Into every life a leaf must fall

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

Every beautiful morning we’ve had is a reminder of how nice fall can be. Everything about this season is special. The temperatures are so mild everyone wants to go outside and work in their yards. We don’t see people raking as much as we used to, but we do see a lot of people out with their leaf blowers.

Years ago we put oak trees out in the front yard. They’ve grown for 30 years and now offer protection from hot summer days and branches for birds to rest upon.

I love trees and am constantly amazed by the intricate and beautifully balanced system they possess.

But there is one minor flaw with trees. And maybe it’s not really accurate to call it a flaw. Maybe it’s a trait.

In fall, when it is cooling down, trees undress. I always think of summer as the appropriate time to dress lightly, but trees apparently have a different view of appropriate behavior.

At the first uninterrupted week of crisp cool weather they begin to remove their clothes. And it’s at a time when their clothes are absolutely beautiful.

This morning, when the Chihuahua went out to relieve herself, she had to wade through piles of leaves to do so.

The yard is blanketed, and the fountain is filled with oak leaves. And not only have they produced an exceptionally large crop of leaves, they also have provided a bounty of acorns.

We are bombarded with them, and even the dogs are a little nervous about walking under the oak trees.

A direct hit with an acorn can really hurt. It may be the shape of the acorn with the pointed end. They make ideal ammunition. There are sections in the yard that now have such a thick blanket of the little nuts that you have to exercise extreme caution when walking across them.

If it rains, the acorns grow even more treacherous.

The only creatures to enjoy this fall tradition are the squirrels.

And although the dogs really are wary of falling acorns, they have joyously thrown themselves into the sport of squirrel chasing.

They can be lying in the sunshine in a pile of brown leaves giving a pretty good performance of sleeping dogs oblivious to the world around them. But this is just an act.

If even one squirrel ventures into the yard to gather acorns or count them or whatever else squirrels do with acorns, every dog on the place becomes instantly alert.

They can spring into action from a sound sleep and in a flash force the squirrel up into the tree.

There is no way any dog on the place is going to be fast enough to get the prize, but they can play this game for hours on end confident that eventually a squirrel will make a mistake and be theirs.

Despite the annual chores related to piling up and removing leaves and attempting to remove acorns, I’m still glad we have trees. A little work and yard maintenance is the price we pay for enjoying the beauty trees provide all year round.