The Winter Walk-off 2013 rules are
On your own two feet, leave the house and share what can be seen within walking (or biking) distance of your home (if you want to drive to your walk that's OK too). Your post does not have to be about gardening or a travelogue, unless you want it to be. Maybe instead you will find some unusual patterns, interesting shadows, signs of spring, a favorite restaurant or shop, questionable landscaping or local eyesores. Whatever, just keep your eyes and mind open, be creative and have fun, but don't show anything from your own garden.
I considered posting one of my River Walk adventures instead. After all, Les said we could drive to our walk. That's too easy though and I really want to show you my own neighborhood. There are many special things that make it one of the more desirable areas of the city: the live oak trees chief among them. They set the backdrop for a wide variety of gardening and landscaping options. But among the challenges are the lack of sidewalks and deep set-backs for the houses mixed with a very laid-back approach to yard maintenance.
So here we go on a walk around the 'hood. Of course I picked trash day and brush pick-up week to do this so the photography would be more fun!
Boorrring! This isn't my street, but a nearby one just like it. I actually forgot to get a picture of my street.
Let's keep going, there are some fun things to see along the way. I promise.
This is the "Feliz Navidad" house I featured in a Christmas lights post. They have replaced the luminarias on the wall with cheerful red geraniums for spring.
Live Oak trees in a back yard on the corner. Because each house was custom-built by different builders most trees in the neighborhood were preserved.
The front yard of the same house. You don't need a lot of landscaping or yard ornaments with live oaks dancing playfully on your lawn.
A low water crossing across the same creek which runs behind my house. This is flash flood country. We don't get rain often but it can be dangerous when we do. I have seen a three foot wall of water wash through when there wasn't a drop of rain in sight.
Looking south is a deer feeder (middle left) and redbud tree in bloom. There's another bridge on a parallel street.
We'll head west where there is a problem with Oak Wilt fungal disease in the area and these affected trees are dying. The spread of Oak Wilt has slowed with treatment but it is still a huge concern.
This area was once a large ranch so western themes are common.
As are homes with Spanish-style elements
Stars are popular in the Lone Star State. These two face-off directly across the street from each other.
When these cacti were blooming last fall I posted photos on the blog. The Texas bluebonnets are in full-flower today.
This is the "Train Yard". The joys of living in a neighborhood with no HOA restrictions.
There seems to be a disconnect here
Plenty of warning signals to keep the driveway and front walk safe from approaching trains.
A very artful pile of brush next door
This pile is a puzzle. A few pulled up agave pups tossed in among still growing agaves. The silver agave leaves on the right must be for brush pick up.
This style fence of upright cedar posts is called a "coyote fence" and this is a very nice version with wood trim.
Green barrel cactus setting blooms
An example of laid-back maintenance also doubles as a "No Parking" sign.
Some homeowners opt for no landscaping other than the oak trees.
An elk statue with blooming yucca and hunting bear.
Two agave blooms in this yard, the second one is on the right down by the telephone pole. The blank spot in the middle was left when the agave I posted about last year finished blooming.
More oaks as yard sculpture
Another front yard patch of bluebonnets blooming here with salvia greggii
These large purple blooms look like wisteria, but they are Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) blooms which are native to this area.
Redbud tree blooming in this very nice yard
I'll finish with my neighbor's yard which was reworked about three years ago to replace the dead lawn with drought tolerant plants. These agaves are watered regularly and they have more than doubled in size.
That concludes my tour of the neighborhood for Winter Walk-off 2013. It was a beautiful day for a walk and I enjoyed scouting out fun stuff for this post.