Pretty Tree at Campsite #1

Wow, what a spectacular weekend!  As luck would have it, our first annual, family camping trip was met with perfect weather, and the most beautiful, wondrous fall back drop imaginable.  The landscape was dotted with dramatic fall color, from the hard wood forests to the rolling prairies.

Pic #30

The brazen trees reflected off the still, cold lakes, blurring the horizon and melding into one.  The skies shifted dramatically from cloudless joy to ominous accord.  Sprinkles of rain fell here and there and bounced off the foliage onto the blanket of leaves below.  We hiked, biked, rode horses, chatted, laughed, and reconnected with nature and each other.  It was a lovely weekend filled with warm memories we hope to recreate next year.  We are truly blessed.

As we hiked the winding trails, it dawned on me that the fallen leaves and pine needles beneath our feet served a purpose, more than just a seasonal walking surface.  Leaves and needles act as mulch and when they start to decay, they add nutrients to the soil, thereby nourishing the trees.  It’s recycling at its best.  Dead leaves and needles can technically even be left under shrubs and other plantings for the very same reasons; however, grass is an entirely different story.  Leaves and needles have the ability to smother turf, so they really need to be removed.  If the layer of leaves or needles isn’t too thick or deep, they can be shredded and left, but this is risky.  Another option is to add your leaves and needles to the compost pile.  They are both perfect additions and offer an effective alternative to raking, bagging, and disposing.

As you too stroll through your yards, consider allowing some of the leaves and/or needles to remain under trees and in beds.  Although your yard may not look as manicured as you might like, we should consider embracing what nature already knows and does.  After all, Mother Nature knows best.

Kids & Ziggy Hiking #1

“Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.”

-Carol Bishop Hipps

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney

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