Post-storms Yard Cleanup

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I think we missed most of the rain and stormy weather that was predicted for our area (it seems like we always do), yet we’ve had strong winds and a tiny bit of foul weather–enough to knock branches, leaves and pollen out of trees, littering the yard. Garrett and I have raked and swept our driveway three times in the past week just to clear away the nasty oak pollen, along with storm debris. I picked it out of garden beds and from among my planted flowers, and Garrett raked it up from the yard, amounting to half a dozen wheelbarrow loads to cart to the burn pile. I couldn’t resist doing a little weeding as I picked pollen and sticks from the yard–just a few minutes of weeding here and there makes a difference.

We wouldn’t cut the oak tree down over the pollen issue, but we wouldn’t choose to plant a tree like this, knowing the mess it makes! It stands taller than our house and coats everything beneath it, including the roof, gutters and Japanese maple. There is still plenty of pollen waiting to drop, so we will be cleaning for the next few weeks. The stormy weather at least helps to knock it down, but I wish it could do so in one fell storm.

I found several of the paddle-shaped leaf in the above left picture in our yard, but we don’t have a tree with leaves like this on our property. It looks like a variety of oak, but does anyone know what it is?

Also, we found this little guy:


Not sure who he is–just a brown snake? Snake Doe, dead of unknown causes. We also encountered a large (long!) black garden snake the other day while Garrett was mowing. Garrett tried to gather it with a stick to move, but it kept curling tighter and tighter around itself, tucking and retucking its tail to be more compact and snug like a dog circling a bed before lying down, so we left it alone.

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