This is my favorite time of year, the leaves are falling, mornings are cool and crisp when Buddy and I go for our daily walk, football is underway, and THE TEXAS RANGERS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES! What more could one ask for?
But getting back to the subject, the leaves are falling off our pecan trees at a pretty fast pace now, and my husband isn’t looking forward to raking all of them. He takes care of the outside duties, such as mowing, gardening, and well, all of it, to be honest. I don’t know if he would listen to any of the safety tips for doing all this yard work, but hopefully, some of you will find this helpful.
Wait until all the leaves have fallen off the trees before you start raking them. If you overextend yourself at first, you may get tennis elbow or tendonitis. Be sure to stretch first and warm up about 10 minutes before beginning. You will need the right tools to make the job easier. First, a good rake is worth a few extra dollars. Be sure the rake is compatible to your height. Wear leather gloves that help you grip the rake, and shoes with slip-proof soles, because wet leaves can be slippery. When picking the leaves up, bend at the knees, not the waist to save your back. Overloading the bags with leaves will make it too heavy, so use more bags. If you suffer from allergies, wear a N95 dustmask. Many persons have allergies as severe in the fall as in the spring. Also, you might want to spray your clothing with some type of bug repellent.
Another fun fall project is pruning trees. Be sure to look over the area around the trees and be sure there are no power lines running through them before you position your ladder. Use the right tool for each job. If you are using power tools, you may want to wear earplugs to soften the noise. Also, watch for falling limbs, you never know when a big limb is going to come tumbling out of a tree.
Cleaning gutters is another job I’d rather not do. But for those who have to do this, be sure the ladder you plan to use is in good condition and set it on a level place. It is better to move the ladder as often as needed than stretch to reach something while you are on it. An extension ladder is good for checking the roof or cleaning gutters.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that there are more than 400,000 persons treated in emergency rooms annually that are victims of lawn and garden tool accidents. Whether you are working with a mower, wood chipper, leaf blower, or any power tool, use caution. Always wear safety glasses when doing yard work to protect your eyes.
There’s a lot to be said about the great outdoors, whether it’s your yard, somewhere you walk, or a favorite place you take your kids for an adventure. The best policy is to be safe and aware of your surroundings. There may be snakes that are hiding under leaves until they choose to hibernate. Just be sure you are safe wherever you are. One other tip, wildlife (such as deer) is more active during this season, so watch for them while driving.
Enjoy every minute of this fall, because one morning you’ll wake up, and there will be frost on the pumpkin!