Sharon and Larry Zwarich are wondering, what happens to all those leaves that are blown around by their neighbours?
The answer is probably blowing in the wind somewhere.
About four years ago, the couple moved to west Maple Ridge from Saskatoon and noticed a peculiarity – the number of neighbours who, when autumn arrives and leaves fall, get out their blowers and blast the fallen leaves from their lawns and driveways out on to the roads in front of their house.
“We just thought that was really strange because we haven’t seen that before. It was just kind of an unusual concept for us,” Sharon said Wednesday.
“After a while, you kind of think, what if everybody did that?”
It’s almost like just dumping your compost on the street, she added.
Do people think the leaves evaporate?
Sharon added that there doesn’t seem to be a malicious motive, but simply caused by a lack of awareness that this is unacceptable and not a neighbourly thing to do.
Sharon has a diplomatic touch and has mentioned the practice to a few of her neighbours, who don’t really have a good response, other than to say everyone else does it. That’s how one neighbour from across the street, who drifted by during a brief discussion, explained it.
The couple does have their own leaf blower, but they use it to clear off their driveway, before picking up the leaves and packing them into a can. She’ll also try to leave some leaves on her grass and garden in the winter in order to provide food and shelter for insects and little animals.
Leaf blowers also bring out another observation as she watches people wander around with them.
“It’s funny with these leaf blowers. They’re almost like an addiction.”
The saga of the leaf blower, she jokes.