danniewriter

Foto Phriday (Rending Required)

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PeeWee Park is smack dab in the middle of a lovely neighborhood that is fast becoming one of my favorites here in our neck of Louisville. It has been almost swampy this summer, which I assume explains why this small greenspace with picnic tables, a paddle ball court, and playground even exists. Were the drainage better, I’m confident there would be houses filling the space, and Chip and I would never have had reason to visit the neighborhood.

A visual interruption to the idyllic setting is the chain link fence separating the park from the back/side yards of a dozen or more homes. The barrier, of course, is necessary for several reasons, not the least of which are the number of dogs who live on the perimeter.

Although I don’t know for a certainty exactly what happened, it’s obvious that at some point in the life of the park, the fencerow was forgotten. Perhaps there was some miscommunication or disputation regarding who exactly was responsible for its maintenance; was it homeowners or the park service? Things happen (or in this case, don’t happen). Tasks fall through the cracks. To-do lists are lost and never re-prioritized. We are imperfect creatures running around on the big blue marble.

Here are some examples of the resulting neglect: gnarled and dismembered remnants of trees, and pseudo trees, eventually sacrificed to save the fence, and more than a few dollars in labor and material.

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Nearly every time we make our circuit around the tiny walking path before setting out onto the sidewalks of the neighborhood, I’m drawn to these “left behind.” They so firmly attached themselves to, and even in, the fence, that separation was impossible. There’s a weird violence to the whole thing, but, I think there’s also beauty.

The one at the top of this grouping reminds me of a decorative iron work on the front stoop of a fancy house. The one on the right, a pair of king crab claws, or maybe the critters from Tremors.

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And finally, my “favorite.” Here’s the Old Man. Like many of his kind in Kentucky, he had aspirations to one day become a walking stick. Unfortunately, he waited too long. It’s OK fella. Someone out there thinks you’re beautiful.

 

Adventures of Chip de ‘Ville (Scenes of Summertime)

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Hi all. Chip here.

It’s the dog days of summer, so what better time to get back to the blog?

Prue* and I have been pretty busy, beginning with my first dental cleaning; rotating our presence around a few of Metro Louisville’s excellent parks; making two trips to the country to visit family; and finally an excellent production of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park by Kentucky Shakespeare.

I don’t remember a lot about the dental cleaning, but boy did I have a great dream! I was in a field of the softest Kentucky bluegrass ever. Half was in the sun and the other half was in shade so all I had to do was just roll over to warm or cool myself, accordingly. There was a never-ending row of posts to water, and I could have all the grilled meats and gooey cheese I wanted.

I awoke sans one tooth and with breath that, according to Prue, smells like nothing, which she says is a monumental improvement. Prue and I give major props to our vets at Johnson Animal Clinic for taking great care of me. All the vets are great but my personal favorite is Dr. Brian who refers to me as “Big Pup,” despite my diminutive stature. (The fact that I share this term of endearment with other canine clients in no way diminishes my affection for the dude.)

Prue’s “country cousins” do not currently own pets but they seem to like me OK, and they love grilled meats so I’d love to visit more often. Sometimes I get to go off leash, but I got into trouble once when I chased a geriatric beagle from the yard, across the street and into someone else’s yard. What can I say? The dog had a shifty look. Prue was concerned that, with the hound’s advanced age, I might have given him/her a coronary.

She prefers that I remain polite but aloof regarding strange canines, mostly because nearly every dog we meet weighs approximately twice as much as I do. I, on the other hand, reserve my fear and trepidation for the Blue Viper.

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Sinister, isn’t it?

Why Prue brought this menace into our lives is beyond me. It’s a cunning reptile, posing most of the time as a retractable leash, but let the demon jump from Prue’s hand as we are walking and it transforms into a relentless pursuer intent upon injecting its venom into my ankles or backside. I have to admit, the thing terrifies me. Twice it has attempted to overtake me as I fled from its demon fangs. Prue has been forced to give me daily sedatives, cleverly disguised as Milk Bones, to keep me from fraying at the edges.

Such is the life of a dog.

