Autumn leaves



The first of the Manchurian trees are turning to a burnished copper. The possums have done with grunting and mating and Milo’s guard is now less vigilant. He knows all is well! Soon the first of the awesome petrol driven 4 stroke bazooka leaf blowers will hold their first ear splitting cacophonous concert strapped on the back of very large men or stout women wearing earmuffs and awesome rubber boots. Lawn-mowers will get a reprieve and get locked up in the shed again. Those with small yards will use a humble rake. As is the case every year, I’ll keep a close look out for those kind souls who will forego any kind of leaf removal. They are a rare breed, happy to let the leaf spiral undisturbed downwards towards their final journey, free to nourish soil and grasses and give back what was given to them.

What is it that seems to irk so many of us about those autumn leaves? We have watched the arrival of first spring leaf sprouting, getting larger by the day. Spring would give dappled light filtering through into our lounge-room. A cheer that is only equalled by a warm summer and the inevitable reflection on life in Autumn.

Why this hatred towards dying leaves? The council truck comes by with a huge leaf sucking machine going from tree to tree, leaving soil bare and hungry. Green bins are overflowing with leaves crying out for some respect and empathy. Another few weeks and ladders will be resting against upper story guttering. Men and some women will risk lives at worst or broken bones at best, reaching deep into gutters and downpipes, digging out recalcitrant leaves that were hoping to have escaped. It was not to be.

In the past, before the petrol leaf blowers, autumn and resultant obsessive removal of leaves were the domain of those faced with sad retirement and getting older. The suburbs with trees were often also the places of the well heeled with a rich colony of super-annuity retirees. The retired would spent autumnal days, raking leaves in little heaps on the kerb-side and when dry enough they would put a match to it. Burning autumn leaves with the obligatory handshakes of the rich with the good Rev after the Sunday Anglican service gave the whole of Sydney the smell of what I remember so well. It was called the smell of Sunday Afternoon gloom. Now, the burning of leaves is banned and the leaf blower/sucker has taken its place but the gloom is still hanging in there.

Tags: , ,

25 Responses to “Autumn leaves”

  1. rod Says:

    I can’t stand these leaf machines either. But I have to clean out gutters and water valleys or we can end up with serious trouble.


  2. Adrian Oosterman Says:

    What makes it all so mysterious is that when the leaves are removed people go out and buy mulch for their gardens.
    Go figure !!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    The crunch of dry leaves under my feet is a reminder of a happy childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. petspeopleandlife Says:

    It does seem dumb to remove all that is so good. Folks could be composting all those leaves and then putting them to good use by applying the cheaply made compost to their lawns, trees, shrubs, and flowers.

    Gerard I have to rake leaves from my backyard because it is almost all gravel. The leaves, if allowed to stay on the gravel, decompose and then I have dirt instead of gravel.

    But I have a huge compost pile and leaves and small trimmings are added as acquired. I can no longer rake but my helper does and it’s a twice a year job. The live oaks shed in the spring and the elms, red oaks, and hackberry shed in the fall.

    I can well understand your plight. Those leaf blwers that are used by my wealthy neighbors drives me nuts. Of course all of them use a lawn service that is generally operated by a Mexican crew.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Gardening now seems a bit like mining. Endless petrol driven machinery. Not a weed must be left unpunished, not a blade of grass out of line. All edges to be kept razor sharp, and woe an reckless autumn leaf.
      Garden sheds now resemble chemist’s shop. ALL sorts of potions and killers making grubs very nervous and depressed.
      It’s not at all a joy.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. elizabeth2560 Says:

    The temperature has dropped about 15 degrees in the past week and it is freezing today. I cannot believe how quickly summer disappeared.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. bkpyett Says:

    We utilize our leaves and they become a wonderful mulch. The eucalyptus leaves usually get mown over, as that breaks them up into a better mulch, as they break down more slowly. The council probably sucks up those leaves and sells it on as compost! Many tips charge for green waste disposal and then charge for it when made into compost! I love your cynicism. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, the council here charges for tipping the waste disposal and then sells it back to us as mulch. A double earning. Even so, better than just wasting it, but why don’t people use the autumn leaves.
    Our next door neighbour rakes the leaves away from his shrubs and seems to intensely dislike anything out of order in his garden.
    He needs to have full control and dominates every twig and branch, growing blades of grass beaten and mowed into submission.


  8. M-R Says:

    Leaf-blowers should be made illegal, with HUGE fines that would keep the Councils happy for ages. All this post means is that you live in Bowral where autumn leaves are beautiful if transient; whereas life in Pyrmont doesn’t give rise to your problem. Dunno whether to envy you or not, Gerard …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, one reason we like it here in Highlands. There are real seasons. Another one is you need to be a millionaire to get a place in Pyrmont.
    Great to see you back here again M-R.


  10. auntyuta Says:

    Can’t wait to see the autumn leaves in Bowral if there are still any left by the time we get there! 🙂


  11. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Spring is bursting out here, Gerard. The grass is green and the birds are twitterpated. But I love fall with it’s gorgeous colors and crisp mornings. –Curt


  12. Silver in the Barn Says:

    It’s all about those wretched water-guzzling lawns, Gerard. The layer of damp leaves smothering the lawns all winter long will do them in, at least here. I couldn’t agree more. Moving out here to the country, we are not assaulted with the persistent drone of those awful leaf blowers. But we do look up at the towering oaks with a bit of trepidation knowing a billion or two leaves are about to descend each fall.


  13. berlioz1935 Says:

    You love nature and hate nature haters. So do I. You are one of my mob.


  14. Patti Kuche Says:

    All that great compost!


  15. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    I miss the rake! But the leaf blower is tempting sweet revenge after one’s neighbour has kept one awake all night with a raucous party!!1


  16. chris hunter Says:


    Autumn leaves

    Leaves of thought

    Thought leaves a pattern

    Autumnal leaves of thought

    Autumn (a season of verse)

    Autumnal (overflowing leaves of thought)

    Autumnal verse

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: