Snow Comes to Cape

The weather folks have been teasing us all week telling us that a big snow storm (they call it an “event”) is coming. We had a little God Dandruff scatter for a few minutes earlier in the week, but Wednesday was supposed to be the biggie.

I had to go to the Jackson Walmart to have some prints made. As I backed out of the driveway, some fairly sizable flakes were getting organized, but I wasn’t worried. Just as I closed the car door, I noticed how the flag was nicely backlit, and some of the flakes were popping out. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

Rose bush looks like cotton field

Since I was already almost to Jackson, and because I had some time to kill, I decided to have a combo, slaw, fries and a Mr. Pibb at Wibb’s.

By the time I finished, there was serious snow on the road. I got behind a slow driver going up the steep hill next to the city park, and I kept thinking, “If this guy don’t dial some giddy-up, we’re going to spin out here.”

There wasn’t a bread and milk freak-out going on at Walmart when I picked up my prints, but a lot of baskets were filled with snow melt.

Hwy 61 between Jackson and Cape was covered. I got in behind a snow plow (at a safe distance), but parts of the road were still slick. Even going up Kingsway Drive kept my traction control popping on and off.

I looked at the rose bush in the front yard, and was glad I had a nice, warm house to hide away in.

Memories of snow and smack

I’m pretty cautious about driving on snow and ice because I learned at an early age that just because you can go doesn’t mean you can stop. Jim Stone, Carol Klarsfeld and I were checking out the sights on a steep hill near Bertling when we came around a curve and saw a car on our side of the road.

I put on the brakes, but gravity was not on our side. We slowly crashed into the other car with my tank of a 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon. My car suffered so little damage I didn’t bother to take a photo of it. The other guy was less lucky.

OK, I’ll go take a look

After pacing around in the kitchen for a few minutes, temptation overcame good sense and I grabbed for a jacket and headed out.

I learned as a Missourian photographer, that there are a few places in Cape that are like shooting fish in a barrel when it’s time to come up with some weather or wild art.

Capaha Park and the train is one of them.

A heavy, wet snow

This may be one of those great snows that turns out to be very pretty, but probably won’t stick around long. Roads that were pretty treacherous when I set out were already plowed or in the process of being plowed by the time I headed back.

This was taken near the new pavilion in Capaha Park that overlooks where the pool used to be.

Next stop: SEMO

It took two passes to shoot this picture of Academic Hall. When I got right in front of the building, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a bus coming up behind me. I figured I’d better keep going to give him room.

Then, I saw him turn off.

When I made my second pass, I managed to get off a few frames before a car showed up in the mirror again. What are those fools doing out on a night like this?

A swing and a miss

I felt like I had to shoot something along Broadway. These trees and utility pole caught my eye, but I’m not overjoyed with the result.

Oh, well, you can strike out 7 of 10 times at bat, and still make a million bucks a year.

Main Street decorations

Some other folks had posted pictures of Main Street’s decorations on Facebook before the snow, so I actually got out of the car to shoot this.

Lady Liberty and Freedom Corner

This situation looked better than it photographed. I’m including it because it was the second time I got out of the car.

As I stepped off the curb, I thought, “Please don’t let this slush be deep enough to fill my shoe.”

It wasn’t.

I was acutely aware of the possibility, because the night before I was pricing a pair of old-fashioned galoshes that I could slip over my shoes when confronted with mud, slush or snow. When I saw the price, I decided my toes could get pretty chilly before I’d spring for overshoes.

I decided that I had cheated death enough, so I hung it up and headed home. My meanderings didn’t produce any great art, but it felt good to check snow off the year’s bucket list.

 

 

What’s the White Stuff?

The gravel in the driveway was getting a bit thin, so I put about a dozen 50-pound bags of it down several weeks ago. The recent rains exposed some more muddy spots, so I bought another five bags.

The irony is that Dad used to buy gravel by the train-load, probably for what I had just paid for about 20 bags. Anyway, while I was spreading the gravel, I noticed specks of white flying by. I didn’t think it was the fireplace belching ashes, so I watched more closely. Sure enough, some of the pellets were turning into flakes.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

The Bolton House across the street

I decided I needed to bring in more firewood, so I hauled the wagon outside, then went back inside to piddle around for a few minutes. Suddenly, I saw people in the area posting on Facebook that it was snowing.

Son of a gun, it WAS showing. Snowing enough that the ground was white and I had to empty out the wood wagon before I could load it.

