It is raining cats and dogs outside my front door (which is the new prompt for The Gallery) at the moment. Meanwhile, on the inside, it is fair old chaos, as we try to pack for a 10 day roadtrip taking in Florida, Georgia and all the other states between New York and the South - no mean feat when the weather could range from snowstorms to tropical heat. The Doctor has already announced, with a meaningful look at me, that he does not want to be carrying 'hundreds of little bags' in and out of motels every day, but at the same time that he does not want me to overload the Big Suitcase with heavy stuff. Sigh....
Anyway, here is a picture of our driveway*, taken last November at the height of the autumn foliage. As you can see, we live in an area with a lot of very tall trees. So leaves are very much a feature of our life here, framing the changing seasons.
In the autumn, there are so many leaves that the council has special leaf-collecting lorries that trawl the streets once a week to remove the debris. Residents spend most weekends leaf-blowing and raking, while others employ large gangs of 'landscapers' for the task. But as you can see, it is beautiful.
In the summer, our street is cool and green, shaded by the huge trees. The boys collect pine cones by the dozen, and the leaves are so thick you can hardly see the neighbouring houses.
Winter is much more public, with unexpected vistas of neighbouring homes, but I rather like the extra sunlight it affords our house. The trees are battered by frequent storms, and it's not unusual to see a large branch down, or half a tree lying in the street. We live in fear of one falling on the car (it's happened to a number of people I know).
Now it is spring, and the driveway is covered in pinky-red blossoms that fall all over the car windscreen and stick to the soles of my boots.
*Note also, in the centre, our all-American mailbox. I still haven't got used to the fact that letters don't come through our front door, and I have to remember to go and empty it. But the Littleboys love being asked to go and look inside.