Fall Feelings of Futility

Fall Feelings of Futility

I had a thought today on the cozy heart warming pleasure there is in taking a fall walk through rustling leaves.

I find the sound of shuffling my feet and kicking up the russet carpet to be a very satisfying one as listening somehow takes me back to childhood. Not to any one particular event mind you, just a feeling of youth.

That gentle comforting thought lasted through the first step into the yard as G2 and I headed out for a little fun bagging leaves. As I gathered piles to scoop up he did just the opposite. I tell you that child got lots of exercise and fresh air and I got a healthy dose of frustration until finally I got into the fun of it by developing a sense of humor and so in our own way we worked away and I found I just needed to work faster than he to make headway.

But there is a question that crosses my mind now and then, generally at this time of year. Why do we even have to pick up leaves? It seems to me that leaves provide a warm blanket, a sort of protective layer between the lawn and snow.  Is that not one of natures natural fertilizer?  That the leaves will rot and provide nutrition to the lawn?

It will be obvious to all of you by now that I am not a gardener of any sort, and I hope my question doesn’t sound too silly, but really doesn’t it make sense?

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31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. eof737
    Nov 26, 2011 @ 01:31:24

    People are creatures of habit, and those who rake their leaves continue to do so, regardless of what others say… ;-)

    Reply

  2. cassiebehle
    Nov 23, 2011 @ 15:05:15

    Not silly at all! Although maybe we do it for safety purposes more than anything. I jumped into a pile of leaves at the end of the block the other day and thought I was going to fall on through to China. ;)

    Reply

  3. Katherine Gordy Levine
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 09:37:17

    One of my pleasant childhood memories is rolling down a hill through all the fallen leaves.

    Let me be a cranky old lady about perfect lawns and green grass. Why?

    Reply

  4. georgettesullins
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 07:32:41

    As you look down our street it’s a patchwork quilt of what gets raked, semi-raked, mulched or left to Nature. I love Soulldipper’s reference to the “ego of lawns.” If you want Yard of the Month, you pick up every last leaf. The season is called Fall not Raked Up.

    Reply

  5. Barb
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 05:46:18

    Our brains must be running on the same track. I looked at the mounds of leaves meeting in my yard and decided that they’d break up their conflab with the next windstorm. Yes…I know…It’s simply blowing the meeting to someone else’s place…but…darn it… they should’ve stayed on the trees if they didn’t want to get pushed around.

    Reply

  6. misswhiplash
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 04:45:39

    Yes , leaves are a natural fertilizer and I think that it only because they begin to look untidy that they are ever picked up..we have a leaf vac that picks up the leaves and chops them up into a bag , we then put the chopped up leaves over the garden plants. If you think about a forest..nobody picks up the leaves, yet the soil in the forest is extremely nutritious and full of good things.
    But also if your leaves are likely to blow into someone else’s garden you could be in trouble so tha is another reason for picking them up..also they get slippery when wet…..

    Reply

  7. shoreacres
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 21:37:36

    I still have a photo of myself as a child in the middle of a pile of leaves, with Dad looking on, rake in hand. We had maples and elms, and used as many as necessary on the flower beds. The rest were burned – this was long ago, when such things were allowed. But near the end of the leaf-fall, they simply were allowed to lie, a thin layer of protection between the grass and the snow.

    You might enjoy this article, which talks about some pros and cons.

    Reply

  8. Chatter Master
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 19:47:06

    I’m totally with you. Why rake? They look pretty. They serve a purpose. And they are part time travel machine as they send so many of us to a youthful place in our hearts..

    Reply

  9. souldipper
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 18:25:58

    Leaves were never raked in my rural childhood – until the ego of lawns crept into our lives! I never rake leaves…my lawnmower mulches them and they are spread over my lawn.

    We used leaves to protect and keep bulbs in the ground over winter. They are a help! We’ve lost sight of it, Chris. But people like you can bring us back to our senses!

    Reply

  10. Janece
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 14:57:24

    Yes, a pile of leaves is a fine mulch in the making. Depending on where it’s located, it can also be a fine home for rodents, a breeding ground for certain critters, and a fire hazard. LOL

    The maples in our front yard are dropping all of these beautiful red and gold leaves. We’re cleaning them up once a week, because they’ll actually kill the green grass that’s underneath them if we leave it. This is probably a regional issue – I live in Southern California, so having green grass all year long where I live is the norm, not the exception.

    On the other hand, the leaves can be moved to a specific location that’s appropriate, and then left to mulch their way into a divine compost that can be used later in the year :)

    Reply

  11. Robin
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 14:55:18

    You hit the nail on the head. The leaves do provide a natural fertilizer. I never rake. We mulch the leaves during the last mow, leaving them to feed the lawn. The lawn loves it. :)

    Sounds like you had fun. Every now and then, I miss raking. It used to be one of my favorite fall activities.

    Reply

  12. Kathryn McCullough
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 14:48:51

    Sounds like fun in the leaves, but I asked the same question to myself recently. Why bother? Surely they will deteriorate by spring, right? Let us know if you find a satisfactory answer. Love your opening alliteration!
    Kathy

    Reply

  13. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 14:48:39

    I never rake leaves. It’s all part of natures plan that they should fall and then be carried away by the wind or will be left behind to fertilize the ground……. (translation: he’s too lazy to rake) :)

    Reply

  14. Judith
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 14:15:19

    What fun the two of you had. I remember when my children and my grandchildren were small enough to find fun in doing just that.

    Reply

  15. ceciliag
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 13:44:27

    EXACTLY I never rake leaves.. EVER.. Plus i drive my truck down the alleys in town and pick up other peoples bagged leaves and bring them out here and throw them into the chicken coop and compost heap! I am a leaf gatherer.. hh ha ha.. c

    Reply

  16. susanthecoach
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 13:10:05

    Oh I remember a wonderful email that went viral years before the concept of viral email was even known that talked about exactly that concept! I wonder if I can find it for you…..

    Reply

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