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October 26, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Leaf (though your heart is braking)

It’s not just apples.

(Although comparing apples to oranges isn’t pretty to sum. Doesn’t add up.)

The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree.

As anyone can see:

Watch the curb. Fall all around.

Round up the street sweepers.

A thunderous dance swirling among the parked cars and the leaf bags.

Odd that pile of bags has been there quite a while.

Left behind during several days of garbage collection.

Oh, “special” trash: waiting for a designated leaf pick-up day?

Must be a regional thing, the leaf altar.

Try leaving a garbage can out too late or putting it out a day early in our neighborhood and a nasty letter arrives demanding you pay a fine. (And suggesting you explore composting to save landfills.)

Don’t even think about letting a pile of black bags sit along the curb for over a week.

Bags, lady. No parking!

Perhaps an unofficial attempt to prevent parking in front of a house?

Meanwhile the street sweeper has to do-si-do down the street.

It’s understandable if the sweep isn’t neat.

Yep. Here’s the “after” picture.

Interesting enough this is from the side of the street that had no  parking.

Not one car.

Not one black trash bag altar.

Clear sailing all the way down the straight street.

Kicked to the curb? Or is the Coke can suicidal? Coke can college prank? “The leaves will cushion your fall – go ahead try it!” Crushed to find out. Attempted rescue by a utility marker? ( Sadly, it was wired.)

That little sweeping-machine-that-could just zoomed down the block.

Late for coffee break?

His wife was having a baby and a mean boss told him he couldn’t go until he finished his sweeps?

Good example why people should be paid for their performance / productivity not ’cause they just managed to show up?

OK. Quit picking on the leaf sweeper guy.

He gets battered enough.

Saw it happen.

Just driving along and he got whacked.

Lovely scene or a devious malicious army branching out – waiting to attack? Can foliage simply be brushed off?

Charming street scene delights walkers: a jewel toned mosaic over head.

Not so friendly to street sweepers.

Equally scratching to garbage trucks and large delivery vehicles.

Draping branches ready to grab anything within reach.

Grasping vehicles’ skins as they attempt to hurry along.

(Are the trees trying to pry the vehicles open? Are these carnivorous plants?)

Branches shrilly shrieking in protest as their targets move on.

(Seeking attention and to deflect blame, no doubt.)

Then, having the nerve to break up or crack up when trucks successfully escape and travel on.

Can’t blame leaf sweeper guy for avoiding hazardous situations.

Things get desperate when falling.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Wise to avoid additional gauntlets? 

Power company is probably pounding their heads on pavement remembering past hurricane and winter storm tree damage.

Oh, you can hear the whine from power companies,

“Nobody cares about electricity until the lights go out!”

“Power is just invisible.” (like I believe that)

Bet those companies love the “Let’s plant a tree” initiative in Washington, DC

6,400 trees to be planted as part of a $1.8 million dollar program.

Many good reasons why this is an excellent idea.

(Although, will trees really reduce crime and improve student test scores as claimed?)

People will get paid for planting a tree.

Trees are nice.

I vote for them: the strong silent enduring type.

Experience has shown trees don’t like to move, so best plant thoughtfully.

So this?

Power lines are like magnets? They coax trees to grow directly under them – with evil plans for the leafy future? The first one is a crape myrtle but that next one, it’s got big paws so to speak.

Trees planted directly under power lines?

Everyone knows that happens when they grow.

Brutally hacked or savagely cut down after a few years.

Branches leaning on lines.

Falling branches breaking lines during storms.

Broken branches littering the streets for weeks.

Who knows? A space shuttle might need to go through. (Axe, please.)

Mature trees wear power lines like jewelry. Must be regional. Power company’s tree trimmers yearly hack back anything anywhere close to lines in hurricane country

The tree initiative says they have listened to the power company and trees will be carefully chosen.

Yeah, that’ll work.

“But Honey, we like this one better. It has prettier leaves. I’m sure it will grow slowly. We can get this one and just not apply for the rebate. Please. It’s so much nicer. We like this one.”

