The Rock Wall

Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

In past years, the peak fall color has averaged around Oct. 15, so we have been watching to see what effect the drought has on color this year.

Monday morning, Oct. 15, I told Kimball that the oak and hickory trees north of our house looked the best I’d seen them. I also said I can never tell when the peak hits until a day or two later.

I’m thinking today, Tuesday, that Monday was it.

The sugar maples don’t play by oak rules. They usually peak out a week or two before the oaks. Oddly enough, the sugar maples are coming along a little slow this year. The always reliable trees by Scott Morris’ house are starting to get close to peak, but if you look closely, the leaves look dry.

The usually showy trees on the west side of the Methodist Church, lining the St. James side, couldn’t make the party this year. The ones at the corner of Main and Fields Blvd. are struggling. Other trees around town and the area that we usually can depend on are mostly no-shows.

Kimball’s two sugar maple west of our house are putting on a fairly good show.

– The bridge is out. Little Clear Creek on the Cedar/St. Clair County line west of our house. They knocked it down Monday. It’s been a landmark since before I was born, but I welcome its replacement. When Davis was first learning to drive, I let him drive home from Schell-Osage or somewhere and he stopped just short of the bridge, afraid to cross it. I finally talked him across.

I’ve crossed it with the flood water raging just inches below the bridge floor when I gave a lot of thought to what I’d do if the bridge caved in. The short answer probably was – drown.

I don’t know what the west footing looked like, but when I went down for a look this morning, the crew had the east footing pushed 40 yards or so from their work area. It was about half the size of your living room so someone did some good work upteen years ago.

I know Vanessa Hardy will be glad when her driver doesn’t have to backtrack so far to avoid a 5-ton load limit bridge.

– Last Tuesday, while Kimball was making her rounds to pick up over-the-counter papers, she told the clerk at one store how many papers they had sold and the cost per paper to multiply on his calculator. He punched in the figures and said something she didn’t understand.

She told him the whole process again. And again he punched the keys and told her something she could not hear.

So she said, “Give me the calculator” and did the math herself. When she told him the figure, he threw up his hands and said, “That’s what I said, Silly Rabbit.” She’s been laughing about it ever since.