It's a typical example of how things can change.
The leaves that have been on trees of the Ozarks since last spring have gone through their cycle of providing shade for the whole summer for all the creatures on the earth.
Then they reached the stage just last month of giving their best in providing the Flaming Fall Review across the nation, from coast to coast the colors, depending on the species they might be, which has subsequently provided a revenue season for many a business that annually relies on this sort of happening.
Trips have been taken to many points in the country just to see what kind of a show a particular region might be providing for the fall viewing. Fall is supposedly one of the best revenue producers for the travel industry throughout the country.
With the shows that are the most attractive, in the northeast and in some points in the west, having been at each location on the map several times, none have been at the correct season of the year to witness their peak color. It's been close a couple of times in Colorado, but each visit was just before or after the full Aspin quake was in progress.
Anyway, it's doubtful another region could produce anything more colorful than what was in Barry County this year. Just from our porch looking northeast up Chinquapin Drive was something that was as colorful as anyone can imagine.
Providing this scene were our Dogwoods, White and Red Oaks, Hickories and some sprouts.
By the time an afternoon sun's rays hit them full on their branches there was no need to get out and move around to see the trees in all their splendor, it was absolutely adequate to set and watch.
It was just about three weeks since the full color arrived in the Ozarks, right on time for the middle of October, just as it has for as long as the trees have stood on the grounds.
Time to go
As they have done for an equal number of times, there comes a season when the days get shorter and as a result the trees first change their color and then give the trees a rest and drop to the ground. It's at this point the leaves that have been so beautiful either continue to be a source of revenue or become a chore for property owners. Either case considered, the leaves, now only a brown color, need to be removed from flowerbeds and yards for another time.
This can be accomplished by hand-rakes and some methods of disposal or by mechanical means that are available these days. The latter is fast becoming the preferred method in these days of available machines and the availability of yard care contractors.
One of these is a young contractor who was raised here in Sunset Heights. He's extended his yard-care service of mowing into being well equipped, even with his own designs and revisions of things that speed-up getting leaves removed from property.
Chris Collins and crew have come up with what might be termed a "leaf plow" that is designed to fit on the front of a zero-turn mower and is capable of moving more leaves in one sweep than any hand-held rake could. The broad apparatus is power operated and shaped just like a snow plow. Collins admits the idea isn't original and was constructed at Mark Vollenweider's shop at Exeter.
With the leaf plow, leaves that might be in open places are easily moved by the steel broom-like lower portion of the blade. Piles of leaves that are removed from flower beds or difficult to reach parts of a yard are easily and quickly moved to collection points were they can be removed by vacuum equipment into a large enclosed trailer.
Then there is a large commercial blower that is also attached to the front of one of the firm's mowers that will also move leaves into piles much quicker and more efficiently than any that might be man-held.
Thus, the leaves have gone their cycle and done their thing, and provided for a number of benefits for the country and its people and creatures. Now they will eventually be destroyed, mostly by burning either in a prescribed area or in a designated area on private property, whichever might be the required method.
Trees won't have to provide them an existence again until spring rolls around and it is time for them to reappear and then get ready to show their colors, which this year, possibly due to Mother Nature having plenty of moisture to work with, did an outstanding job of making the show one of the best in several seasons.