It’s raining leaves today, our annual festival of falling color. Out every window we can see vivid fall colors, across the road, down the street, beyond the next door neighbors. Because it has been a different weather pattern year, the crape myrtles, which are usually glorious this time of year with red and yellow and gold leaves, mostly just dried up and dropped after an early freeze. But the oaks and the sweetgums and the Bradford pears and many others, whose names I do not know, are more beautiful every day.
We have a kind of love-hate relationship with the leaves. When the trees are green and it is hot weather, they give us wonderful shade and shelter and make all the difference to our comfort inside and out. When the leaves turn, they make a kind of visual poem to autumn and simply lift our hearts with their beauty. When they are raked and chopped and composted, the leaves turn into mulch and eventually compost, a type of home-grown plant food for the garden. But in between the time the leaves start turning and the time they are all raked and chopped and stacked, the leaves become rather difficult playmates, because they ride wind currents right into our garden room, if we sweep them off the patio they simply seem to blow right back toward us, they hitch a ride on our cat’s fur, and they create for us a lot of work.
Today I vacuumed up all the leaves on the patio, then I raked some that were damp into a pile too wet to vacuum and pushed and pulled the pile around the corner to the south side of the house, because today we have a south wind and they would just come back. Tonight we are due what is called a cold spell and the wind will change around to the north. Either way, hopefully that leaf pile will not come back toward our back door, and either way our cat will likely make a joyful nest there.