17 May 2010

public spaces: Solar Sunflowers

It's not everyday that most sane people find themselves walking next to I-Shitty-5 (translate: I-35), the worst and most heavily trafficked interstate highway in the United States.

But, there I was on a gray Saturday morning.

I was walking on one of the trails at the new Mueller development to go pick something up at the Home Despot. The development is going to have all sorts of stuff, but it's the landscapes, trails and prairies that I like so much.

This section of the trail and green space is sandwiched between I-Shitty-5 and the asses of the Big Box stores. Not really pleasant locale to begin with. But the Mueller folks have made the best of it, and eventually runners and walkers will be able to take an entire 7-mile loop around the neighborhood on this trail.

Once I tuned out the constant hum of the freeway, I found the trail and plantings to be surprisingly beautiful. The narrow green space is chock full of native wildflowers and other well thought plantings. The horsemint and Indian blanket are in full bloom and Mexican feathergrass was blowing in the breeze (or was that backdrafts from semis? - oh never mind).

Lots of yaupon hollies, rock rose, muhly grasses and Texas persimmon along the edges. The mockingbirds where in there doing their thing, which is a good thing.

The whole space is anchored by a series of very cool Solar Sunflowers. These towers are nice piece of public art and make for a cool feature to walk beneath and through. I doubt they'll do much for the energy grid, but anything is better than nothing!

Anyway, I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking a walk under the Sunflowers, but next time you're speeding by on I-Shitty-5, just know that birds and bees and wildflowers and joggers are making happy little times there, in what could've been an awful hell strip of nothingness...


Birdwoman said...

What a wonderful example of making lemonade from lemons. Too right that the strip could have been an awful place, but obviously some thought and planning has gone into making it an acceptable habitat for native species, not to mention a relatively pleasant place to walk or jog. Good on them!

Amanda said...

Neighbor! I've been meaning to check out that trail to see if it was a loop yet. Thanks for doing my homework for me. It would be great to have a nice loop closer to home.

luksky said...

I-shitty 5...now that's a perfect pet name. :-)

They also have a cool new park in the area. Coming along pretty nice I would say.

Great post and I like the pics.