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First take/leaves

Yesterday while walking through my neighborhood in heavy rain, I saw one of the dumbest things I have ever seen: A man using a leaf blower to try to move around leaves in the street over to the yard. Leaves that were thoroughly wet and had been rained on for hours, many of them in puddles.

I had to stop and stare. But not in disbelief. On the list of really dumb everyday activities I have witnesses, use of leaf blowers holds many honored spots.

I’d concede some limited uses where leaf blowers can make sense, mainly in places not easily accessible otherwise, blowing leaves and other material out of hard-to-get-to places. But most of the use I have seen of them involves chasing leaves around, and around, and around, places like streets and parking lots. They make racket that can be heard from blocks away; when I hear them in downtowns, the sound can reverberate all over the place. They (at least most, though not all) pollute.

And they weigh a lot more than an inexpensive rake, which mostly can be used far more efficiently and disrupt the lives of no one else in the area. – rs

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