Introducing the Totally Organic Leaf Removal System (TOLRS or "Tollers", for short).
I even recycle any cans and bottles the job requires, so... how green is my frikkin' valley? It's not only good for the environment, but it's about the best exercise I get all year. Okay, it's some of the only exercise I get all year, but... all the more important, for that.
I rake a heaping pile of leaves onto a big tarp, drag it into the woods in back of our property, and Nature does the rest, breaking the oak leaves down into their component elements, along with this year's Halloween jack-o-lanterns. There was a deer bedded down in the woods last time I was working, and she must have really liked that particular spot, because she would get up and snort and stamp around a little, maybe walk away a few yards, but she didn't bolt, even though I disturbed her a few times.
I know she thought I must have been nuts. You could practically read it in her expression, "What in the world are you doing, dragging leaves from one spot to another? Are you making a nest? Storing them for the winter? Do you plan to eat them?... what?!... you're not making sense."
I could only shrug inwardly, "It's an aesthetic thing. And the neighbors wouldn't think too well of me if I didn't clean them up. Sorry to bother you.".
There is a subtle, spicy aroma to oak leaves that I find lifts my spirits, and the weather has been amazing... a classic Indian summer. I'm very grateful to be out in it, and then there is a kind of physical poetry to the work itself that seems very life-affirming. I recommend it. It's a terrific sleep aid.