Leafing the Library

This hasn’t been a great season for fall colors in SE Missouri. It was too hot and too dry for the trees to put on a great show for more than a couple of days. I drove around trying to get excited, but there was too much brown for my taste.

If you’re wondering why I’m just getting around to writing about Fall when Spring isn’t far off (Please, please, please), it’s because the framework that drives the blog has been having Old Age issues.

Shaking out the bedbugs

Kid Matt has worked some magic that has given it a new look that’s going to take some getting used to, but will also, hopefully, shake out the bedbugs. By the way, you can click on the photos to make them larger, just like in the old version.

Trees were by the Cape Library

I stopped by the Cape Public Library to swap out some audio books and music CDs. On the way back to the car, the late afternoon set the trees on fire.

Is ‘Librarian Hell’ a real place?

I discovered the old Carnegie Library when it was on the Common Pleas Courthouse lawn. I must have been about 12 when I convinced the librarians that I really COULD read adult books. From then on, I would walk out with a stack of books on Saturday, then swap them out the next weekend.

The new library is one of the nicest I’ve been in. What makes it special for me is that I can wander the stacks and still find books I read half a century ago.

(How do I know? I may go to Librarian Hell for this confession, but I would write my initials very, very small print in the back of the book so I could tell if I had read it before. Some of them are still in circulation.)

The ‘good’ books

Debate partner Pat Sommers had a part-time job at the library, so we used his key to get in to do research when the facility was closed.

Not only did we have access to all the books and periodicals we needed for debate, but Pat knew where the “good” books were that were hidden from public view unless you were (a) an adult and (b) weren’t too embarrassed to ask for them.

Not just books

When I signed up for my library card, I was given a booklet that gave all the rules and regulations, plus a list of things you could check out. 

Take a look at some of things you can borrow: telescopes, WiFi hotspots,  audiobooks (they have a great selection, by the way), and cake pans. Yes, you read that right: cake pans.

It has an inviting kid area and lots of computers. Cape should be proud of its library. (I’d like to find out where they keep the “good” books, but Pat doesn’t work there anymore.)

 

Fish On My Windshield

Leaf on windshield 10-27-2015It was time to run some errands this afternoon. My first stop was to turn around and put on a long-sleeve shirt and to ditch the sandals for socks and shoes. It was one of my first tastes of what I remember Missouri winters to be like. It wasn’t all that cold, but it was gray, drizzling with just a tiny dose of ugly mixed in.

I turned the ignition key, decided I didn’t need to activate the seat warmers yet, flipped the switch to clear the rain off the rear window, then reached for the front wiper to flick off rain droplets and a plethora of leaves.

That’s when it suddenly felt like I was INSIDE an aquarium looking at fish swimming through a field of bubbles.

We don’t see this in Florida

Leaf on windshield 10-27-2015I apologize for the recent flood of fall foliage photos, but we don’t get colors like this in South Florida. The only way we can tell the seasons are changing is by watching the color of the tourist license tags.

It won’t take too many depressing gray days before I start digging through my files for pictures of sun, beaches and palm trees, so be patient.

Searching for Fall Color

Jackson Park 10-25-2015_1783I went out looking for colorful leaves a couple times in the last week. The sun was bright and the sky blue on the first day, but the leaves hadn’t turned yet. The last couple of days have been a bit overcast with passing drizzles, but I did the best with what I had to work with.

Color came looking

Kingsway Drive 10-25-2015After driving all over Cape and Bollinger counties, I took a short nap, then headed out to pick up some groceries. This is what hit me as soon as I opened the door. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sky as blood-red as this one. Even the Boltons across the street were marveling at the sight. Based on the number of Facebook posts I’ve seen, everyone in Cape must have been standing slack-jawed in their yards.

Not more than two minutes after this picture was taken (and it’s not enhanced, by the way), all the color was gone. Just goes to show: “shoot ’em when you see ’em.”

Photo gallery

Some of the photos were taken in my back yard; some were at the City Park in Jackson; the tractors were on U between Crump and Gravel Hill. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around the gallery.

 

Color Finally Arrives

Leaves at Trail of Tears State ParkI was surprised at how little color there was this year as I’ve driven across the country. It wasn’t until last week around Louisville that reds and yellows started popping up.

We had a serious storm (tornado sirens and the whole deal) blow through Cape a couple of nights ago, so I thought most of the leaves would be blown off the trees before they had a chance to show their stuff.

Just the opposite happened: it was like the wind slapped the trees around and woke them up that winter was coming. Mother, Curator Jessica and I meandered all over the place Saturday afternoon, marveling at the changes that 48 hours had made. Jessica ignored my “are you kidding?” look and decided we should climb out on the breakwater off the Trail of Tears State Park marina. Click on the image to make it larger.

I’m glad we went. The sun kept popping in and out of the clouds until just the right combination got stirred in.

We’re on our way to St. Louis in the morning so she can hop on a plane back to Ohio and her husband and cat. I won’t tell you which one she seems to have missed more.

I’m sure we’ll stop along the way to appreciate even more color. Stay tuned.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.