Crunch Time

This has been a great week to enjoy the leaves.  Everywhere I walk with the dog, there are leaves gathered up along edges of sidewalks and in many places folks have been raking so there are little piles all over.  Since it’s been dry for at least a week, it is marvelous to crunch through them as we walk.

During my first autumn at Carleton, one Saturday a bunch of us cut through the wooded area behind the library on the way to the football field.  There was a hollow that was completely filled up with leaves and on a lark, we jumped into the leaves and threw them around for a bit.  The following fall, three of us met up and created another leaf pile on the “bald spot” on campus.  That started a tradition that has continued through the years.  A few friends get together, make a big pile of leave and then jump in.  Normally YA and I scout out locations that morning and then afterwards, everybody adjourns to our house for potluck.  If the weather is bad (or has been bad and leaves are wet), then we skip the pile and go straight to the potluck.  There have only been a couple of years when my travel schedule has kept us from gathering. It’s almost a much fun at this dog has:


Of course, this year there was no leaf pile and no potluck (although YA still wants me to make my chili and leaf cookies) so I’m having to get as much enjoyment from walking through leaves with the dog!

Any spontaneous, impromptu gatherings in your past?

22 thoughts on “Crunch Time”

  1. We aren’t raking leaves this year, just mowing over them and leaving them on the lawn. We cleared out the rain gutters, though, which were full of already decomposing, gloppy leaves.

    Nothing impromptu or spontaneous for us these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We did the back yard yesterday. We raked and blew the leaves to the middle of the yard and then mowed them up. 5 bags. Front yard today.


    2. Removing fall leaves from a lawn is not earth-friendly, especially if you bag them in plastic and send them to a landfill. Left in place, leaves decompose and become an excellent natural fertilizer. It isn’t clear which is better: leaving leaves full on the lawn or mulching them. A mulching mower is better than a standard grass cutting mower. Some folks gather whole leaves and make mulch piles in areas of the lawn (like around trees or shrubs). Our severe winters make it difficult to manage mulch piles by turning them. Some folks donate the leaves to a community mulch center.

      Not surprisingly, the least earth-friendly option is the one chosen by most people. When I had a lawn I mowed it in fall and then never added fertilizer. That worked well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t want my post to sound “more ecological than thou.” There is nothing particularly natural about maintaining a lawn the way we do in this country. People who care about the health of the planet often must balance social expectations against what is best for the environment. When I had a lawn my house was sandwiched between a guy who didn’t even try to keep his land in a lawn and a guy who attended the church of Our Lady of the Lawn. I aimed for a middle ground between them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I have tried just mowing the leaves in the fall and leaving the rest till spring but we have so many leaves in back that spring doesn’t bring us fertilizer, it brings us a whole bunch of wet leaves.

        Some good news (here in the city anyway) is that we can’t put them in plastic bags anymore. Now it’s compostable paper bags.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. The 4 cats of one of my coworkers had a spontaneous gathering outside on Monday night when her daughter left a window open. She found herself at 2:00 am climbing through her neighbors’ trees rounding up the cats and hoping no one would shoot her.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this video, VS, and for that matter, that dog! Also that you put together that tradition.

    I also love the crunching of leaves underfoot. When walking – or biking, now that it’s warm again this week – I aim for the driest looking leaves and walk or roll over them, enjoying the crunch.

    This afternoon there is a semi-spontaneous (we’ve been planing the last few days) sing-in at a local park, for peace and healing… no matter who wins the election, so it doesn’t matter that we don’t know who’s won the presidency. We’ll have to wear masks and distance ourselves – it wouldn’t be possible if it had to be indoors.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The last lawn I owned was the neighborhood cachement area. The leaves in my pack yard, which with the gazebo and planters was no more than about 4-5 square yards. Leaves. Every fall piled up 2-3 deep. No way I could mulch that much. The small front yard also caught leaves but not so many. I would wait until most yards around me were clean by human effort or wind effort, and then haul them in the back of my pickup the one mile to the community mulch center.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi- I love that dog video! But all I can think is how much trouble it was to rake up all those leaves! And then they have to dispose of them too! I’m such a realist; or stick in the mud. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. i am a blue tarp leaf guy
    rake them into a blue tarp that equals 4 pickup truck loads and pull them to a corner of the yard to make a monster pile in the fall that becomes an excellent pile of mulch by the next year
    son took over the yard this year
    bless him i’m booked at my warehouse

    spontaneous only pops up every now and again

    every now and again a musical ditty pops up without planning
    i feel good by james brown with my kids
    kumbia around a campfire
    we are the champions at sporting events
    fun stuff

    was it 50 years ago spontaneous sex was a thing that happened regularly? not too much any more

    spontaneous poetry happens occasionally here on the trail

    poems are good even when they’re not great
    you start with a line then let it relate
    to the thoughts that preceded and then tie to the next
    the line about music and campfires and sex

    the topics require spontaneous rhyme cause if you wrote one and waited you’d wait a long time

    the odds of my poems ever being timely is not
    something i factor into the rhythm of thought
    i just write whatever the next words should
    spontaneous poetry by gosh yessiree

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My sad update: 9 weeks ago the mass on my son’s kidney was spotted. Clerical staff fumbled the task 3 times. Then his kidney wax to come out today. But it got canceled because 2 surgeons sort of tripped over each other an infection. They were going to do the kidney next week. But they cannot get a OT. So now it is scheduled for Dec 3. The issue is the danger of any cancer metastasizing in all this wait. But any cancelation and he goes right in no matter what.


    1. sorry clyde
      the body is unforgiving and doctors who screw it up are not something you figure into the equation
      i hope december 3 comes and goes without a hitch and his surgery is successful and repercussions are non existent


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