Friday, 5 November 2010

Autumn leaves

Raking the leaves is a philosophical occupation. The town has the latest technology as we saw today - a Stihl leafblower/sucker/broyeur. With one of these you can reduce a pile of leaves to a handful of instant leafmould, at the cost of the earth's precious resources. We have a rake (Dutch, plastic) and Big Hans (Bettawear, also plastic) and a couple of pop-up bags. You rake the leaves into piles, put on Big Hands and hoist the piles into the bags. The leaves are going in the traditional small chickenwire enclosure to become leafmould eventually, or alternatively to blow all over the field - we shall have to see! Today's rakings half-filled the enclosure, and are less than a tenth of what's on our handsome Small-Leaved Lime (Tilleul). There are both Large- and Small-leaved Limes in this area as we noticed today in Chambon.
While raking the leaves, you can think of all sorts of things. How many crows are there in that big roost up the valley? As night fell, the numbers sounded positively Hitchcockian. Was that our resident Stone Curlews calling, or a migrant? Will the bats come out for me, as they did for Tim last night? How can I stop myself singing 'Les Feuilles Mortes"?

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