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Saturday Feature: The Mystery of the Leafless Trees

I figured it out! I discovered the secret to the question that has puzzled me for such a long time (even in one of my last posts): The question as to why the trees on campus only have green leaves, or no leaves; and why there are never any leaves on the ground that crunch so wonderfully when you walk. (With all my “grown-up-ness,” I love crunching leaves!) The answer to that question: It’s the tree shakers.

What? You don’t know what tree shakers are!?

Well, let me enlighten you: Tree shakers are the people who shake the trees to make all the leaves fall off. Makes sense, right?

Our tree shakers work on campus to keep the grounds clean and tidy (and they do a meticulous job at that, I assure you), and you could either call them gardeners, maintenance people, or – as a matter of fact – tree shakers. So, believe me or not, in China you can actually make a living with shaking trees. (Or, at least it’ll be part of your job description to put it more correctly). And not only do the tree shakers shake the trees to make all the leaves fall off – as soon as the leaves hit the ground, they also gather them together and dispose of them. That’s why there’s neither colorful leaves on trees, nor colorful leaves on the ground. (Except for when you are really lucky and get to the tree before they do. That’s why in autumn you always need to keep an eye open.) So, sad as it is, the answer is that simple: Our lack of autumn splendor is all the tree shakers’ fault!

I wish I had a photo to show you the tree shaker people in action, but I don’t, because I never knew we had tree shaker people until earlier this week, when we were puzzled by a leafless tree that only hours earlier had been in full autumn splendor. That’s when my friends told me about the tree shakers, and now I know.

See this photo?

I took this picture earlier this week, and that tree still had lots of pretty leaves. But yesterday, when I was crawling through the shrubbery for another photo shoot with a friend, that tree was empty; leafless; desolate. And on the ground, we found this …

The evidence of the tree shakers. We, however, took our revenge!

On that note: Happy fall, y’all!

(And here are a couple more pictures …)

Saying Thanks

And today I’m thankful for a good long talk with my friends at lunch, and that it’s the weekend, and that I got to play some tennis.

And I’m thankful that it’s only 2 more days till heater day! (Though supposedly it was turned on last night, but I don’t feel no nothing about the heat in my radiators.)


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