If you’ve driven up the mountain on Old Highway 205 in the last few months, you might have noticed stacked rocks alongside the road.
Lately, Halloween decorations have been added to some of the stacks.
It conjures up something from the “Blair Witch Project” but it’s nowhere near that sinister.
Ken Jackson lives on Old 205 and the stacked rocks are his handiwork. It all started when he was walking most everywhere he went. He noticed a lot of trash along Highway 205 and he started picking it up.
Then, once the trash was picked up, he started stacking the rocks in places where he could envision someday planting a flowerbed. The stacks have popped up like mushrooms now, all up and down that stretch of road from the top to the bottom.
But the biggest and most artsy of the stacks are in the house where Ken resides, known by old-time Guntersville folks as the old “Bloody Bucket.”
One of the best of the makeshift sculptures is large with the rocks standing on end. Others in the yard of the home resemble animals, a dog or the head of an animal like a giraffe.
Across the street, stacked rocks help funnel runoff into a storm drain.
“It drains a lot better now,” Ken said.
There are rock outlines of hearts, in the process of being filled in with smaller rocks. It’s all quite revealing when you take a tour with Ken as your guide.
There’s a little feature most folks might not recognize either. As he walked the roads between Guntersville and Sand Mountain, Ken would find road reflectors that had been broken and knocked over to the side of the road. He picked them up and tucked them into some of the sculptures.
“The reflectors have to be turned at a particular angle to see them reflect,” Ken said. These are positioned so he only he can see them from the porch of the home.
A few of his pieces now have mums tucked next to them. Ken has been buying them for $1. He has also stacked some wood.
But perhaps his best, most artistic work is not visible from the road at all. It’s down the hill, in the side yard on the upper side of the house. It’s live greenery he has trimmed and molded into the shape of a heart.
He said it has become a bit of a challenge to him to take natural materials and do something special with them.
He knows a lot of folks don't know what to make of it at first glance.
“I heard some of the rumors that it was Satanic or whatever,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
He does enjoy it when people appreciate all the work he has put into it.
“I heard that the school bus was slowing down so the kids could get a good look at it,” Ken said.
Guntersville’s stacked rock man likes that a lot.