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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eats Leaves and Rots

Just finished raking the lawn and depositing the leaves on the garden beds (we think it helps the flowers survive the winter). The raker appears to be a dying breed. Here in the country he has been replaced by the riding lawn mower which doubles as a mulcher. In the city lawn services and their multifarious motors rule the mornings: at the end of our street the other week, three guys wearing leaf blowers herded the little beasts into corrals, the guy with the monster yellow mower beat them to pieces, whereupon the blowers regrouped the remains for the benefit of a big tube that sucked them into a truck, which, even though it had a cover over its bed, leaked leaf particles like a dust storm. And we wonder why allergies are on the increase.

I shouldn't cavil about the motors (if I had to do yard work all day every day, I'd want it mechanized too). But at eight o'clock in the morning? And wouldn't requiring rakes and bags actually create jobs? for which nothing is more sacred these days.

The green lawn is actually a tyrant, isn't it. I wonder if anyone's calculated the waste of chemicals and water and gasoline it requires. I'm tempted some years just to let the leaves rot where they fall, but of course peer pressure and the glories of your own patch of conquered wilderness prevail every time. The natural world is perfectly capable of taking care of its own -why don't we let it? Maybe next year....

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