Snakes and Leaves. It Must be Autumn!

We’ve had wonderful rain around here, at last. The soil and plants are so happy. Water is awesome.

I love rainy weather, especially when it’s cold. Sweaters, scarves, gloves… for me they trump constant sun and heat anytime. I like my hot weather in short bits.

Due to our recent time out of town earlier this month, the leaves in our yard got a huge head start on us. We came back to half-empty trees and leaves covering every inch of the front yard, side yard, sidewalk and several inches of the street along the side. We had our work cut out for us.

We are just about the only people in the neighborhood who don’t hire a gardening service.  All the other yards are clean and neat, but ours waits for homeowner elbow grease. Urgent catch-up business, plus a couple more rainy days, kept us from tackling it until yesterday, but we got to it with a good will.

It was actually nice to be outside in the cool, cloudy weather. I went out first and didn’t even bother with raking into piles. I used a largish-rectangle bucket to pick up leaves. All I had to do was lay the bucket on it’s side somewhere and push a bunch of leaves into it with the rake, dump them into the yard waste bin and repeat.

And repeat.

It went on and on. Himself joined me after about 30 minutes, tackling another part of the yard. Of course, we only have one yard waste bin, and even though it’s large, it couldn’t hold all those leaves. So we had to empty it frequently. We have a plan for that, though. I put some leaves in our compost bin, but that doesn’t hold very much. The rest of the leaves get spread around the native garden in the backyard.

It is ironic, I know. Pick up the leaves from the front yard, dump ’em in the back. But hey, it’s mulch. Good for the soil.

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I think we filled and emptied that waste bin eight or nine times. It’s one of those gazillion-gallon things, so it holds a lot. So many leaves!

Just as I was finishing, I came across what I thought was an earthworm at the bottom of a pile of leaves. That’s not unusual, but a flash of red caught my attention, and the little thing didn’t move like an earthworm. And sure enough, it lifted it’s tiny head and flicked it’s little tongue in a brave display of threat. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take a picture, but alas… I was tired by then and not thinking fast. I looked up a California snake index and this one is pretty close to what it looked like. I coaxed it onto a long stick and took it to show Himself. We voted to put it into the backyard along with the leaves. I was hoping he’d grow up and eat a few gophers, but if he is a sharp tailed snake, Wikipedia tells me they stay pretty little and only eat insects and slugs.

Oh well. We can always use help getting rid of slugs.

 

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6 thoughts on “Snakes and Leaves. It Must be Autumn!”

  1. Snakes, Mother Nature’s silver lining…as long as they don’t bite my dogs.

    I have six acres of leaves. Last year we invested in a leaf vacuum. We haven’t used it yet this year, but once it dries out, we will. It’s much easier than me raking leaves for two solid weeks.

    I burn the majority of my leaves (which goes in the compost and/or garden). The leftover leaves are raked over the gardens as a mulch blanket.

  2. One snake in the yard to eat slugs, etc sounds pretty good. BUT the thought of them having babies and having LOTS hiding in the yard not so much!

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