Naturalizing the tableland behind the house has turned me into a leaf miser. While the City will come and vacuum up leaves hauled out to the front street, autumn leaves are too precious to give away. So I drag them from the patio and the driveway into our young forest, where they obligingly protect the English Ivy and the ostrich ferns over winter while turning themselves into crumbly rich mulch by spring, thus liberating us from watering during the dry spells. ( Dirty secret: sometimes I even cruise leafy neighbourhoods in the fall and shovel unwanted leaves into the back of the Prius. Bet you too do some things you wouldn't have predicted as a ten-year-old.)
After redistributing the leaves, I crawled down the curving pathway Jon created to lead to the ravine. I should have weeded it months ago. But the ivy clippings could be planted in the perennial bed, so that was the next job. I sure hope they do better than the echinacea seedlings which I transplanted last week. Disturbed ground seems to inspire Grand Theft Auto in squirrels, who assume that it must conceal something edible and desirable that a competitor has hidden and that they themselves deserve. So after I replanted the echinacea, I stamped hard on it with both feet.
Then it seemed like a good idea to drag the ten foot ladder over to the far side of the house and climb up onto the roof to wash the bedroom windows. Somehow I got back down too. At that point I checked my watch.
Seven solid hours had passed. My happy little brain might have been oblivious, but my back was no longer speaking to me. Luckily I can occasionally appease it with extra-strength Robaxicet by pretending that it is green and white candy. So while the garden has been put to bed for its long winter sleep, I think someone will have to do the same for me tonight.
(This clumsy little watercolour was one of my first paintings. It reminds me of how stark the house looked at the time -- a stone farmhouse without a foundation planting to be seen. A blank canvas!)