Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leaves by the Gallon

My brother has often reported that he raked so many gallons of leaves some weekend. Well, he lives in Stafford County, where one bags the leaves for collection. In Washington, where the city sends crews down to the street with a giant vacuum, the custom is to leave them loose at the curb. I haul them there, usually, in a sheet holding a volume I've never estimated.

But today I noticed that my first pile in the alley was obstructing the way, and decided that it would be more efficient to roll a "supercan" out to the street than to carry it sheet-full by sheet-full through or around the garage. Four trips later, I had quite a pile at the curb, and a reasonable estimate of 360 to 380 gallons--the supercan is marked as holding 96 gallons.

Then it was time for the sheet. We have a retaining wall at the front of the house, meaning that I'd have to wheel the can down and up steps if I used it for the yard's leaves. After quite a few trips, I had more or less doubled the pile.

Our neighborhood has many oaks, and oaks drop their leaves slowly; the scarlet oaks the city has planted at the curb will hold on to theirs until the new leaves are ready to appear in the spring. But most of the leaves are off the big oaks overhanging our lawn. The alley, I'm not so sure.

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