See those pink lines in the right lane? Our city has thirteen designated Dogwood Trails, which are open every April. One of them runs through our neighborhood. It also happens to run along one of our frequent walking routes.
Around the corner from us, one family has put in a labyrinth marked by stones which they keep open to the public. When we go by, we often take a few minutes to walk it. I really love that feeling of quietly centering down.
On our last visit, we were surprised to find our cat already there. Hodr got up from her perch on a nearby chair and walked with us. In her own way, of course, cutting straight through to the middle to demand attention.
The trails are timed to be open when the dogwood trees are in full bloom, and there is hardly a house on the trail that doesn't have at least one of the white- or pink-flowered trees.
The same goes for azaleas. I love the great variety of colors of azaleas.
This house has a wonderful mural painted on their shed. It's an actual door, but it looks like fairies might live there.
The pink guiding lines have arrows to keep drivers on the trail. When I first moved in a few years ago, I had trouble finding my way around the neighborhood because there is nothing remotely grid-like about it. The streets wind around and two roads can be parallel for a bit and then twist to become perpendicular and cross each other. It helped me to have the arrows to guide me back to my house.
Hey, what a cute Little Free Library right on the Dogwood Trail!
Our neighborhood trail is this year's featured trail. That means we've had even more April traffic than usual. Fortunately people are driving very slowly because they are busy looking at all the houses and yards.
We live in the sort of neighborhood where people play basketball, walk, ride their bikes, and hang out in the street chatting with each other. It really is a remarkably friendly place.
Most people who live along the trails take gardening/landscaping seriously. It helps that we have a landscape architect on the block who is always happy to field questions and give advice.
And many people I've talked with in the neighborhood are interested in gardening in a way that doesn't harm the earth, so you don't see a lot of people employing chemicals.
It's a joy to drive home down my street under the dappled shade of the big trees.
And hey, look at that cute little house on the trail... okay, that's mine. I felt a little badly that my yard is covered in straw while the clover is growing but it doesn't seem to stop all the cars and church buses from slowing down and taking pictures. My yard is more of a summer yard than a spring one, though. In a couple of months everything will be full and lush.
But spring is still the perfect time for sitting on the deck and having dinner. We grilled swordfish with tarragon butter and zucchini with balsamic vinegar. From the deck, all you can see is green all around. I love walking the trail but it's also good to be home.