All the leaves are brown

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Besides the global warming, greenhouse effect, unchecked militarism, and other sinister side effects of a society beholden to the internal combustion engine, all that concrete severely impinges upon those multi-hued falling leaves-which are, by design, supposed to be introduced to microorganisms in the soil where they should theoretically land. Since we humans have seen fit to pave the planet, the rhythms of the natural world are habitually and imprudently ignored.

Here's how the USDA Forest Service explains the aforementioned leaf-falling phenomenon:

"Needles and leaves that fall are not wasted. They decompose and restock the soil with nutrients and make up part of the spongy humus layer of the forest floor that absorbs and holds rainfall. Fallen leaves also become food for numerous soil organisms vital to the forest ecosystem".
Too many of today's humans ultimately view leaves in search of soil organisms as a nuisance-something to raked and bagged and lugged away as quickly as possible. To leave leaves in front of your house is to risk the scorn of neighbors. Ironically, dealing with the leaves we don't like can take us away from making a trip up north to see the leaves we like as they change shade.

We drive there, of course, in the cars and sport utility vehicles that necessitate the highways, parking lots, off ramps, and roads that-by definition-devastate entire eco-systems and leave leaves no place to land except our three-car-wide driveways. Human hubris aside, this vicious cycle impacts more than just our leisure time.

Here's the USDA Forest Service again:

"It could well be that the forest could no more survive without its annual replenishment from leaves than the individual tree could survive without shedding these leaves."

I wonder if it's too late to turn over a new leaf...

 

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