Piles of leaves mark the end of fall

As the fall season ends, it brings the beauty of leaves changing their colors. It is usually a beautiful and ever-changing panorama of color.

Different kinds of trees give us different colors, some brilliant reds, others bronze and shades of browns. While it seems to me it took the leaves a little longer to change this fall, they did change — and then dropped.

Memories of fall seasons when I was growing up bring with them raking leaves. Our yard at home had several big, old elm trees along with a number of maples. We had lots of leaves to rake.

Most people, as did we, would rake their leaves to the road ditch and burn them. The odor of smoke from burning leaves would fill the air, sometimes making it very smoky. When we would burn them, we would come into the house with our clothes smelling like burned leaves. That usually didn’t make our mother very happy.

When we were young, we enjoyed raking the leaves into big piles and jumping into them. That would scatter them and we had to rake them over again on into the ditch. Or if the leaves were too thick, we raked them onto an old canvas and dragged them to the ditch.

Frankly, I am happy that we no longer burn leaves. The smoke-filled air of the fall was not all that pleasant to me. To have the clean, sometimes crisp, cool air of fall is much more pleasant.

Our home during the enjoyable years we lived in Cortland had a big front yard with huge oaks and maples. We also had a small forest in back of the house with room to take the leaves and pile them.

Even with a blower on wheels to help get the leaves on the tarp, it was work. So as I got older and lazier, I bought a leaf pickup machine that hooked onto the back of the mower that had plenty of horsepower. The combination made fall leaf pickup much more pleasant.

Where we live now, we don’t have a lot of trees. We are able to mulch the leaves back on the lawn if we can catch them before they get too wet and heavy.

My hope is that I have mulched the leaves for the last time this week. It is too cold to be riding around on the mower this time of the year, even if I wear my insulated coveralls.

So if you have leaves to get rid of, I hope you were able to get the job done before winter sets in.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!