Leaf Blower Part Two
by Rick Ropelewski
Like many house maintenance projects, I enjoy yard work in moderation. Work up a sweat in the yard for an hour or two and by the end you have something to show for your labor, whether it be a leaf-free yard or a neatly cut lawn (full disclosure, snow removal falls under the category of a necessary evil). Except for cutting grass you typically do not have to repeat the task for at least the foreseeable future.
Over the course of the last three weeks I have found a new project that rivals shoveling snow: clearing acorns. We are fortunate to have two large, old oak trees in our yard. They provide great shade in the summer and as far as trees go I guess you could say they are relatively attractive. However, if someone were to leave a dull axe in my driveway I might have a few more tree stumps in our yard.
The first weekend I waged war with my leaf blower I thought, “This isn’t so bad.” It felt therapeutic to see a clear driveway after arriving home from work each night that week to see a thicker coat of acorns. But even as I was clearing out the yard equipment I could hear the continuous ‘ping’ of the next wave of acorns. By Monday morning it looked like I had not done a thing in our yard all weekend.
So over the course of the last three weekends, I have spent about ten hours trying to clear the acorns that have fallen in our yard from these two trees. The novelty had worn off. We don’t have that big of a yard, it takes about 45 minutes to cut the grass; we just have that many acorns! There were so many of the round pests in our driveway that one morning I thought I had a flat tire or something was wrong with the car. I felt like I was four wheeling given the layer of acorns in the driveway. When the wind would pick up there would be the ‘ping’ of an acorn landing on one of our cars every 15-30 seconds. There were so many that I was using a snow shovel to fill a barrel when I was done herding the beasts.
The good news is that this weekend took substantially less time, and as write this there is only the random acorn tormenting me from the driveway.