In some locations, diamonds are considered a girl’s best friend. That is no doubt true in some locations. But for those of us who live in the maple woods, especially come fall in the maple woods, a leaf blower can trump a diamond easily. The gas-to-oil mix is the same as that required to fuel a chainsaw, making for one less gas can to keep track of. Bonus.

The title of this korner indicates how much fuel and time it took to clear our yard — or reasonably clear it. It is not exactly slick as a whistle, but it is good enough so that when spring comes around it won’t be impossible to do all over again. And it will need to be done all over again, for certain. I could lie and say I’m one of those weekend warrior types who did all that backbreaking work in one fell swoop. HAH! Even if I had the energy (and the stamina) to handle the orange dynamo for eight hours at a clip, I’m not sure we’ve had eight hours of decent leaf-blowing weather at a clip in several years. So the work was divvied up over the course of two weeks and completed to my less-than-perfectionist standards after our most recent snowfall. No worries, the snow was gone. For the most part, anyway. If I were terribly brave and earnest, I’d run the riding lawn mower over the exposed grass and mulch the detritus up nice and fine. Since I am not terribly brave but am quite earnest, if it doesn’t snow over the coming weekend, I will do just that. It won’t be the first time I’ve mowed while wearing a winter coat, hat and mittens. Or for that matter in the month of November. This is Wisconsin, after all.

Once upon a time, we were totally old school and used a rake to clear yard debris and fallen leaves in both spring and fall. A few years back, we decided to skip the blisters raking can bring about and bought a blower. It makes short work of our leaf issue. While I have been known to exaggerate in this korner regarding certain aspects, leaf fall is not one of them. A full 12 inches of leaves can accumulate in the back yard and both side yards. The front areas are a bit better, but not by much. We are surrounded by trees on all sides, so no helpful wind can blow the leaves off into someone else’s yard (in any case, our nearest neighbors are at least a full quarter-mile away in any direction), or into a handy-dandy adjacent field. On the plus side, we have never had to “bag” our leaves. They’ve been raked, and now blown, off what passes for lawn into the woods to decompose as they will. And they do that rather quickly.

One downside to a leaf blower is this: it does not adequately remove pine needles from grass. Deer poop, yes. Pine needles, no. A rake is needed to get at those little buggers. Thus we’ve not totally retired our rakes, but only placed them in semi-retirement. They don’t complain much, just hang on the wall in the garage until needed. They’re getting a little worse for wear but can still do the job. Sort of like their owners, I guess.

Next up: snow shovel, snow scoop, and snow plow. Erk. Snow IS a four letter word.

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