Sticky situation

By Nancy Black

Is it just my trees, or does everyone have sticky leaves covering their yards right now? My dogs look and feel like they rolled in honey and oats each time they come back inside through their doggy door. And it’s not just one tree’s leaves. All the leaves that have fallen in my yard are covered in some type of very adhesive goo.

The questions are, why? And what to do about it?

Why are they sticky? I’m blaming the fact that it hadn’t rained in Dallas for more than 36 days. My theory is the sap from the trees that normally would wash away during storms hasn’t, hence the leaves that are falling are covered in it. 

I am happy to consider other, more scientific theories, too, but that is my layman’s answer.* 

Climate change is affecting our planet in so many different ways. Dallas used to be a city that had all four seasons. Now we have two: summer and winter. Yes, I am enjoying the lower temperatures we’ve experienced in the past few weeks, but not at the cost of rain. I’d rather have a good ole Texas thunderstorm every few days than more than a month of dry weather.

What to do about the leaves? Don’t suggest vacuuming inside and using a leaf blower outside. I tried both and the results lasted about 10 minutes, until the next breeze blew through the air or dog came through the door. 

No suggestions about just getting over it, either please. I tried that for a couple of days, too, until I could no longer see my carpet for all the leaves that covered it. And I had to get a trash can to sweep all the leaves into it before I could make my bed. Thanks to some nighttime doggie bed company, it looked like I had been sleeping on the forest’s floor. 

My solution is to suck it up, literally, and vacuum often. And to do my part in helping to keep Dallas and the Earth green. I am very conscience of my water use, I recycle everything I can, and I turn off lights when not in use to save electricity. They may be little things, but so are leaves. And, trust me, they can add up!

* I found out the sap on my leaves is actually honeydew produced by pecan aphids! They are super tiny insects who have emerged in numbers due to our extended drought situation.