In the heart of the city

There is a busy intersection three blocks from my house. A gas station, strip mall, big box store, car wash, and two restaurants fight for visibility. In the early morning, when I walk, I can hear the white noise of traffic as thousands of cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses take turns crossing the intersection.

Less than half a mile from this traffic-frantic spot is a bridle trail. Unpaved and seldom used, it’s a two-mile long enclave of country in the city. I don’t often walk it early in the morning, because the crunching gravel sets off the many dogs that live along the trail, and I don’t want to disturb the people who forgot to train their dogs. After the first house, the dogs bark at each other, not me, but it’s still a lot of noise. The wonderful part of this walk is that between sections of path, you cross busy city streets. Then it’s back to the country.

But the walk is amazing for its solitude and country appeal.

Bridle path half a mile from a busy city intersection

There is a tree house whose tree has worked its way through and around the house:

Treehouse with windows cut in for the branches

Fresh dates hang over a stucco wall, tempting passersby. But just once. Fresh dates don’t taste anything like the ones you buy.

Fresh dates, ready to pick. Don't eat 'em before drying.

Close up of the date bunch.

Dates grow in bunches