I took my dogs for a walk on this lovely spring morning and took my camera with me. Due to having two happy-to-be-walking dogs along with me, some of my photos are not as tack sharp as I would like them to be, but I thought I did okay for having approximately 130 pounds of dog in tow. I use a “Y” shaped leash so that I only have to have one hand on a leash for the two of them, which left the other hand free for my camera.
Here’s Teddy(left) and Daphne(right), raring to go. This shot is one of the not-so-sharp ones, but I liked the “action” shot of Teddy’s voluminous tail.
As I mentioned during Scott’s last challenge, I consider myself a townie. There were only short periods of my life when I did not live here: previous to my parents buying our first home here, which we moved into when I was 3, and for 5 years after I graduated from high school, when my parents sold their house and moved out of town. In 1992, I got married and moved back here. That qualifies me as a townie, doesn’t it? Reason I mention this is because, as many towns I’m sure do, Wilbraham has old neighborhoods and new ones, and my dog walk takes me through some of each. By Wilbraham standards, I suppose my street should be considered relatively new. The street and the houses on it were all built in the 1960’s; the town of Wilbraham was incorporated in 1763. By my own life standards, however, I’d consider my neighborhood old. Here’s my street:
A pretty average suburban neighborhood of ranch-style houses.
This street is one of many “new” neighborhoods in town. A lot of these developments have popped up on lands that used to be owned by family farms. As is happening in many places today, these old family farms can no longer make it in today’s economy, so the descendents of the original farmers have sadly had to sell off land to developers who build streets of cookie-cutter “McMansions.” The houses are all beautifully maintained with putting-green lawns and professionally landscaped yards. There was a time when I envied the owners of this style of house and yard. While I wouldn’t mind owning a home with more space and larger rooms than where I am now, I’m not interested in a huge house I can’t afford to heat with not much of a yard for my vegetable garden, my above-ground pool and space for kids and dogs to play. The interesting thing about this McMansion neighborhood is that very close to these finely manicured lawns, you can turn down a little side street with no houses on it and find this:
A swamp where the only neighbors are peepers, quite loud peepers, which I shot video of on my cell phone about a month ago because they were so loud. If I could figure out how to get that sound from my phone to this blog, I would do it so you could hear them. At the end of this short swamp street, you turn the corner into another “old” neighborhood:
As you can see here, the fence is in need of repair, possibly the back porch too, and the lawn isn’t so perfectly maintained. Its not a “poor” neighborhood, by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe just a more “blue collar” neighborhood:
Houses maybe a little smaller, some Capes, some smaller than my house. But as I walk through this neighborhood, I can feel myself relax again. It seems to be the kind of place where you don’t worry about your kids being out riding their bikes and playing in the neighbor’s yard. No one is going to be upset if you work on a car in the driveway or hang a clothesline in your backyard. As lovely as the other neighborhood looks, I can’t help but feel people are watching as I walk my dogs to make darn sure that the dogs don’t step on their Chem-lawns.
I love this tree. I’m not sure what kind it is. Flowering dogwood, perhaps? (Let me know in the comments if you know what it is). Its not only beautiful now in springtime, but in the fall it turns a gorgeous shade of red.
I just realized I forgot to crop the newspaper out of the shot. I suppose its appropriate concerning the title of this post. Those of us who walk dogs know well what those nice, long, orange bags are good for! ( I didn’ take a picture of that!)