Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Favorite Park

Living in a city is challenging for Jacob and me.  We both grew up in the country.  My home 'town' Sunizona, Arizona doesn't get a dot on the map.  The post office was 20 miles away in Pearce, my high school was 25 miles away in Elfrida, and a normal sized grocery store was about one hour either North to Willcox or South to Douglas.  Jacob is from Northwest Virginia where he spent much of his time in the George Washington National Forest.  We miss the open space and solitude of country life.  Hopefully we will be able to find a less populated place to live in the future.

For now, I am ever so thankful for the public areas where I can enjoy the outdoors.  The places that I frequent are my garden :), the nature center, St James Episcopal Church property, Hornsby Bend, and Mueller Park.  These places help me get outside, see a little nature, and keep sane (well, you know me!)    

Mueller Park is in a newer development at the old airport in Austin.  It has two park areas; a more traditional park area with mowed grass and a playground, and a natural area with prairie grass and native plants.  I, of course, prefer the natural area with its wildflowers, tall grasses, and large oaks and pecans.  There are ponds in each of the areas.  The classic park pond has some domestic ducks and geese that children like to feed, and both ponds are home to wild ducks especially in the winter months.  I have seen Wood duck, Ring-necked Ducks, Redhead, Canvasback, Black-bellied whistling ducks, Gadwall, Ruddy Duck, American Coots, and Pie-billed Grebes during different times of year.  I enjoy waiting for the return of Scissor-tailed flycatchers in the spring and picking up a freshly dropped pecan in late summer.   

Living in a city is challenging, but I find my sweet spots where I can be myself and energize.  I don't think I could live in a place without dirt and plants, bugs and birds.  I love these small living spaces in our large city.  

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly
Pie-billed Grebe Babies hatched this weekend

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Mueller Park Pond (classic park pond)