My neighborhood is full of old houses and old trees–LOTS of big old trees. I find this especially attractive. We’re at the edge of downtown Rochester, but we look almost like we’re out in the country somewhere.

There are a variety of trees, but I think maples are the most common. They are in my yard. I have a long, narrow backyard, with maple trees along three sides of my fence. The trees are old. They were full-grown when I bought the house 25 years ago. They are very big. They have a lot of leaves.

I’ve had to explain my leaf raking to people, and they often don’t understand why I say I’ve been doing it for weeks. It’s not unusual to get through about half of the raking when the snow starts, and then to finish when the weather clears up in the spring.

Sure, I could get one of those electric things to push my leaves around, but since I don’t have a garage (or any other place) to store it, it’s not practical for me. And I have to admit I enjoy going out on a nice fall afternoon and raking with an actual old-fashioned rake.

This past week has been great–we’ve had temperatures in the 70s and some windy days that helped the leaves come down. But the most special thing has been the Fall Leaf Collection. The city does this every year. When you have as many leaves as I do, it’s a wonderful thing, because for this week only I could move leaves to the curb without bagging them.

Let’s put this in perspective. I spent some time every day for a full week raking, and the leaves were picked up yesterday. I think that took care of about half of the leaves, since there are still more that need to come down (so I can do more raking).


I made it a priority to go out and thank the city workers yesterday. Watching them do this is something I would enjoy even if I had no leaves for them to pick up.

Oh, and the pictures that are at the end of this post were taken after the week of deleafing. I’m pretty sure if someone walked into my back yard today, they would assume I haven’t done any raking at all. And sometimes that’s how I feel, too, even though I know better!

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