We are getting ready for winter. Yesterday, after my tomato plants finally succumbed to the killing frost we had overnight (it was 25 degrees for the morning walk to school, though it warmed up quite a bit by the afternoon), I pulled them up and mulched the garden plot with leaves from the giant maple tree in the back yard.
The lettuce is still going strong. I think we'll have a salad from it with dinner tonight.
Speaking of that giant tree, this will probably be the last fall we have to deal with it. Assuming we can do a kitchen extension and remodel, that tree will have to come down. Sometimes, the thought of losing the maple makes me sad. It's as old as the house (probably) and provides us with lots of lovely shade in the summer. But it dumps so many helicopters in the spring and SO many leaves in the fall, all of which clog the gutters and carpet the yard, I won't be sorry not to clean those up. Also, it's perilously close to our house and our neighbors' houses/power lines/driveways, and I've been told silver maples have rather shallow root systems and rather weak branches, so it's just a matter of time before a big storm brings down a branch that damages someone's roof or smashes the car or pulls down a power line.
Maybe by this time next year the view above will just be clear blue sky.