Who has time for yard work? | AspenTimes.com

Who has time for yard work?

I'm usually not a slacker when it comes to yard work, but I failed miserably this fall.

We have seven deciduous trees in our compact yard, including two mature cottonwoods and a willow that's perpetually a quarter dead, a quarter holding its own and half thriving. They produce a lot of leaves — usually about 30 bag's worth. This year, it's only seven.

It's my bike's fault.

The weekend of Nov. 8 and 9 was perfect for raking. It also happened to be my wife's only full weekend off for the month. We opted to head to the desert for a final trip. We camped at Westwater in a secluded spot and soaked in the sun. We hiked with our dog on Saturday, then I took a three-hour ride Sunday. We had a blazing fire as the sun went down and doused the few clouds in Georgia O'Keefe hues of purples and reds. Ann hasn't been able to camp much lately because of her work schedule, but she acknowledged she understood why I'm always running out to the desert with the boys.

The temperatures slipped to about 28 degrees Saturday night. At one point, I got out of the tent and checked on Ginger, the dog, in the back of the car. She hopped out and immediately headed for the tent, convinced we would keep her warm.

By the time we got home Sunday, unpacked, put gear away and checked out the Broncos game, it was dark.

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Last weekend, of course, there was about six inches of snow in the backyard covering a layer of about two inches of leaves. It's hard to describe what's happening in the front yard. The stubborn old willow tree refused to surrender its leaves this fall. The wet summer and fall combined with warm temperatures fooled it into holding out. I think it's still got half its leaves, so I never really could rake the front.

Who knows, maybe the snow will melt and the leaves will be exposed. But now that ski season officially starts on Saturday, who has time for raking?