can be the one thing to provide a rescue from heat exhaustion while mowing.
Equipment adjustments can usually minimize the amount of times an errant gale uses the snow blower exhaust to create a face-cicle.
But any air currents during leaf season yield a never ending nightmare.
Not only does the wind generate a barrage of more work down from the branches, but it also causes all manner of overshoot, undershoot and general chaos out of order to thwart anyone foolish enough to fight the backyard entropy that comes with this season.
Of course, the only one of the three that covers all surfaces also has the most annoying durability.
Grass can be mulched, snow melted, but leaves gotta be hauled.
Sure- they can theoretically be mulched as well.
Yes, mulched into a larger, denser, more easily inhaled batch of small leaves to be hauled.
As annoying as Mowing and Shoveling can be, at least they have the decency to remain completely separate from each other.
There’s no need to mow the driveway.
There’s no need to shovel the lawn.
And snowfall on the grass only means, “Time to put the mower away.”
Not only do leaves need to be removed from the lawn, driveway and any other property owned by the rake or blower holding victim, they have an intensely strong negative interaction with the other two.
Anything above minor lawn growth will tangle into the leaves, anchoring the discarded; desiccating dead things to the ground like a lollipop in a two year old’s hair.
On the flip side, in case the idea of mowing first seemed like an escape, the sheer volume of tree refuse will gum up the blades preventing the grass from being cut until the mower vomits forth a giant cellulose hairball or seizes up altogether.
On colder days, snow freezing over leaves creates the closest approximation to a physics student’s theoretically frictionless surface as is possible in nature.
It also spot wields the brown buggers onto the driveway making the shovel useless. Snow blowers fare no better as neither they nor the poor fool pushing them are able to gain traction. This inevitably leads to random doom filled slides while the whirling blades of death threaten to eat the aforementioned fool, or at least coat him with pulpy brown confetti.
As if the leaves weren’t bad enough, there are also the spiking extremes of the already insanely unpredictable weather.
It’s wonderful to shiver enough to shake the steering wheel on every morning commute, and then swelter to the point of blindness on the way home. Forgetting to hyper shift the car’s climate control system from one drive to the next inevitably worsens the issue.
Flu season starts.
Allergies are still in high gear.
Storms of all kinds are possible.
Did the weather report call for a frost warning this week?
Let me tell you how I feel about winter…