Saturday, November 13, 2010

Leaves of Brown Came Falling through the View

We have no trees on our property. I mention that because this time of year walking from the front porch to the street in front of the house involves wading, yes wading, through two and three foot deep piles of leaves that have gotten pinned against the wall that joins the property to the city sidewalk. Every imaginable color and shape of leaf. If you stand still in and among them, you can hear the squirrels, who usually hang out in the back yard waiting for our daughter Michelle to feed them peanuts, working their way through the leaves in search of the bi-ped whom they have every historical reason to believe NEVER leaves the house without peanuts to feed them.

I hate when I'm coming home in the afternoon and get out of the car to open the garage and one of the 'guys' spots me from a tree branch and starts a mad dash towards the car. The object, in the squirrel's mind, is to get to me before I get back in, so s/he can scarf up one of more peanuts and dash off. The flaw, as you've guessed, is I'm not equipped with the peanut dispenser option-not even the LL Bean model of the Forester comes with that. Chances of making the squirrels understand this: less than zero. Everyday the same drill. I know better than to stock up on peanuts, because if I ever do flip a peanut to one or more, I'll be buried by them as they'll just assume I've been holding out on them all this time.

The squirrels are starting to get their whiter shade of fur (I checked with the estate of Keith Reid, and they said that was okay) which, because we're practically to mid-November in New England is the way things should be I suppose. I've started to wonder idly if areas of the world with palm trees have squirrels or chipmunks, but suspect I'll never bother to find out for myself though thirty or more years ago I was keen to see it all and do it all.

Instead, I stand on my front porch and watch an oak leaf, almost perfectly pirouette, stem first, in very tiny circles from high over head and land in the ever-expanding pile of leaves that have blanketed the sidewalk on our side of Lincoln Avenue. In the winter months, it's best to be on the odd side of the street, numerically speaking, because of how the sun rises and the manner and length of its rays helps clear the ice and snow from the walks with less effort required than that of our neighbors on the opposite side.

One of the trade-offs, though, is November as the winds turn raw and blustery and blow in from the coast driving before them all the leaves that short weeks earlier had seemed like garland on tree branches across the region. Those days are behind us now, as the daylight grows shorter a little more every day through the Winter Solstice. Breeze blows leaves of a musty colored yellow. The cycle of the season continues within and without us as the days dwindle down.
-bill kenny

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