It’s summer. The branches of the mango tree in the garden are hanging heavy with new leaves. The flowers that will turn to fruits are starting to make an appearance. We should be happy. The tree is a bright green and we have all those mangoes to look forward to. But to give way to those new leaves, the tree has to shed old ones. And the flowers are attracting insects that are often invisible in the distance to the naked eye. The insects find their way into the house and we’ve been suffering from weals of every size and shape.
For the past two weeks, the garden has been covered with dry fallen leaves. Alex and Speedy had been taking turns sweeping the fallen leaves and burning them right under the tree to shoo away the insects. But the mango tree is unforgiving. They sweep and burn every afternoon but when we wake up the next day, there are more dry leaves covering the gravel. In this heat, cleaning up the garden is hard labor. In this heat, scratching the weals on our skin is torture.
Today, as usual, Alex took the broomstick and started sweeping the fallen leaves. Progress was slow. The wind is strong and the leaves keep flying around. Daddy comes to her rescue. Speedy brought out the vacuum cleaner. For a moment, I thought he was going to suck all those fallen leaves with the vacuum cleaner. Curious, I stepped out. He was doing the exact opposite.
If you own a vacuum cleaner, well… the newer ones have a dual function. Not only can the vacuum cleaner suck up whatever comes in its path, it can also serve as a heavy-duty blower. Fighting the wind, Speedy started blowing off the leaves to gather them in one place.
Genius. It worked like a charm. It did the job ten times faster and the wind was no match for the machine. Pretty soon, the gravel that covers the garden was free from fallen dead leaves.
All Alex had to do was scoop up the leaves and drop them in the clay pot and burn the hell out of them.
We look forward to an insect-free evening.
P.S. If you have strong opinions against burning dead leaves as being unfriendly to the environment, then stop using your outdoor grill, air-conditioner and heater before you point fingers.