So we moved from Katy to northwest Houston. I spend this afternoon dealing with a problem that I haven't had to deal with since I was a teenager tasked with taking care of the lawn. It's this.
This swath of Houston was Piney Woods 40 years ago, and unlike many subdivisions built today they didn't clear-cut the forest when they built these houses circa 1975. They cut the trees down to pour the slab and driveway and roads and left the rest of the trees intact. There are numerous very tall, mature pine trees in the yard.
After 15 years on the Katy Prairie I forgot what a pain in the ass pine trees are. Gutters are like magnets to pine straw and it took me hours to clean them out. I then mounted a metal rake to a pool extension pole so I could rake the roof off from the ground instead of climbing the roof. (When I was 16 I did that. Now? I'd wind up with numerous broken bones.)
I look forward to March, when the heavy yellow pollen drops so thick that you need a broom to sweep it off your driveway.
As an aside, the money effect is interesting. The new 'hood is... well, it's not River Oaks, but it's a quantum leap from the old "my neighbors have chickens" neighborhood. This is the neighborhood where HP upper management lives. My son's new friends all have motorized scooters. They just don't ride bikes. None of them. What's up with that? My son took it surprisingly well when I told him to forget about a motor scooter.