People, don’t worry, the medium size trees will only grow some 35-45 feet tall. (and the local power lines are…?)

“What do you mean it’s a giant variety? When we planted it in 2012, they said it was a small tree. How much to trim it?”

In any case, the streets will be so much more welcoming with trees.

And there’s new jobs created for the future!

Kids! Sign up now for courses in tree trimming, linemen, and leaf sweeping! (Or just show up)

Leafing it to ya’

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Read more: 

“D.C. Tree Planting Underway” Trees lower crime! Raise test scores! Make the world cooler! NewsChannel8 VIDEO and article. Why trees are good and about the initiative.

Tree Rebate. Info about planting trees program in Washington DC. Links to forms

And a giant old tree forced to pick up and move….you think you have problems packing….



  1. Cat Forsley / Oct 26 2012 1:56 pm

    i adore the way you think …………….. your words carry sooo much 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2012 2:37 pm

      Hi Cat. Thanks for stopping by to play in the leaves


      • Cat Forsley / Oct 26 2012 2:40 pm

        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 jumping in crunchy leaves in thought 🙂


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2012 3:54 pm

          And they sound so nice…the German enjoys dancing in them during our walks. Thanks for playing in the leaves today


        • Cat Forsley / Oct 26 2012 5:18 pm

          🙂 :):)


  2. PiedType / Oct 26 2012 3:22 pm

    What a wonderful reminder of the neighborhoods I lived in most of my life. Gorgeous big trees hugging the streets and decorating them every fall. I don’t miss the overhead power lines, however, always being threatened by grasping branches or falling branches, and power company employees hacking away at them with no appreciation at all for appearances. Where I lived, however, the power lines always ran along the back property line, not the street.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2012 3:53 pm

      (Not sure why you were in spam)
      The trees are pretty in this neighborhood. Just makes you look up and think how much nicer it would be without power lines. But it’s an old area and that would cost a lot and disrupt everyone’s lives and patchwork angled yards.
      We always had the line across the back, too. (and I did weep as one oak got horribly hacked in the name of hurricane preparation…actually the tree guys got paid for every location they had to cut, so they cut much unnecessarily…and if you were really obnoxious like one of my neighbors, they left you alone. Most new subdivisions in our area are putting them underground – much better. Thanks for stopping by to play in the leaves


  3. jmmcdowell / Oct 26 2012 7:11 pm

    Depending on where Sandy decides to land, there could be a lot of downed limbs and trees around here. Fortunately we’re in a newer area with all the lines underground. But all it takes is one downed tree down the line, and we could still be in the dark. And with our power company, the dark can last a week or more. Hoping for Sandy to decide on an easterly cruise!


  4. CATachresis / Oct 26 2012 8:25 pm

    We have three splendiferous trees opposite in the field where the sheep are and the power cables are far too close!! Guess what it is that gets decimated when they grow too much or the wind blows too hard?

    BTW We can always tell when it is recycling rubbish collection day as the residue is left to moulder in the street!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2012 8:33 pm

      Oh, sheep are great tree guards! (They just pretend to be thinking nothing).
      With Hurricane Sandy coming to visit, those leaf bags may just end up floating down the street. (one way to get rid of them)
      Thanks for pawsing over to chat – looking forward to the next vocabulary lesson!


  5. EllaDee / Oct 26 2012 8:30 pm

    It’s always the tree’s fault… they are plant themselves next to the highways so we have something pretty to look at as we zoom along, but we have to cut them down after we run into them after being lulled into an ill-advised car nap or unable to execute a suitable recovery at a too fast speed. Power goes out during a storm… tree fault. Blocked drains? Yep, tree leaves, or for variety, roots. Tree falls on car… Darned trees, you’d think they grew there deliberately, the troublemakers. Looks like you may have an ‘interesting’ Halloween weather-wise. Hope all is well.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2012 8:38 pm

      Maybe all those fairy tales about enchanted forests actually knew something we didn’t? Molly the Mauler is expecting me home before the storm hits here. The German is stoically insisting she and her Person-who-is-back will be fine…they have a new bag of dog food and litter for Granny. It may be a HAlloween to remember, though


  6. writingfeemail / Oct 27 2012 12:30 am

    Things could be getting real spooky down your way if Sandy decides to trick instead of treat. Good luck. Maybe she’ll decide to hang out at sea.

