I’ve mentioned, I believe, that we live in the woods.
And by “the woods,” I mean we have three arc degrees of sky at best because of the canopy, that’s how dense the trees are.
They are stunning. Lush, beautiful redwoods.
You may not be aware, if you are not the rugged mountaineering sort like me – and let’s face it, we can’t all be – that trees drop leaves.
And evergreen trees, like the lovely sequoia sempervirons, drop needles. Redwoods don’t drop individual needles, the drop a few inches of branch. This is known as redwood duff.
In a normal summer, tips of branches die and fall. In a dry summer, lots of tips of branches die and fall.
Lots and lots…and lots.
We have drifts of redwood duff abutting the walkways and retaining walls.
We have inches of it on the roof.
We have enough covering the patio that we could consider cultivating crops.
The best way to deal with the redwood duff on the roof and patio is to use the blower.
Yay, leaf blower!
FWOOOSH! Bye bye duff!
Have you ever used a leaf blower in a tight space?
Like, with angles?
There’s a place where physics and geometry and a leaf blower meet that is a really dark, menacing place. A place where you can smell chalkboards and sadness and gym socks and home owners insurance policies.
The vector of air that blows leaves (or redwood duff) is changed when it hits a wall. Or a step. Or patio furniture. Specifically, it is changed into a chaotic, rebounding, upward shooting column of dirt and eye-seeking particles.
And one of the unique features of redwood duff is that it is…stickery. I’m not actually sure what word I need there to describe the quality of having sharp, snaggy edges that enables a thing to cling – like an uncle at Christmas who wants to tell you that it’s Obama’s fault that his favorite cable channel was cancelled – to anything it can get ahold of.
So imagine Aristotle, Euclid and whoever invented the portable electric motor in a cage match trying their best to kick each others’ asses and then someone tosses in a rabid squirrel.
That is what using a leaf blower on a multilevel patio covered in redwood duff is like.
When you start blowing the patio with the leaf blower you are infused with power. You turn the thing on, point it at a heap of dry, brown, redwood droppings and…BWUHAHAHAHAH!!! WATCH THEM SCATTER BEFORE ME! LOOK AT THE CLEANNESS I LEAVE IN MY WAKE! I AM THE HOME AND GARDEN MODERN-DAY OZYMANDIAS!
That lasts for a few seconds until the debris gets caught in the first corner.
OK, I will just send the air into the corner then and…ACK! PHHHHBT!
Spit out some bark. Swear.
Fine, I will take a different angle and get it that way. Yay!
You rejoice temporarily because you are not very bright.
Because you look behind you and see the scattered duff that you just blew out of the corner covering the formerly pristine patio.
Swear again. Re-blow the patio you just blew clean and move to the steps.
Partly because you have a fistful of crap in your eyes and partly because you were stupid enough to think you were smarter than Aristotle.
Change the angle of the leaf blower, try again, clear the steps. Smile smugly.
Look behind you.
Cry some more. Let the rage take you.
Then scream BONNNNZZZZAAAIIII at the top of your lungs as you pirouette around the patio, nailing every angle and forcing the duff from every surface and every angle with your mighty blast of air.
Then fall over in a heap because you have become tangled in the power cord.