Here is how the challenge works:
- On your own two feet, leave the house and share what can be seen within walking (or biking) distance of your home. 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.
- Post your own Winter Walk Off on your blog, and link it back to this post. Please also leave me a comment when your post is up. If you have recently written a similar post, you are welcome to use it.
- I will keep the challenge open until midnight on March 19th, the last day of winter (or summer for those of you below the equator).
- Everyone who participates will have a chance to win one of two prizes, with a totally disinterested teenager randomly drawing the names. One person will win a collection of packaged seeds to grow some of my favorite vines, and the other winner will be sent some of my wife's handcrafted note cards. I will contact the two winners and mail the prizes.
Last week I had planned my own Walk-Off to show some of the many Camellias that were in bloom throughout my neighborhood. However, Mother Nature had other plans. This past Monday morning's low of 22°F (-5.5°C) has made most of them much less photogenic, but just for the time being. With those plans thwarted, I took advantage of Friday morning's foggy weather. My first stop was the fishing pier underneath the Granby St. bridge on the Lafayette River.
From the top of the bridge I had a bird's eye view of a pelican.
Despite flowing through one of Virginia's most urban areas, the Lafayette can still look a little wild along its edges.
The Lafayette was once famous for its oysters, but that was a very long time ago. Today there are several efforts going on that aim to restore the bivalve, and the blue sign below is warning you to stay away. Apparently they can be quite dangerous during the restoration process.
My neighborhood is a peninsula with the Lafayette forming the northern boundary, and Haven Creek the eastern. The newish apartments in the picture below were built on the site of the old Lafayette Yacht Club. Long, long ago my wife's family were members so they could use the pool, and because this yacht club didn't mind having Jewish members, African Americans were probably another story. It is sometimes difficult to believe that such distinctions were ever a concern.
During last year's walk-off I mentioned the living shoreline being created along Haven Creek, and now it is 99% complete. I will probably do a post on it in the future once the plants fill in a bit. The string is meant to keep the Canada geese from pulling up the Spartina plugs.
Speaking of geese, these were seen on the west side of my neighborhood along Knitting Mill Creek. I wish they would fly to Canada and stay.
Haven Creek is home to many boats, and with fuel prices being what they have been many of these have been idle for years.
These three derelicts all covered in tarps just need to be put out of their misery.
This boat pictured below is aptly named Problem Child, and it sank during Hurricane Irene. The dock master was not happy with the boat's owner over a previous, physical altercation, for unpaid dock fees and with the fact the boat was not re-floated in a timely manner after the storm. To the owner's credit he did pump out the oil and fuel, but that did not stop the dock master from posting a big sign for the world to see that said "polluting and no one cares", this in an effort to get the owner motivated. Several of the powers-that-be determined it was not leaking. When the sign didn't work to motivate anyone, the dock master and his assistant apparently tossed beer bottles filled with oil into the sunken boat to spur some kind of action on the part of the local authorities. The dock master's actions resulted in his own arrest.
You wouldn't know it, but the white house below is one of the oldest in this part of Norfolk and was probably built in the late 1700's. Next to it there is little indication of where the street ends and the boat ramp begins. Several inattentive or inebriated drivers have ended up in the creek over the years.
I will end this year's walk-off with a few less dramatic pictures from Knitting Mill Creek.
Again, I hope you will participate in my Winter Walk-Off Challenge, and if you do, keep in mind the guidelines are flexible, and remember to have some fun with it.