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I’m Going to Leaf It Alone After This

Tree in front of Mark Steinhoff's house in St. Louis, near the Botanical GardensThis will be the last tree and leaf posting for a long time. I know you non-Floridians are wondering why we’re so obsessed with leaves when you are already tired of raking, blowing, burning and disposing of them.

It’s because we don’t have all these spectacular colors down here. Most things stay disgustingly green year-round.

Wife Lila was so disturbed by the lack of colorful leaves in Florida that my Mother had to send her a care package of them our first Fall in the state. Every year when I’d go back home, I’d have to bring back leaves for my friends at the office.

(As always, click on the image to make it larger.)

Free leaves

Leaves at Southern Kumfort on Kentucky LakeSo, here’s the deal: I scored a small trash bag of leaves on my way out of town last weekend. There were some really spectacular ones earlier in the week, but several days of rain managed to knock them down.

Most of them are yellow Maple leaves

Red leaves found along Broadway in Cape Girardeau, MOI’m willing to dole them out to anyone who leaves (no pun intended) me a comment telling my why they need a leaf fix. You have to be local enough that we can arrange a physical transfer. (I suppose I COULD fax them to you, but I think they’d lose something along the way.)

Most of the stash is made up of yellow Maple leaves because they were low enough in my Mother’s yard to snip off without too much trouble.

Lady Bugs are confused

Fallen Leaves at Steinhoff residence in Cape Girardeau, MOThere must have been a bunch of Lady Bugs on the leaves because every time I turned around, there was another one crawling on me or my car window.

I bet there’s a dozen Lady Bugs flying around in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida wondering, “Wow, how in the world did I get here?”

Trees are already turning brown

I stopped in Thebes, Ill., at a scenic overlook to check out the rising Mississippi River.

You can see that the trees over on the Missouri side are already starting to turn to dark orange and brown.

When I rode the Cape LaCroix Recreational Trail on Saturday, it was so covered with leaves that you could hardly tell where the trail was in spots.

Give me a holler if you want your share of leaves. My Mother was happy to send them down to Florida so she wouldn’t have to rake them.

View of Mississippi River at flood from Thebes, IL, scenic overlook

4 comments to I’m Going to Leaf It Alone After This

  • mark S

    Had I known there was an interest in sending leaves back to your home state (wait, are you going to be in trouble with the Agricultural Department for importing vegetation across state lines?) I would have sent you bushels of them when you came up here to St. Louis.

    By the way, those aren’t Lady Bugs you saw but Japanese Beetles. They look like LB’s but they have a terrible smell and they also bite. In the fall they swarm house windows and doors trying to stay warm. Read that as a pest of a pest.

    If you want to keep the leaf you get (assuming you give any away) looking like it just fell off the tree, go to the drugstore and get a jar of glycerin and soak it in that. The leaf will stay supple and not lose its fall color….

  • Mark S,

    I knew you would have thought of disposing your leaves that way, much like northern cities load railroad cars with snow and dispatch them southward. That’s why I kept my van securely locked at all times.

    Knowing you, you would have ignored the “leaflets three” rule and loaded me up with brightly colored Poison Ivy leaves so I would have a gift that keeps on giving.

    You’re telling me that my Lady Bugs weren’t ladies? I didn’t notice any offensive odors, but, then, I had been in the car three days. Most of them were on the windows of the car trying to get out, so maybe I was the offensive one. Biting went unnoticed, as well.

    I’m not so sure about your glycerin advice. Hasn’t kept me supple and colorful; why would I believe it would do any better with leaves?

    As the first leaf commenter, I’m willing to make an exception to my “locals only” rule and send you some representative samples.

  • mark S

    For every leaf you send back, I will send you a bushel. Deal?

  • That is an amazing photo of the fallen leaves at the Steinhoff residence in Cape Girardeau, really beautiful array of colours. I have to admit, I love Autumn (Fall ) too, I think everything looks so pretty when leaves turn orange. I would give it all up to live in Florida though I have to tell you!