Monday, October 27, 2014

Why Don't You Make Like a Tree, and Leaf

The Wife and I have a love/hate relationship with our trees, a relationship which is tipped, for a large portion of the year, very much towards the "hate" side of the scale. Right now it might be more like loathing, or even abhorrence. Our trees are the worst!

To be honest, we only have three trees on our property, but the smallest of them is gigantic, and the others get bigger from there. They are all maples, so in the spring, as soon as the air temperature in Minnesota warms up from "ice age" to just slightly frigid, all three trees form these red bud-like things that stay on the branches for approximately four minutes, until they all fall off and completely cover our yard, driveway, and cars, turning everything into a squishy red mess.

More and more of these red things grow on the trees for a few weeks, and then about two hours after they have all fallen, the trees start to drop their helicopters all over the place. If we want to go anywhere outside of our house, we have to walk through a sticky hodgepodge of red goo and helicopters, which then gets tracked all over our house and in our cars and wherever we happen to have driven. We should each probably start traveling with our own personal dustbuster so we can clean up after ourselves, but we aren't that forward-thinking. Perhaps next year, although I probably will have forgotten this great idea by then.

From about August 8th to August 17th our trees give us nothing but pleasure. They are fully leafed out, they don't bombard us with helicopters or red goo, and they are so large that they pretty much keep our entire house shaded all day long, significantly reducing our air conditioning bills. Then the first hint of fall comes, and the big, stupid tree in the back yard starts to lose its leaves, a process which takes approximately 6 months to complete. Our backyard is covered in a fresh blanket of leaves pretty much every day for those 6 months, no matter how tirelessly we try to get them all picked up the day before.

The two red maples in the front take pity on us during this time, by holding onto almost all of their leaves until after the first snow falls. Isn't that nice of them? It is super fun to try to go out and pick up leaves while also trudging through ankle-deep snow drifts. Plus it's a great aerobic exercise. You should really try it some time.
This was one of our red maples last year, right after it snowed for the first time. It's one of the most evil trees on God's green earth...

So, to make a long story longer, we hate our trees. If any of you love raking leaves more than anything in the world, come over to our house any time between now and Christmas. Watch out for the red goo.

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