Sunday, November 19, 2006

Day of Leaves

There's one of them every year. Even if you try to keep up with the leaves as they fall, the trees always seem to save up for a big leaf dump right as they drop the last of their leaves. And then the raking begins (don't even talk to me about leaf blowers -- they're wretched, noisy, fume-spewing beasts). G-Dog started as I went out to run some errands this afternoon, and was still at it by the time I made it back home. I picked up a second rake while I was out, so I joined in the fun (shhh! don't tell, but I kinda like raking) as soon as I got home. Emmie eventually turned up and took over G-Dog's rake (she's the barely visible figure in the photos below) and then she and I moved the Great Leaf Pile out to the curb and spread it into a neat snake-like pile (hopefully the city will be coming through our neighborhood this week with their big leaf-sucking truck).

The trees are definitely bare now, at least in our yard, so that wraps up the raking for another year. It was fun while it lasted. While we were finishing up, a train drove through a crossing nearby and I could hear not only the whistle, but also the chugging of the train as it moved along its way. It's a sound I'll always enjoy -- and makes me happy I've moved downtown, where I'm likely to hear it much more often than I did when I was out in the suburbs -- a wistful, restless sound that brings with it so many memories and associations that I forgot I was raking there for a bit. Between the train and the wonderful smells that leaf raking can stir up, the afternoon's labor turned into quite the sensory experience.

It was not a bad way to spend a crisp Sunday afternoon. I hope yours was just as enjoyable.

8 comments:

Scott & Ads said...

Hey, don't get so wistful-- we've still got leaves and now you're just a block or two away! I'll get one of those train whistles from the Choo-Choo's gift shop and just toot while you rake.

eeek said...

I'd really love to have a crisp afternoon. It must have pushed 90 here.

Rebekah said...

great blog!

Tim said...

Ya know, I see leaves as both good and evil things. Good, because I love the sweet smell from autumn that they add to, and evil, because when they're wet, they're slippery. And for a clutz like me, my feet search them out, and down I go.



Speaking of trains, do the still bring that old steamer through in June? I remember something about Dayton - and the line that goes through there - a steamer coming through and I'd always rush to see it snailing on by . . .

alice said...

Steamer? I dunno -- I'll have to look into it...

Keera said...

I don't get quite the enjoyment from leaves as you do since raking doesn't do much good on pavement. We hose, pile and shovel into lawn bags. Still, huge yellowed leaves are their own pleasure.

sravana said...

Leaf-sucking truck? What a luxury. Here in Texas we have to bag them up ourselves. Of course, when I had my house I had a more ecological practice: mulching the excess leaves that weren't chewed up by the mulching lawn mower. Those were the days.



I also was two blocks away from a railroad, and got to hear the train all hours of the day and night. I loved the sound of the train, too...



There is a train near where I live today, too.

alice said...

We usually mulch the leaves with the mower, but they had become too numerous for that in this case, so we raked. I miss the smell of burning leaves that used to come along with fall, but I think incineration is illegal around here these days, so we just push them out to the curb. I'm grateful for the pickup service because I really, really, really hate having to bag leaves.