By December 11, 2007


Once a year, a mighty battle is waged at the DrFaulken abode. The forces of man clash with the forces of nature in what can only be described as a fight to the death of epic proportions. The combatants: me and seventeen oak trees in my front and back yards. Last year I disposed of nearly 4800 gallons of leaves, and this year the photosensitive scourge was back with a vengeance. I was determined not to repeat the days upon days of work required to pick up and bag the leaves by hand, and the gnarly aftermath of ripping the bags open at the town dump. I had a secret weapon up my sleeve this year: a trailer-contained leaf vacuum.

The back yard:

the front:

I was armed with this:

I started blowing the leaves towards the left fence line in the back yard at 10:30 AM Sunday morning. I didn’t want to do the work in stages and risk the leaves being blown around. After about thirty minutes I realized that even with my backpack leafblower it was going to take me a long time to finish the back. I started to frown and get cranky when all of a sudden a white blur appeared out of nowhere and landed smack in the middle of the leaf line I was making. It was Pearl, and she immediately brought a smile to my face. Any time I started to get frustrated she’d appear to chase the leaves I blew into the air or smash headlong into a pile.

Porter was his usual help, repeating his aid from last year: he found the first pile of leaves I put together and took a nice shit right in the middle of it. Thanks, buddy. That summed up my thoughts on the whole experience.

Rosie, far too sophisticated for manual labor, supervised. And she chased Pearl into many lines of leaves. It was worth the mess to see the two of them run around like freaks. At one point Pearl jumped into a large pile and I completely covered her with new leaves except for her nose. I saw her nostrils twitch for a moment before she leapt out and sped away, springing off like Athena from Zeus’s forehead.

After six hours, a gallon of fuel and lots and lots of dust, I had made two columns of leaves down the length of my yard:

It’s hard to get a real perspective here, but each leaf line was about six inches high and three feet across. The length of my back yard is something like 120 feet. The leaf-sucker-mobile was due to arrive at 8AM Monday morning. I worked until I ran out of daylight and decided to get up early to finish the front.

7:30 came way too soon, and I used a hand rake until 8AM, when I felt comfortable firing up the 80-decibel leaf blower. It took me three hours to complete the front yard. Luckily, the yard people were on Virginia time and arrived an hour and a half late. Plenty of time for me to complete my end of the bargain: blow all the leaves to the front of the yard. I was fucking fed up at this point, so no pictures of the leaf line in the front, but I made a four foot wide, one foot deep wall around the edge of my lawn. I checked in with the yard crew when I had finished up.

Leaf Guy #1: “This is a lot of leaves.”

DrFaulken: “….”

Leaf Guy #2: “We shred the leaves as we suck them in with the vacuum, it compresses them down fourteen to one. The trailer is twelve feet by eight feet by five feet, and we’ve almost filled it up already.”

I looked behind the trailer. They had a third of the back yard left to go. Leaf Guy #2 explained they have a way to further compress the pile and shouldn’t have a problem getting the rest of the yard all in one load.

I showered and left, but I decided the leaf-sucker was money well spent. I can’t imagine handling over 6700 cubic feet of leaves by myself.

I wonder how many 33 gallon bags that would take? :

The aftermath:

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5 Comments on "Leafageddon"

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  1. drfaulken says:

    I would like to think that the canopy of all the oak trees plus the dogs running around keep the grass from growing. However, I think the real answer is that my substandard moral character is a blight on the land. I can’t really keep houseplants, either.

  2. Ed says:

    I have always heard that oaktrees like to kill things around them.

    Also, the neighbor is stealing the good grass. Come the revolution, they will learn.

  3. rawcode says:

    God lord that is a lot of leaves.

    And why on earth is your yard a barren patch of scorched earth while your neighbor’s is a bright healthy green? 😉

  4. rawcode says:

    I say set fire to the neighbor’s lawn. That will teach him!

  5. Essie says:

    It doesn’t surprise me one bit… didn’t you kill your pet lizard many years back?(LOL- I still have nightmares about it’s decayed corpse.)
    Oh this made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the chuckle!