    In the meantime, I’m voting for trees. Swishing through leaves – the best.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 29 2012 5:27 pm

      It’s dreary and rainy there , but no major problems yet. (The German’s person made it back and I flew out ahead of the storm.)
      Hope they did pick up the Halloween decorations – that area really gets into the holiday. Really enjoyed scouting out the spooky houses and scuffling in the rather deep leaves. You’re right – it’s great fun. Thanks for kicking along with us


  7. Kourtney Heintz / Oct 27 2012 8:48 pm

    Leaves look so pretty on grass. Too bad they won’t decompose quickly enough and have to be rounded up and deported. 🙂


  8. jannatwrites / Oct 28 2012 10:22 pm

    The street sweeper does about as well as my kids do sweeping our floors 🙂 The idea is good, to plant more trees, but we should think more carefully about the future…planting too close to powerlines or houses will just cause headaches in the future. (Maybe the people planting them are older and aren’t planning to be around when the trees mature.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 29 2012 5:37 pm

      I always managed to get the one plant that is mislabeled and ends up bring the opposite of what I wanted! If it says small tree…..
      Planting tress is a great idea – but usually you don’t plant them under power lines or where the mature tree roots will break up sidewalks or streets (but maybe that’s just regional precautions here?). The DC initiative is specifying the trees must be planted along the street…maybe they are just uniformed – or plan to cut them all down as needed.
      But leaves are great fun when the tree lives in the perfect spot!


  9. Sunshine / Oct 28 2012 11:11 pm

    Trees are great except when they leaf themselves into your house gutters leaving a clogged mess for lazy homeowners to clean up, or think about clean up. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 29 2012 5:38 pm

      And the darn thing is those leaves aren’t leashed and often end up in other yards, gutters…usually after those properties have been raked…it’s a plot…get the rake back out….
      Thanks for juggling leaves here


  10. littlesundog / Oct 29 2012 12:34 am

    Beautiful photos… I really enjoyed your musings in this post!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 29 2012 5:44 pm

      The trees suddenly turned and were flaming for 2 days, then dropping…and now the rest are probably being blown off by storm winds. The fallen leaves on the sidewalk were crunchy fun while it lasted. Thanks for floating along


  11. aFrankAngle / Oct 29 2012 12:27 pm

    Leaf-gathering season is a 6-8 week period for me. As a matter of fact, I’ll probably be spending several hours outside today with another round. (Had two rounds last week). But hey – I do compost. Sure wish cars ran on grass and leaf clippings!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 29 2012 5:50 pm

      Leaf season can mean a lot of outdoor time in some places. Where we are now, the oaks hang onto their leaves all winter and drop them suddenly in one or two days – and the new one immediately take their place. OK with me..I’ll go visit all the beautiful leaves and crunch along the sidewalks – elsewhere!
      I was really surprised at all the bags. Composting seems so normal. (if cars can run on potato peels…why not vegetation?…might be a good use of federal / research money rather than old technology of wind and solar?)
      Thanks for adding to the comment pile


      • aFrankAngle / Oct 29 2012 6:25 pm

        Just got in from a 4 hour ordeal … emptied bagging riding mower about 20 times. And the compost pile is doing well!


  12. Robin / Nov 4 2012 10:06 pm

    I love the way you leaf, I mean leap, about with words. Out here in the country, we don’t have to bother with our leaves. Just let ’em go back to Mother Earth (although we do run a mower over the leaves in the front yard to mulch them so the neighbors with the McMansions and no trees don’t get up in arms about our leaves littering their great expanses of lawn). I am so proud of our electric company this year. When Sandy blew through with her gusty self, the power did not go out. I would have declared it a miracle except I know they have spent the past few years diligently tracking down and trimming trees near power lines.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 4 2012 10:59 pm

      A little tree trimming goes a long way. Glad Sandy blew past you easily. Thanks for raking a comment this way



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