I really would save myself a lot of trouble by not being so bloody green and instead put my fallen leaves out at the curb like everybody else. But noooooo, I've got to mulch them up and use them on my vegetable garden!
Somehow, though, it's never a good time in the autumn to get the mulching done. I figured out last year that the lawn mower, set really low, is the best tool for the job. But having no place but the yard to spread out the leaves, I can't use it for mulching until the grass goes dormant. And by late November, which is about when it does around here, it's too cold or too wet or too snow-covered or just plain too dark to do anything about it.
So the leaves get piled in the borders or on the stripped-out garden beds to wait for early spring.
Which really should have meant two weeks ago, if I was worried about the grass being dormant. Because despite our night-time temperatures' repeated plunges into the mid-20s, the grass is nevertheless starting to grow.
Time for lawnmower mulching action! Got the west border cleared of leaves; at least, the part of it not encumbered with my mouldly woodpile and the compost tumbler and so on. I'm not sure about the effect on the grass; I tried to rake up and bag as much of the leaf fragments as I could, but I may have done my turf irreparable violence.
Alternatively, I've enriched the soil and strengthened my grass by putting back some of what the maple trees took away. Your choice.
The charming thing about doing this job this evening is that I couldn't let guilt or ambition drive me to go nutty on it. I could work only while the light lasted and until I ran down both my lawnmower batteries. And that wasn't unendurably long, seeing that they've been down the basement discharging all winter.
Good thing to have the limitations. Because there was yet some daylight left when the batteries both died and if the mower had kept going, so would've I. And my body hurts enough as it is. If I thought I was "tired" of stripping wallpaper, now I really am tired. Period.