Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf is a flower.
We have lots of autumn “flowers.”
Lots and lots of flowers.
(That’s an old photo. I forgot to document this year’s “garden” before we’d already started raking it.)
Every year, Jeff and I have The Great Leaf Debate where I argue that leaves are God’s mulch and by raking them we are interfering in The Master Plan and The Way Things Happen Naturally.
Brandishing my copy of Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards, I contend that we’re disturbing all kinds of beneficial insects and salamanders and who knows what all from overwintering by removing their leaf cover habitat, and we’re depriving birds of protein-filled meals, and we’re making more work for ourselves by removing leaf litter which decomposes into humus which is good for soil. Which means we’re going to have to amend the soil to grow any vegetables in the spring.
At this point I always remember too late that I’ve overdone it, because now Jeff can remind me that he’s the one who does all the work amending the soil for the garden, and also weeding it once I’ve lost control. And it’s true. I just can’t seem to keep up with the dang weeds.
Dang. I lose again. Stupid weeds.
So I concede that the yard is his domain and since he never ever tells me how to keep house, I should take direction as to groundskeeping.
(Ha! That’s a joke. Jeff is always telling me how to keep house, but I just ignore him. And that’s how we’ve stayed married all these years.)
Anyway, he does the bulk of the leaf-wrangling too, so I really honestly can’t complain about the workload. And since I’m not going to win The Great Leaf Debate I choose to think of the whole endeavor as a really awesome outdoor workout.
I’m not stripping my lawn of its natural security blanket, leaving it naked and vulnerable and bare! I’m doing cardio! I’m getting my heart rate up! I’m feeling the burn!
According to CaloriesPerHour.com, raking leaves burns about 260 calories per hour for a person of my weight. More, if you’re raking very vigorously so you can get it over with and get your self-righteous ass back to the work you’re seriously behind in.
So by my estimate, if you spend two hours raking very vigorously AND you’re constantly chasing down the St Bernard puppy who keeps stealing rakes/unpiling leaves AND you’re making up leaf-raking choreography that involves high kicks, rake baton twirling and singing songs from A Chorus Line in a warbly falsetto? Roughly 10 million calories burned. Give or take.
If you’re raking leaves against your will, you may as well enjoy yourself. Next year I think I’ll give it a go in heels and a full-skirted party dress. And a beehive hairdo.
That is, if anyone asks me.
This post brought to you by someone who has not had a lot of sleep all in one place lately, and genuinely hopes that her husband still has a sense of humor.
Seriously, don’t you think raking leaves is dumb?