The Park as We Know it is Going

There's a city park across the street from our house. It's one of the reasons that, although we look all the time at new houses in booming Frisco, further north in Dallas, we've stayed in our Plano house for 15 years. It is tremendously comfortable, after yet another job change or other stressful time, to head out with my latest dogs on leash into that wonderland. The major landmarks - a gazebo with a squirrel weather vane, certain homes adjoining the park path with swimming pools, iron fences, and their ever-changing dogs - provide the turn-back points on the walk, depending on my mood, schedule, and weather, and my latest beagles are always keen, if I go even a foot past one of these decision points, to surge on to the next leg.

One key charm of the park has been its tall canopy of "trash" trees - mostly cottonwoods, soaring 100 ft. along the banks of the small creek that runs through the park. These original inhabitants of the park make a brilliant swaying canopy visible from our backyard patio - green in the spring, storm tossed in the summer, a crown of red gold in fall evenings. Alas the beetle has come, and one-by-one these gnarled giant trees are dying and being felled for safety, replaced by the city with more practical Shumard red oaks and other hardier but much shorter varieties. The squirrel's trapeze network of nests is coming down too; they'll have more nuts but they've losing their penthouse views.

Posted: Sun - February 20, 2005 at 10:18 PM         |