Between the two of us, Benjamin and I spent about 10 hours in the yard this weekend. Most of that time was spent raking and bagging oak leaves. The bagging is the worst part, because the black plastic bags don't stand up on their own, and it is hard to shovel leaves into them without a second pair of hands. For some reason, the home improvement stores around here only carry the paper bags in the spring, and if you go asking for them in the fall, the staff look at you like you have four arms (which you need for the plastic bags). You may remember that last year I bought a leaf blower/sucker that was supposed to speed up the process and reduce the number of bags we needed. It is a great blower. But it really sucks as a sucker. It clogs. It is slow. The bag release gets gummed up by ground up leaves, requiring two people to pull the darn thing apart. I eventually gave up and went with Benjamin's baleen whale approach to scooping up leaves. And of course, we will have to do this all over again at least one more time before all the trees are bare.
At least the weather was nice. The sun was out, and it got warm, but not too hot. Miikka had fun helping on Saturday - biting the rake, running through leaf piles, escaping from the back yard when the gate was opened. But he also got to do some leisurely sun bathing.