July 1, 2008 – 6:41 am

I have a simple idea. It’s not a concept that will change the world but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.  Can we please shut down the blowers? That’s right folks, call off your yard man with that phallic shaped, gas fueled, smog creating, dust stirring, noise producing nuisance.Even I’m guilty. I’m one of those homeowners that put up with my yard guys using them, but I encourage them to use it quickly, sparingly, and only when absolutely necessary. Am I odd because I like to see leaves on my yard, porch and sidewalk? Am I kooky for thinking leaves are cool?In so many ways, leaf blowers highlight the stupidity of humans. We are the only species that will choose to foul up a peaceful, clear and beautiful day with machines that sound worse than jets taking off, smell as foul, burns fossil fuel, and can actually cause illness with the pollution they produce (from smoke, dust and bacteria)…all to chase a few innocent leaves that otherwise were happily laying around on the ground, minding their own business.Think about it, man has even asserted power over leaves! Aren’t we something? And I laugh, because God, or Mother Nature (how ever you choose to define), intended them to be left alone. Why? Because they trap needed ground moisture, lessen erosion, and protect new growth all while decomposing into a great and nutritious meal to be absorbed by the very tree that dropped them. Trees share so they spread around the gift too. They also protect microorganisms and little bugs that participate in a food chain that support other good forms of life. Miraculous, huh? Leaves also create a sense and spirit of fall, add a nice change of color to the scenery, help put us in the mood for the holidays and even save our plants by letting us water less, all while protecting them from the cold. Isn’t it real odd that we hire people to, and make ourselves, use a tool to chase away a beautiful, miraculous, god created natural wonder all to get a better view of one of mans ugliest of creations…concrete? What happened to that sense of being in tune with nature, and allowing things to be as they are, instead of running an unsuspecting leaf off like they are some kind of thief?What is the purpose? I really don’t know. But, I miss seeing kids play in leaf piles (they actually had fun picking up) or being able to walk down a cozy street and see loads of leaves gathered along the side of the road…or having that tv commercial like experience of driving a car down a covered road and seeing the leaves part behind like your on some wild autumn trail.Ok, those are kind of hokey and maybe old fashion, but not really. If you go up to the east coast into some of the most coveted tourist resorts they are not blowing leaves…instead they “leave” them alone and people enjoy the wonderful fall experience it helps to sustain.Here in Dallas the more land you have the more people and yard men blow. Blow Blow Blow, all day, early in the morning, and until sunset. My neighborhood has become an 10 hour a day 7 day a week blowathon. They never seem to take the day off. Even really windy days seem to be a good day to feudally blow. One neighbor’s yard man even blows on his roof! And there is always the proverbial yard man blowing leaves into oncoming traffic on a main thoroughfare. How dare they take the easy way out! You want to get out of your car, knock on the door to the unsuspecting customer, and say, “do you know what your yard man is doing!??” Until you pull yourself together and realize, that might be taking it too far.In conclusion, I have a humble suggestion. Can we please turn off the blowers and leave the leaves alone?

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