If my prose seems a bit more dramatic than usual, blame the Bard. Kentucky Shakespeare welcomes pets to its performances in the parks, so our friend, “Auntie Brenda,” invited us to accompany her a few weeks ago to see Romeo & Juliet. It was a wonderful and unique performance. During the first act the cast wore traditional period costume. At the beginning of the second act, actors wore sort of a combination of period and contemporary dress. By the end of the play, everyone had transitioned to contemporary wardrobe.

In addition to being dog friendly, performances are free! Readers with well behaved doggies should take the opportunity to add some culture to their canine’s lives. Romeo & Juliet ends soon but the summer season extends to Aug. 12. (As a plus, Central Park has some enormous trees to sprinkle during intermission!)

Later, Chip

*Person Responsible for Ultimately Everything

 

Adventures of Chip de ‘Ville (So many parks, so little time)

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Hi all. Chip here.

As you can see, I’ve been all in clover lately.

What a late, but great, Spring it has been. I’ve been so busy collecting photos and ideas for my column, I haven’t had time to dictate.

As a recap, this is a place for Prue* and me to share insights on a few of the dozens of top-flight parks in our area. Additionally, we wanted to find pet-friendly/pet-focused businesses in Metro Louisville. As a bonus, readers gain insight on my profound and inspiring thoughts about life.

My first greenspace columns were about Brown Park in St. Matthews and Seneca Park. It was at the latter where we saw the first glimpses of Spring 2016.

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And where Prue was inspired to make me into a meme.

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Very funny, indeed. This was the moment where we discovered that my walking limit for one, semi-continuous session is two miles. That’s it. Zero, zip, nada more. This discovery has enabled me often to enjoy the view of Seneca Park at Prue’s shoulder rather than her ankles. It’s simply lovely up there!

We enjoyed a trip to the Metro Park Services headquarters, Joe Creason Park, on Trevilian Way. This is a hub of recreation with all the conceivable amenities in the 41-acre Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve. The 3.1-mile hiking path is managed by the Louisville Nature Center, which is also on site and is deserving of a column all on its own.

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The terrain is hilly but, according to Prue, isn’t so bad that she loses her will to live before reaching the top. The Louisville Tennis Center a nine clay-court facility is also on site. Across the road is the Louisville Zoo. Creason Park is named for an excellent Kentucky journalist whose columns were collected in the book, Crossroads and Coffee Trees.

Another piece of lovely rolling land in the heart of Louisville is George Rogers Clark Park. It’s located off Poplar Level Road across from the main campus of St. Xavier High School. One of the highlights, for me, is the seemingly never-ending collection of wooden posts just begging to be sprinkled.

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There’s also a lovely old stone house that now can be rented for parties, receptions or other events. The park is named for Gen. George Rogers Clark, a hero of the American Revolution. (He sometimes is confused for his youngest brother, William, who accompanied Merriwether Lewis on the Lewis and Clark Expeditions.) In his later life, George Rogers Clark lived with his sister’s family at Locust Grove in Louisville, a beautiful estate with an 18th century Georgian house at the center. Clark died in Louisville and is buried at historic Cave Hill Cemetery.

Our last park on today’s tour has become one of our favorites. PeeWee Park is located off Klondike Lane quite near our home. Perhaps it was named for Louisville’s favorite baseball son, Pee Wee Reese, or maybe it’s because the park is very tiny. The park is the terminus for a dozen or more residential back yards, and we’ve had waves and conversations as we have meandered around the short path and taken a rest on the benches. I’ve met several cute kids, too, who always seem to want to pet me, which is cool so long as they don’t pull my tail. The other day, we had the playground to ourselves, which, I have to admit, was kind of boring.

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(Gotta give Prue a break though. Pretty much impossible to take photos and make the thing-y go at the same time.)

We love PeeWee’s neighborhood park feel with its badminton court, multiple grills (one of them extra big) and porch-type swings. The neighborhood next door is a perfect place to get in more steps on the abundant sidewalks.

There are three more parks (and counting) to give you info on, and other places to explore. I hope you will stay tuned.

Later, Chip.

(*Person Responsible for Ultimately Everything)

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