We visited a farm in Pennsylvania to pick some pumpkins and gourds to bring home. My son was intrigued by their funny shapes and bright colors. They reminded me of the silly monsters he draws – cute alien creatures with round or oval bodies filled in by swirls or dots and topped with one to three eyes; each creature has a name like, Dingle, Yugi, Ygug, Hithy, Hicamawiks, Hallywak and Dotty-Spot. They make us laugh.
These alien-like squashes make us smile, too. Any names come to mind for them? I will ask my son, he will have some ideas.
Can you guess who he named, Backhoe, Emerald, and Pouty?
The piles of fallen leaves and cool crisp air make autumn our dog’s favorite time in the garden. CJ is a Shiba Inu with a thick under coat of fur and a fluffy curly tail. Summer growing season is too hot for him, but the fall is perfect. These days he is full of extra energy when we are outside. He will stand alert with head down and eyes at my feet, waiting for me to kick the leaves up into the air so he can catch one in his mouth.
We got him in an animal shelter almost 8 years ago. He is now 10 years old and still smiling.
The wind swirls and scoops up leaves from the neighborhood and dumps them into our tiny front yard. The yard is covered with brown leaves when the only tree in it, a Bradford Pear, still has its green leaves. Every fall we collect at least 4 tall bags of these extra leaves.
We are grateful for the extra leaves because we save them for our garden plot. We keep our compost healthy by adding the extra leaves to our compost bin. The brown carbon rich leaves balance the green nitrogen rich kitchen waste in our composter. We add a dense layer of minerals and nutrients to our garden plot by mulching the garden soil with the leaves. We provide winter protection for tender plants in our garden by surrounding them with the leaves. When our fig tree was smaller, we protected it from the cold winter winds by covering it with leaves and a burlap blanket.
This fall, gathering and chopping our leaves became easier due to our new electric leaf blowing-vacuum- mulchinator. We do not have a grass lawn in our front yard, but perennials and bushes. It is tedious to comb out the leaves from our Nandina, Hydrangea and Azalea bushes and flower beds. Instead of raking the leaves into piles and chopping them with a lawn mower, we gently vacuumed up the leaves and created mulch at the same time. Our new garden toy is gentle on our plants and saves time. Fantastic!
We did not vacuum up all the leaves immediately. We saved some for my son and dog. My son likes jumping from our front door steps into a mound of leaves then pretending he is a bird sleeping in a nest. My dog likes to catch, in his mouth, bunches of leaves tossed up in the air.
How do you collect and use or play in your fall leaves ?