The Dark Side of Fall

I usually wax ecstatic about Fall and my love for it: the glorious color, the holidays, the takeover of pumpkin. Today, though, I discovered the dark side of the season. You see, those gorgeous leaves? They have an irritating tendency to fall (hence the name of the season) off trees and blanket your yard.

But those leaves become the stuff memories are made of as you and your children throw armfuls of leaves and jump in them! You relish the crunch of them under your feet. You delight in helping your son find the maple leaves that resemble starfish so he can construct a family tree out of leaves on the porch!


Our family tree in leaves

Beautiful, beautiful Fall. Until the day your husband comes to you and tells you he borrowed his friend’s leaf blower so he could clean up the yard. It turns out that the grass doesn’t like to be covered by leaves, and the leaves choke the soil; this year, Jimmy decided that our normal policy of benign neglect for our yard had come to an end. We needed to save the grass.

So, Jimmy spent a few hours blowing the leaves into piles that snaked around our yard. Daniel and I filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with leaves to dump way out in our backyard. Seeing that it would take us days to dispose of the leaves this way, Jimmy bought a huge tarp for us to rake the leaves on and then drag to the backyard.  Three times we filled the tarp and took it to the spot in the backyard where Jimmy composted it with the mower. After that third trip, we called it quits for the day. We still have at least two more tarps worth tomorrow.

I could focus on the quality family time we had outside, the priceless time to bond over rakes, giant tarps and brown leaves. I am, but I’m also beginning to wonder what our yard would be like without trees.

leaves on the tarp

Third time filling the tarp


    1. I really do love the leaves & would hate not to have our trees – they are a big reason we bought this house! However, today, I wasn’t feeling very positively towards them 😉


  1. Or you could do what we do and have a yard without grass 🙂 . Very easy! Though I do literally drive around picking up other families’ bagged leaves at this time of year to give our yard better coverage, especially the front yard where my DH had all the pine trees cut down (which I mostly like — the lack of pine trees — but those needles were great ground cover!).

    I’m told another good solution is to run a lawn mower over the leaves but leave them on the grass, that chopped up they provide insulation without being overwhelming. But I am no expert.

    My enthusiasm for a grassless yard notwithstanding, we do need to get some trees chopped down — but that is itself expensive, when you’re talking big ones that can’t be felled without threatening homes or power lines. Another (aggravating) issue to consider.

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