This late score just in
Five to three in 11 innings.
Annual forestry mystery
There are three magnificent maple trees in my corner postage stamp lot. One in the front, one in the front east side, and one in the rear east side. Nothing in the back yard which is no more than a strip of grass wide enough to turn the mower around. The west side yard is so narrow, breezes blowing through there must take turns.
This autumn, the front maples shrugged most of their leaves early. The back maple, usually fire-engine red, waits until the other two are finished before it deems the leaves too heavy to hold onto any longer. With the first significant shed, I got the rakes out and cleaned the yard. Spotless. Then mowed. One of those times, I get a sense of accomplishment. Yard looked nice. I got compliments.
The next Saturday, Friday night I think, the back maple turned loose of all its leaves at once. Not to be outdone the front maples let the last of theirs go. The yard was a mess of leaves. But Manageable. I got to work. It took most of the afternoon. Cleaned of leaf litter, it was a good time to mow. Maybe for the last time this season? Probably not, but a nice thought.
Once again, the yard looked just super. My trees were stark-naked and my lawn looked like a carpet. People driving by stopped in their automobiles. From COVID feet away they admired out loud to me through rolled-down windows. I felt a little less fatigued.
Not sure why, but the onslaught of leaves runaway from up the street wasn’t what is has been in the past. Gee, a sudden burst of neighborhood pride and responsibility?
Monday morning, I took a letter to the mailbox for the Boss. The front yard was covered! Oaks and magnolias, mostly. For the fifteenth year in a row, I surveyed my little lot to discover then cut down all the oak and magnolia. I could have sworn I’d already done that. I could not find a one.
All of Monday was devoted to leaf raking. My neighbors, now all good neighbors and raking their leaves, I concluded my maples were, under cover of darkness sprouting and shedding oak and magnolias leaves. That has to be it. This is a phenomenon new to me. It’s Wednesday morning tomorrow, if I don’t have to rake magnolia, oak, beech, ash, and poplar leaves all day, I’m going over to the State Extension office to see if there is not a spray I should be using on my maples to keep them from this second leaf and molt.
And now a word from our sponsor (a blatant self-promotion)
At the top of my game (some would argue otherwise) it’s possible to pull-off a “conversation” piece without narrative. If the little exchange’s subject is intimate, it parodies unique personalities, or underlines current events, narrative is sometimes necessary to put the reader in a position to understand. Almost added “and appreciate” but that’s a stretch.
Today’s “take a look” requires such an introduction. Drawn from pre-COVID19 times about five or so years ago, it’s a real shortie, even considering “conversations” are already reasonably short works.
Inspired by observations, I drafted the piece years ago. Time to finish or expose it never materialized. In the time since, the setting, a typical shopping mall, has all but disappeared. Not so long ago, malls, especially larger, completely enclosed malls were a social meeting place for youth. Not a bad thing at all. It was a place to observe youth in one of their preferred natural environments.
In the same brief time since my initial draft, young people’s characteristic conduct has also changed. It in fact changes with each new issue of the mag-rags kids read or internet videos they share. The conversational vignette here still rings true today and will for a few more years, though the exact words (loosely calling them that) will change. Apologies to international readers, as this I know for a fact is/was typical of mall life in the US(of)A. I do not know how it translates to other countries.
“Telecommunicating,” buried in spwilcenwrites “Writing” land, somewhere in “Conversations” is fiction, yes, but fabricated from honest-to-you-betcha observations. It’s quick. You either get it or you don’t. I hope you do.