The pool where The Artist has swim practice is right next to a large park. When practice first started up in January, I thought when the weather was warm I would go walk through the park rather than sit on my ass watching him practice.
I didn’t take the short winter days into account. Ten minutes after I entered the park, night had fallen and everyone else was gone. It occurred to me that perhaps walking alone in the dark through a deserted park is perhaps not a bright thing for a woman to be doing, so I went to the gym and walked on a treadmill instead.
With the advent of Daylight Savings Time, night falls considerably later (at least by the clock—in reality it falls at about the same time it did before). So last night I was able to wander through the park, and I got a bit camera-happy:
I started out just taking pictures of the concrete dolphin and turtle. They were favorites when I was a kid, and seem to still be popular with the tots. They don’t do anything, you just climb on them. Really, it doesn’t take much to entertain a little kid.
Then I took a picture of the stegosaurus-shaped climbing bars, because I thought it was kind of neat.
Near the tot play area is a small rock fountain.
It isn’t as attractive as it will be in the spring, when all the rides are open and the park staff is cleaning it out every week. Right now it’s full of leaves and debris.
This boxcar has enjoyed star status in the playground for as long as I can remember. There’s nothing in it, it’s just an empty boxcar. But kids love to go into it and run around. It’s just cool.
After I got tired of the playground I walked around the pond. There are a number of geese and ducks, which of course are fed by park visitors and are hence enormously fat and will practically mug you for food when you walk by. Last night there was also a heron, although my cell phone camera has no zoom so he is barely visible on the end of this little island.
As I walked around the pond he flew across to a railing ahead of me, so I tried again to get a decent shot of him. Beyond him you can see the bright blue paddleboats that are rented out in warmer weather.
The geese were all making a ruckus; one pair appeared to be having a marital spat. They broke off quarreling as I went by, and then resumed after I passed.
The carousel is still boarded up, so you can’t see the animals.
The carousel was made in 1912, and has been here since 1921. All the animals were hand-carved, and it has a Wurlitzer organ to supply its music. It has been restored several times over its life. Us folks who live here love our carousel.
Near the carousel is a statue of Andy Griffith. Yes, from the old television show. Griffith was born in North Carolina, and the show was also filmed in the state, so he’s even more of a celebrity around here than his television fame alone would get him. In our state there are even people under twenty who know who he is. *rimshot*
A lot of feral cats live in the park, sheltering in the storm drains. There were two by the bushes on this path, but I had barely glimpsed them before they ghosted through the fence and vanished.
There are a number of picnic areas like this through the park, too. A couple were having a cookout in one last night, although I didn’t think they’d appreciate my taking their picture. I took one of an empty shelter instead.
Another major feature of the park is a large gazebo. You can reserve it for events if you like, although at this time of year you don’t need to—last night I had it all to myself.
This little pink bush was trying its very best to be glorious. It won’t quite make it for another few weeks, but I felt the effort was worth a picture.