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Pamela Loxley Drake skipped raking last fall, and she doesn't regret a thing.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeTo leaves or not to leaves, that is the ridiculous title of this column.

Leaves. Makes you think of fall, right?

We ooh and aah at the changing colors and moan and groan at the piles of them on the ground waiting for us to rake them up. Hmm. To leaves or not to leaves? (Still a stupid title.)

Last year, Loren and I decided not to rake. I had done a bit of research telling me to stop it. Allow nature to be nourished by the leaves. Of course, it was great input for old people who are tired of raking leaves.

We do not have grass (the yard type). We have rocks and soil. Thus, the fallen leaves fall and gather around the many plants and shrubs in the yard. They rot and nourish the soil.

These leaves protect plants from winter snow. Rain is captured in the leaves, allowing for water to slowly seep into the soil along with the nutrients of the rotting leaves.

Our plants and trees seem healthier this year. There was little cleanup and many rotted leaves still clinging to the soil wrapping it in a protective leafy coat.

Leaves serve as a place for bees, butterflies and other creatures to winter. They lay their eggs beneath the leaves and feed on them.

In a time when our environment is in peril from pesticides and habitat loss, we can still help. In using our leaves, we cut down on the amount transported and disposed of by our waste management companies. By mulching leaves on the grass, some is mixed with the grass nourishing a lawn and the mulch can be used in the garden or around plants in the yard.

Global warming terrifies me. It is real, and it is here now.

I want a world for my children and grandchildren. Tending the earth is one way to help. Recycling is another way to make a difference. Teaching our families how to be participants in healing our environment rather than taking from it is learned by our very actions.

I salute Washington and California in their move to ban the sale of gas driven cars in 2035. Canada has also done the same. I was thrilled to see locally about 12 charging stations filled with cars charging.

It is time to take the steps to protect what we have over the years sought to destroy by our own greed.

So, this year, our leaves will once more fall to the ground. Some might blow away, but we hope that they will become part of the earth, this earth we so cherish.

To leaves or not to leaves.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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