A Rainy Night in Cape Girardeau

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013Ever wonder why car ads always show wet roads, but it’s never raining? It’s because all the reflections are REALLY neat.  This is southbound on Kingshighway south of Broadway. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

I had to make a run to UPS to send a thumb drive full of photos to the Athen (OH) Historical Society and Museum. When I stopped by there last month, I left off a bunch of photos I took when I worked in Athens back in the late ’60s and early 70s. Friend Jan and I had barely gotten out of town when curator Jessica Cyders pinged me to ask if I thought it would be possible to put together an exhibit on the Martin Luther King National Day of Mourning I shot in 1968 by February 27 to cap off a Black History Month conference. Since Jessica and Danielle Echols were doing to do most of the heavy lifting, I agreed.

I’m flying out to speak to the group at the end of the month, and I’m busy putting together a show catalog right now. It’s neat that someone thinks my old stuff is worth sharing.

Tuesday I’m supposed to speak to a historical preservation class at Southeast Missouri State University. I threw in a lot of new Cape-specific stuff this afternoon, so what I say is going to be as big a surprise to me as it will be to the class.

Stop light at Pacific and Independence

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013After I dropped the drive at UPS, I decided I’d drive around looking for rain art. Photographers always thought life was unfair. Reporters did weather stories by calling the weather bureau, digging out clips about the Last Big Storm and, if they could be bothered, looking out the windows. Photographers had to get their shoes muddy.

Old Traffic Bridge

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013Downtown was kinda blah, so I stopped by what remains of the old Traffic Bridge.

Since I retired, my new contract says that I don’t go hungry, get wet or lift heavy objects. These photos were all taken from inside my van with the heater running.

Haarig or Good Hope

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013The wind and rain were really whipping from the south when I paused on Good Hope looking west toward Sprigg. It was coming across the road in sheets.

Pacific looking south from SEMO

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013

I figured I’d better scope out where I’m supposed to be presenting Tuesday, so I went up Pacific to the Carnahan Building. On the way back I tried to capture the rain coming up the street and down the hill.  These are the times I envy the TV guys with their video. It’s tough to get across the concept of driving rain in a still.

Through the windshield

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013When an oncoming car lit up the water droplets on the windshield, the camera’s autofocus thought that’s what I wanted to shoot. It’s neat, and I’m glad it happened, but it wasn’t my target.

Ducking My Responsibilities

DuckYa’ll are a tough audience. If I skip a day, I’m sure to hear from Mother who wants to know why I’m “slacking off.”

Now, it’s Friend Shari that’s taking me to task, although a bit more diplomatically: “So, does the appearance of the short blogs mean you’re packing to head to Cape?  When are you leaving?”

The answer is “Yes.” I’m trying to scan and print a bunch of photos from my Ohio years to show to the Athens County Historical Society and Museum in Athens, Ohio. The game plan is to leave West Palm Beach on January 20, stop in Athens for a couple of days, then head on over to Cape until the first week of March.

The duck? Your guess is as good as mine. It was on the same roll as the cute cat. There’s a good reason why nobody has seen it in almost half a century. You can click on it to make it larger.


Cold Fronts and Hurricanes

I was talking on the photo with Wife Lila about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on West Palm Beach. She started to say that they weren’t getting much rain and the wind was gusty, but no big deal, when she broke off and said that the house had been hit with a gust that had caused the huge mango tree in the back yard to bend. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Temperature dropping 30 degrees

Here in Missouri, we’re looking at a 30-degree drop in temperature. I believe it’s coming. I was up in Altenburg for the Immigration Conference I was speaking at this evening when the winds started picking up and the thermometer started a rapid plunge.

It’s amazing how quickly the leaves can change from a brilliant color to a dull brown to gone.

There was a huge maple about halfway between Cape and Perry counties that was a spectacular yellow on Tuesday of last week. Almost all of the leaves were off half of the tree yesterday. On the way by this morning, it was nothing but naked branches.

This is a cold sky

Walking back to the school cafeteria for a meal of chicken ‘n’ dumplings, I noticed the moon coming up. If that’s not a cold sky, I don’t know what is.

Leaves seeking shelter

Earlier in the week, these leaves were content to loll around in the sunshine minding their own leaf business. When I opened the door to get to my car Thursday night, the wind sent them swirling down the school’s hallway. You KNOW it’s going to be cold when even the leaves are seeking shelter.

The Leaves Turned

A friend up in Perry County called Monday to say I should get right up there before the leaves turned. When I got there on Tuesday, I said, “They look pretty good to me.”

“They’ve started falling today,” he said.

Wednesday was errand-running day, and Wednesday evening brought a cold front with gusty winds and frog-strangling rainfall. Somebody nearby said their rain gauge recorded 2-1/2 inches of the wet stuff. Mother’s yard was covered with fallen walnuts

The Jackson City Park leaves were still pretty, but the colors weren’t as vibrant as they were the day before.

Broke my rule

I broke my rule of “shoot it when you see it, otherwise the magic is liable to leak out.”

The temperatures were in the high 60s and felt great, but the color wasn’t as nice as two days ago. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Road to Tower Rock

The drive to Altenburg Tuesday was spectacular. Thursday, it was merely “nice.” The trees on the tiny road leading to Tower Rock were still pretty when the light was behind them.

Orange with persimmons

Perhaps the greatest victims of the high winds and rain were the super-sweet persimmons at the Tower Rock parking area. The ground and rocks were orange with squished persimmons and buzzing with bees. Persimmons from two trees on the south end of the picnic area have smaller, tougher fruit. I picked up about a pint of ripe, but not splattered pieces to take home to Mother as part of her extended Birthday Season.

Adding to my disappointment was a rise in the river levels. The river is at 9 feet and going up, two feet higher than the 7 feet it needs to be in order to walk out to The Rock.