Tuesday, October 23, 2012

War of the Leaves – Opening Gambit (Part 1)


As sure as the coming of the Fall, the beginning of the war of the leaves has been joined in my part of Northern Virginia. Every year, I think, “this cannot happen again”, and every year I am lulled into a false sense of security. I tool around my yard once every week, maintaining an acceptable cut of the grass with less than a couple of hours of work a week. Bliss it is. No worries and the endless summer. Just as I get comfortable with this pattern, it starts.
The tree’s opening salvo actually starts in mid-September. The most ‘hatin’ trees in the yard, the mighty oaks, pelt us with its tiny missiles. For what they lack in accuracy, they more than make up in volume. The attack acorns pose a dual threat. The first threat is the obvious bruises, contusions, and welts from the oaks' subsonic high altitude ballistic power projections. They also attempt (mostly unsuccessfully) to take out our cars, which being the best up-armored vehicles commercially available made from 1990-2003, are able to slough off this aggression with ease. Once on the ground, the missiles revert to their passive threat role. They appear to just lie there, but what they are actually doing is coordinating their stealthy movements to gather in key locations such as steps dark locations. Upon detecting the pressure of a human foot, they employ the ‘death roll’, flinging an unsuspecting human to the certain death of a hard cement fall.
 You would think that would be enough, but no, once they have spent themselves on that move, they shatter into thousands of sharp razor like shards to ensnare the unwary bare foot. To add insult to injury, the tree’s allies, the tree rats, gather up the missile remains, take them back to the treetops, and eat them, spitting the unwanted parts out of their diseased mouths onto the heads of passing unsuspecting children.
Due to too nice a day, extended fishing hours, and a late plumber, I will continue this tomorrow..

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