Even though the calendar still says summer, fall in Aroostook county actually begins the day after Labor Day. The leaves suddenly start changing and the air gets cooler. Autumn is the warm up to the marathon. This is what we train for.
This is the time to check to make sure the generator and snow blower are both in good working order. Take shovel inventory. Make sure the number of shovels is greater than or equal to the number of people who are currently occupying your home. Don’t let the lack of shovels be the reason you are shoveling alone.
Let’s talk about leaf removal. The single most dreaded job of all. It’s like getting toddlers into snow suits. Just when you think you’re done, someone is missing a boot or suddenly has to pee. I’ve adapted the “good enough” philosophy. I live in a beautiful hillside home surrounded by maple and beech trees which I absolutely love, but the sheer volume of leaves is ridiculous. I’ve tried leaving them (pun intended) all winter and taking care of them in the spring, but they are even less fun to deal with when they are wet and flattened. I have several methods I use. I rake into huge piles then onto a large tarp that gets dragged into the woods and dumped. I try doing that on a day without wind because when it blows back onto the lawn, I do something that resembles Yosemite Sam when he loses his temper. I have a leaf collector. I push it across the lawn and a rotating brush flings the leaves into a big bag on the back. It works best on flat surfaces. Please refer back to comment about beautiful hillside home. I do attempt pushing it up and down the slope of my lawn, but end up doing the Yosemite dance again. The leaf blower is a good tool and takes care of a large amount of leaves. I can’t seem to get all of them and somehow other leaves will swirl around and make their way back to areas I’ve already blown. It’s a daunting task.
Despite the looming sub-freezing temperatures and upcoming snow days, that’s no reason to miss out on the beauty of fall! The warm sunny days that make flip flops still necessary and the cool evenings perfect for sweatshirts and s’mores. With all of the preparations for winter that must be done, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy a couple more barbecues, a few more loads of laundry hung out to dry, and hikes without all of the bugs! September is a wonderful time to live in Maine.