Walnut waiting to become firewood

When I bought Mother’s house from my brothers, I had a list of things that needed to be taken care of. One of the first was to chop down two maple trees that Mother and Dad planted when they bought the house. One of them was so hollow that it was a wonder that it hadn’t fallen on us or the neighbor.

I asked the tree trimmer to cut some dead walnut limbs that were about to fall either on the driveway or the roof. He looked this tree over and said, “You’d be better off to let me take it down now instead of having to come back in a year or so.”

I hated to see it go, but he does this for a living. I let him haul off all the big pieces, but had him leave pieces small enough that I could cut them to fireplace length without having to split them.

Shed in a Box

In 2013, David, Mark and I built Mother a Shed in a Box to park her riding mower in. It was a lot easier for her to do that than to wrestle tarps over it.

It’s getting some stress tears in the tarp top that I’m going to have to patch up with tape as soon as it warms up.

Mother loved having these spinners in the yard so she could tell how hard the wind was blowing. This is the last one left, and it’s only a matter of time before the elements get it, too.

Gradually returning to nature

There was an old tree at the corner of the yard that died many, many years ago. Mark said not to cut it because there were holes in that indicated that it was home for all kind of critters.

Old age and gravity finally won out. It’s gradually becoming compost to feed other plants.

 Needles and flakes

The tiny ice crystals lodged wherever they could. Fortunately, they weren’t accompanied by damaging ice and sleet.

A study in green and red

The holdover red holly berries add a festive touch to the cold. It’s 18 and falling at midnight (feels like 8 degrees), and it’s headed for 11 at 6 a.m. I don’t want to know the “feels like” temperature.

Old McKendree Wearing White

Old McKendree Chapel in snow 02-09-2016It dawned on me the other day that I had photographed Old McKendree Chapel in just about every season, but never when it was dusted with snow. Since I was already as far as the Benjamin F. Hunter Cabin, it was only right to venture down the lane to the chapel, its grounds and across the road to the cemetery.

Other stories

I covered the history of the chapel in this tale when I feared the Methodists had set a trap for a backsliding Lutheran.

When I ran across photos of the chapel from 1962, I was disappointed to see how many of the huge old trees had succumbed to old age and the weather.

Old McKendree Chapel photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

 

Visited by Celestial Dandruff

North County Park snow 02-16-2016It must have snowed pretty good while I was sleeping, because there was a lot more snow on my car and on the ground than when I went to sleep Monday night. Just before I sat down to lunch, I peeked out the window to see something between a light rain and a drizzle falling. I thought there might be a speck of white mixed in from time to time, but it was mostly splashing when it hit the ground.

Just as I was finishing lunch, I happened to glance out of the kitchen with the corner of my eye. Holy Crapola!!! The sky is full of God dandruff! (As always, click on the photos to make them larger.)

(I’m of the belief that every person should be allocated a finite number of exclamation marks to be used over their entire lifetime; when they’re gone, then it’s back to periods for everything. I spend my exclamation points sparingly, but today’s snow was worth every one of them.)

Biggest flakes I’ve ever seen

Snow Kingwawy Dr 02-16-2016I ran to the living room door to see if the stuff was falling in both the front AND back yards. Yep, it sure was.

I told Wife Lila that the flakes were as big a quarters. Then, I amended it to say they were the size of quarter-sized marbles. They weren’t just two-dimensional like you cut out of construction paper in  grade school; these were the Real Deal. Wednesday is Wife Lila’s birthday, by the way.

Overcoming inertia

North County Park snow 02-16-2016It took me awhile to overcome inertia. In Florida, things are easy: you pull on a polo shirt, grab a pair of shorts and slip on some sandals. Up north, you have to consider layers. And, they have to go on in a certain order, particularly if you wear suspenders.

Just as I was pulling out of the driveway, the Low Fuel light came on. You do NOT want to be running around on potentially slick streets with that thing blinding you.

Gas is usually cheaper in Jackson and Fruitland, so I headed that way with a brief stop at North County Park.

By the time I got to Jackson, the big flakes had stopped. The show was over. I shot a little video, but it wasn’t impressive enough to spend the time editing it. Like I always say, “Some days you make pictures; some days you make memories.”

The nice thing about this snow storm was that it provided really nice eye candy for about an hour or two, then changed to rain, which kept the streets from getting slick.

There’s a rumor that we may be seeing temperatures in the mid-60s by the weekend. Maybe I shouldn’t have ordered that load of firewood to show up this week, although I don’t think we’re done with winter yet or that it’s done with us.

Thank you, Mother Nature. I really enjoyed your show. You really SHOULD do something about that celestial dandruff, though.