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Can You Describe a Neighborhood by Its Mailboxes?

Posted by on August 29, 2012

I walked the dog around the Rogers Park neighborhood yesterday morning. For those of you who have never been to Rogers Park, I’m referring to the neighborhood that’s bounded by Mulberry to the north, Ponderosa (or maybe Taft?) to the east, Overland Trail to the west, and Elizabeth to the south. Most of the houses were built in the late 60’s / early 70’s, with occasional notable exceptions around the edges (of much older homes, primarily from the early 1900’s, or much newer condos on the west side). Though the area was dominated by rentals (and therefore students and loud parties) as recently as a decade ago, it seems to be undergoing a bit of a transformation as the population matures.

There are a few notable mailboxes that I passed as we walked and I began to wonder if you could define a neighborhood by it’s mailboxes. If so, then I’d say that the Rogers Park area is filled with spirited, adventure and nature loving folks. Granted, most of the mailboxes were rather run-of-the-mill. So maybe “filled” isn’t quite the right word. But I think there’s other evidence that would still pull the neighborhood toward the spirited and nature loving side.kayakmailboxThe kayak (is that what it is? I’m not real knowledgable about water vehicle terminology.) mailbox has been around for awhile, but the bench in the background is new since I was last down this street. (Either that or I had just completely spaced seeing it before.) When I think of creative mailboxes, this is often the first box that pops into my mind. For me, it’s a Fort Collins classic.snowskimailbox

The snow board mailbox, on the other hand, is a lively new entry into the creative mailbox scene. Added within the past couple of years, I love how the colors on the board mix and match with the beautiful garden around it.

treetrunkmailbox

There are also a couple of different tree/mailbox combinations. It looks like this one is attached to the stump of a cut down tree that’s still rooted in the ground. I also saw a box atop a pretty thick aspen pole.

We walked past Happy Heart Farm which appears to have a new hops growing section. The scaffolding for the hops plants is impressively ginormous. This is really going to be a thing to behold once the hops really gets going. Most of the plants are only 4 or 5 feet tall at this point. They must not have been started at the beginning of the season. (I planted hops in our yard this spring and the plant has covered half of the trellis/bench that it’s next to. They’re pretty vigorous growers apparently.)happyhops

It’s hard to see the hops plants in the photo with the green on green, but if you start at the lettuce (the lighter green row) and look for lines of darker green that head straight up, that’s the hops. Once the hops has filled in the scaffolding, this will be a prime place to plant things like lettuce, chard, spinach and so on that prefer being out of the direct sunlight. Since these hops are grown at Happy Heart Farm, does that make them Happy Hops?

wildasparagus

While walking by the water catchment (Is that what it’s called?) area, I noticed some wild asparagus along the water ditch. If you don’t know what asparagus plants look like, you might not be sure which plant in the photo to be looking at, but it’s directly in the center with the yellowish looking stalk (It’s really green, but stands out in the photo as yellowish.) and the leaves are the billowy, wispy fronds all around it.

On our walk we saw lots of other dogs, a cat, some horses and a cow. In the past we’ve also seen llamas and goats.

The Rogers Park neighborhood has an unassuming air, but it also has several little treasures hidden within it: the park itself; Happy Heart Farm; the horse paddocks in the middle(ish) and the horse properties around the edges; and the easy going, adventure loving spirit of the folks who live there.

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