Deerly Departed on Mount Auburn

Mother and I happened to be driving northbound on Mount Auburn Rd. just about dusk a couple of nights ago. When we cleared the Hopper Road light, I looked over at a small clearing and spotted a small deer in the grass. Even though we lived “out in the country” when we moved in 50+ years ago and had cattle grazing the field behind our house, we never saw wild animals bigger than racoons, possums and the rare woodchuck in the neighborhood. It’s only been in the last 10 or 15 years, with development eating up all the countryside, that she has had deer show up in the yard.

When I drove past there at about the same time Saturday night, the deer was in the same place. I thought he might be stuffed until I saw his white tail move.

Does Missouri use decoy deer?

Still not convinced that it was a live deer, I went home and asked Brother Mark if Missouri ever used fake deer to catch hunters shooting where they weren’t supposed to. He said he thought they did, but wasn’t sure.

I asked Mother if she’d like to see if the deer was real or fake. The deer was still there when we pulled into the parking lot of the Ford & Sons Funeral Home on the other side of the street. I got off a couple of shots of the deer and was convinced that it WAS real.

Cars have the right of way

I was walking across the street for a closer shot when the light changed a block away. From the speed the cars were coming, it was clear that cars, not pedestrians, have the right of way on Cape streets. Realizing that walkers were divided into two groups: the quick and the dead, I broke into a run. That spooked not just one deer, but two.

It wasn’t until I looked at the first frame enlarged on the computer that I realized that both of them were visible in the original shot.

Bunny rabbits in front of Franklin School a week ago; deer on Mount Auburn Road on Saturday. Cape’s getting to be a wild town.

 

Flooded Quarry, Sprigg Sinkholes

The water in the cement plant’s quarry is a little lower than when neighbor Bill Bolton took his photos earlier in the month, but there’s still a lot of water in the bathtub. Here are pictures of the ebb and flow of water in the pit since 2002.

Pumping water into Cape LaCroix Creek

One reason they’re gaining on it is a new pipeline pumping water into Cape LaCroix Creek at South Sprigg. I don’t know if both pipes were being used at one time or if the one is being held as a spare.

It’s only fair that water be pumped¬† back into the creek because that’s where some of it is seeping from.

Sinkholes present challenge

Getting TO the quarry was a bit of a challenge. You can’t get there by going south out of Cape on South Sprigg. It’s closed at Cape LaCroix Creek because of some massive sinkholes. We had to come in from the west.

Devices along railroad tracks

I don’t know what these devices are along the railroad tracks north of the cement plant and south of the creek. Railroads have been using defect detectors for years to find overheating wheel bearings, called “hotboxes;” loads that have shifted; how many axles are on the train; objects sticking out and other anomalies. The devices transmit a radio report to the crew when it passes.

Until regular reader and train buff Keith Robinson chimes in, I’m going to speculate that these devices may be looking for changes in the track that would signal a sinkhole has opened up or swallowed the track.

Gallery of photos

Here are more photos of the Sprigg Street sinkholes and the railroad devices. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the right or left side to move through the gallery.