The Rake’s Progress
Here we are surrounded with color. The Sugar Maple leaves fill the spectrum between deep magenta, vermillion and dark orange, while the Beech are now lemon yellow. The Oak leaves are only now starting to turn dark red. For someone who did not grow up in this climate, it is surreal, but in a pleasant sort of way, to find 100 foot tall trees in day-glow pumpkin orange, sitting next to a tree the color of red vine liquorice. The colors are now so brilliant that even at night, when your color vision fades and you are driving through near total darkness, all it takes is a single street lamp to bring out the blood-red of a Maple tree.
The downside: the leaves fall, and you have to rake them.
Every single day.
Where the hell do they all come from? Gigi says they were all up in the trees, but I think they are like a fungus, coming out of the ground and spreading leaf spores over the asphalt.
Our neighbors, Mary and Wes, loaned us a leaf-basket so that I could haul the leaves I had raked up from the front circular driveway to a mulch pile out back. “The Maples and Beech are the first to go,” Wes informed us, “then the Oak leaves drop later.” I was kind of hoping that this one weekend of raking would do the trick, but Wes in true laconic Yankee style just looked up at the trees in our front yard, still full of yellow and red foliage and announced in an accent just this side of Maine, “Be a while yet.”
True to form, the next morning I came out to inspect the front driveway. Just the night before I hauled five large baskets full of leaves out to mulch pile from there. Now I couldn’t see the asphalt for all the leaves that had fallen overnight.