We mowed today. Well, mostly it was picking up leaves but there's a surprising amount of green grass in the lawn. It wouldn't be so unexpected as we've had a pretty mild winter overall but the coldest temperatures of the season arrived over the weekend so I pictured it all back to brown again. I think the weatherman might have over-forecast the low temperatures as the leaves weren't thick enough to cover all that green growth.
My job was raking up the "drifts" against the edge of the pool enclosure and I filled my red "barrel" twice and a little more. I love that thing.
Lest anyone think we've been lazy and allowed these leaves to live on the yard for months, let me just say this is a regular chore. Unlike their Northern cousins who seem to get the message and shed all their leaves in a bunch, trees down here take their sweet time. It's the Southern lifestyle. We have a few trees in the yard that have been bare for months but we also have some that have been trickling for those same months. And those live oaks you see in the picture that stay green all year...well, they're just starting to shed their leaves. New ones come on in the spring and push the old ones off. And the magnolias wait until late spring/early summer to send their big, leathery leaves to the ground. We may not have snow to shovel but we can rake leaves almost all year round. Lucky us.
I say that facetiously because we really are lucky. I mean really...we think it's cold when the highs are only in the 50's. And nights below 32 degrees (which have been few and far between this winter) send me scrambling trying to protect things like I did this weekend. Things like this:
This blueberry bush is an early variety but it's really early this year. Not only has it leafed out, it's already bloomed and set on fruit. So with the help of some bird seed buckets, old moving blankets, a couple of bricks and some clothespins I rigged a tent to protect it from the freezing temperatures. While I think it would put on new leaves if it froze at this point, I wasn't sure it would produce fruit so I had to try and it looks like it worked. Now if only I can keep the wildlife from getting the blueberries before I do.
And while we've had fewer nights of freezing temperatures than usual, we've had far more wind. The stiff breezes on Saturday brought down several clumps of the mistletoe that grows wild in some of the nearby trees. It can get to be pretty good sized. I think the mower was angling for a kiss, even if it isn't Christmas.
The yard looked really good when we finished...but it isn't going to last. Tomorrow's forecast is for rain and wind and that's sure to bring down another round of leaves. Picking them up will be a chore for another day. The good news is that on this one we got rid of a slew of them.