Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Enjoy our Ozarks as leaves are falling

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Falling leaves is 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.

This time of the year, they reach the stage of giving their best in providing the Flaming Fall Review all across the nation, from coast to coast the colors, depending on whatever species they might be, has subsequently provided a revenue season for many businesses that annually relies on this fall event.

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 this fall time of the year. Fall is supposedly one of the best revenue producers for the travel industry throughout the country.

Missed out

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. Itís been close a couple of times in Colorado, but each visit was just before or after the full Aspin quake was in progress.

Anyway, itís doubtful another region could produce anything more colorful than the Fall Review is in Barry County this year.

The colors

Providing this scene were our Dogwoods, White and Red Oaks, Hickories and some sprouts that carry no names.

By the time an afternoon sunís 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 a joy to set and watch.

It was just over 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 always done, there comes a season when the days get shorter and as a result the trees find it is time for the leaves to change their color and then give the trees a rest and drop to the ground. Itís at this point the leaves that have been so beautiful either continue to be a source of revenue or become a chore for someone on whose property their trees happen to stand. 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 or some other methods of disposal such as by mechanical means that are available these days. The latter is fast becoming the preferred method with the availability of machines and also the availability of yard care contractors.

Veterans Day

Anyone who has served in the Armed Forces should be proud of this day, itís Veterans Day, once called Armistice Day. Remembering back in my youthful days when our family always looked forward to making the trip to Oak Hill Cemetery. That was before the cemetery received a considerable expansion.

The youngsters were the water bearers. That was before water was provided from a single source. We also had to carry the containers for the flowers that might be blooming in the yard.

Flags came later

Several years went by before small American Flags were placed at the headstones of Veterans. The Irwin-Easley American Legion Post was responsible for this designation for the final resting place of veterans.

The Post program, a fairly expensive program, was designed for any cemetery in the Cassville area. Grosses of the flags were purchased each year and distributed through the Cassville Democrat. The newspaper supplied storage from one year to another and sold the flags to the post at cost. Persons associated with area cemeteries would pick up the flags to be used for two years.

In case the flags faded or became tattered in any way they were to be replaced.

Be safe

There is still an obvious need for people to treat pandemic situations with care. I believe masks should be worn, whether suggested or directed by any level of government.

By following the advice of those in the scientific world, you might save your life or that of someone you love!

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State Universityís Regional Media Hall of Fame.

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