Every once in awhile as I’m walking the dogs in the morning, I remember what my friend Rogerio said when he visited from Brazil. He was amazed that our houses didn’t have walls around them. It seemed like no big deal to me. But as I see the photos he posts of houses around where he lives, I realize what he means.
And when my friend Meirav posts photos from her walks, its abundantly clear to me that her photos aren’t from anywhere around here. The moss on the roofs and walls and anything else that stops moving for more than a day shouts out like a bullhorn to me that her photos are of England.
And so, when I took a walk recently, I decided to snap photos of stuff that I might not otherwise think interesting or worth photographing. I tried to find things that I had grown used to, or that I might have walked past a zillion times before and not really thought about. With the exception of the biking ram and the decorated ram, the rest of the photos are stuff I pass by all the time and don’t think twice about. (I think the biking ram is awesome and take special note of every biking ram I pass. And the decorated ram was a delightful little find as I was walking through the campus.)
I took these photos on a Sunday, and on Sundays I tend to start out at the local elementary school. I snapped this photo of the artificial turf in the background with the dormant grass in the shadow in the foreground. The artificial turf was added about 4 or 5 years ago to help cut down on watering and maintenance costs. It was a big deal when it was first put in. The kids would come home from school with fake “dirt” (made from old tires, I think) clinging to the bottom of their pants. But the ground is nice and level there. And it’s surprisingly springy.
Around the playground at the school are various signs of exercises the kids can do during recess.
This is arugula growing in the school garden out front. I’ve helped out with the garden club at the school for the past 8 years. We had a yellow jacket infestation last year and several of the garden beds were sprayed with poison to kill the yellow jackets. So I’m not as keep to start gardening there this year. There are a few students who will be moving on from the school at the end of this year, so I might go in just enough to hang with them a last time or two. But I’ll let the beds go to flower on their own instead of planting them full of edibles. I don’t want to risk feeding poisoned veggies to kids. :-\
There’s a lot of new building going on at Colorado State University. It’s actually pretty nice looking, but you’ve gotta wonder how much tuition is skyrocketing because of these projects (and what that’s going to mean for us once our kids get to college age).
This was some odd graffiti on campus that I had never noticed before.
A few months ago all of the biking signs on the bike paths in CSU turned into biking rams (with helmets, of course). I think these are very clever.
Students ride bikes. I did as a student. My sister had her bike stolen once when she was a student at CSU. She was late for a final exam and only locked up the front tire. When she came back, all that was left was that front tire.
More graffiti on campus. I like that they use chalk. Though we don’t get rain often, it would be easy for the grounds people to clean the building off with a quick squirt of the hose. Then again, this building is in serious need of a paint job. The graffiti probably helps direct people’s eyes away from the disrepair. (I pointed out earlier that there’s a lot of new building on campus. But from what I can tell, there’s a fair bit of regular maintenance needed on some buildings… this one in particular… that just isn’t happening.)
I had to walk around this ram to get a photo from the side where the sun would be shining on him instead of from behind him. Once I got to this point, I was delighted to find that he had been decorated with a candy cane over his ear. It’s hard to notice in the picture unless you know where to look. (His ear is up and to the left of his eye.)
This cute little bungalow is close to campus on Loomis Street. I believe that students live here. (I’m basing that guess on the number of bikes parked along the stair rails out front.)
This house is further north on Loomis, but given the state of regular disrepair the house is in, I’d say it’s also rented by students. The main house seems to be fairly old, based on the architecture. It’s a shame that the landlord doesn’t keep it in better shape.
I’m not sure if students live here or not. At this point I was looking more for houses that I found to be interesting. This house is simple, but rather cute in its own way.
This house is a one of a kind. I don’t know of any other houses in Fort Collins that looks like this one. This building is actually a duplex. There are two porches with two separate front doors. I love the large trees around it as well.
There you have it, my walk through CSU and a few bits of Fort Collins. I hope that it’s as evident to those viewing these photos that they describe a very specific place. This isn’t a walk through a cookie cutter world (despite the fact that we have many of them in the United State). The rams, the water saving measures, and the buildings all describe distinct details of the city where I live.