I had my own winter walk-off this past Saturday. A good friend and I had plans to meet for breakfast, and I thought I would walk to the restaurant. My friend's plans were cancelled by an encounter with her neighbor's escaped pit bulls (no permanent damage), but I went anyway. The first few photos are some of what I saw leaving my neighborhood.
We have four traffic circles in my neighborhood that are large enough to be small parks. In one someone has planted a vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) in memory of a former neighbor and aquaintance of mine, Liz Witkowski. She had a beautiful cottage garden and was the local distributor for Rich Earth, which is how I knew her. Last year she lost her battle with cancer. Her plaque reads "Forever one with the Rich Earth".
Once out of the neighborhood I headed north on Colley Ave., which runs along Knitting Mill Creek. This end of Colley is a transitional mix of odd businesses, restaurants, rental housing and storefront churches. It has been in transition for as long as I have lived in Norfolk.
Built in the late 1700's, this is the oldest house on the street. Now it is a hair salon.
Knitting Mill Creek is still a bit of a working waterfront. These pots are waiting for crab season to begin.
When I first worked in the hotel business those of us who worked the late shift would sometimes end up at this after-hours club to extend our drinking time. Nothing ever good came from a visit here.
I wonder if the billboard pays the mortgage.
The local laundromat is growing a pindo palm (Butia capitata). I once cautioned customers about this plant's hardiness here, but I have seen several in the area seemingly thriving on neglect. The building in the background was once the knitting mill for which the creek was named.
I bet these shrubs wish they had been neglected.
In the middle of this incoherent jumble is a successful, though small, wetland restoration project.
In case you were wondering where it was...
At the end of Colley Ave. is a bridge crossing the mouth of Colley Bay. Once on the other side the road's name changes, and you are in a decidedly different and leafier neighborhood.
On their honeymoon in his native Mississippi, Lt. Andrew Weir and his wife, gathered seedlings of Magnolia grandiflora to line the lane leading to their Norfolk home. Maybe he was homesick. Now that lane is Magnolia Ave., and I don't know how many of the original trees remain, but I always like walking under them.
At some point, someone snuck in a coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) among all the magnolias on Magnolia Ave. Maybe they were homesick as well.
My breakfast destination was just across the street from the Larchmont Library. I am not certain this is fact, but I think the library's architect used several early Virginia courthouses for inspiration. The library sits on waterfront property and is the site of another restored wetland.
Inside the library's portico you can see the city of Norfolk's seal. The Latin translates to Both by land and by sea thy riches are - thou shalt grow.
After my long walk it was time to enjoy a breakfast of French toast, caramelized apples, Virginia ham sausage and black coffee. Maybe my return walk home burned a good portion of that meal's calories.
My Walk-Off invitation is open to all bloggers, but you're on your own for breakfast.