Short days, long nights and a last chance for the leaves

KENNEBUNK – The election’s over, Monday is Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving is around the corner, and before you know it, the first significant snow of the year will stick around. So here’s a bit of advice from the king of the procrastinators. Pick up the last of the leaves.

(Photo – Rachel Hinman)

Rather than head out to the garage and find the leaf blower and rake, I decided to ask Mr. Google how many minutes of daylight were losing each day. (You can’t pick up leaves in the dark can you?)

Anyway, this time of year, we’re losing about 2 minutes and 20 seconds each day, but wait, it get better. Each day we lose a little less. That’s encouraging. By the time December 21 rolls around (the shortest day of the year), we’re only losing a few seconds each day. And thankfully, on that day, the cosmic egg timer flips and we start to gain daylight again.

But back to the leaves. Some people rake, some bag, some use powerful blowers to push the brightly colored droppings to a collection point. Me … I mulch.

(Photo – Rachel Hinman)

Personally, I’ve decided the little paper like pieces covering the grass are part of nature’s fertilization plan. Who am I to argue. So once again, I climb aboard my trusty tractor and grind them up into as many small pieces as I can.

With any kind of luck, I can do this before the cold rain falls and the small leafy leftovers will become a blanket of nutrients for the soon to be sleeping grass. At least that’s what I tell myself.

I wonder what type of nutrients are in the leaves … I’ll bet Mr. Google knows.

Nope, I’ll look later. I’m burning daylight.


David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at