one of my worries about leaving extra-attractive-and-scenic oak park is that our nearby walking routes in durham wouldn't be able to compete in the looks department. turns out our new neighborhood is quite charming and even the raggedy parts are at least partially masked by the thick greenery.
an unexpected, pleasant and very nearby discovery is a little park named wrightwood which, coincidentally, was the street name of two of my six chicago addresses. the primary view of wrightwood park from the street is of a small semi-defunct baseball diamond and off to one side is an large playground. but just beyond the ball field, up a slight hill, is my favorite part.
|a room with trees for walls.|
this magical little spot emanates that spirit of place that i continually seek. so much of the woods in north carolina are extraordinarily dense with foliage, but this part opens up below the pine canopy like a room with very tall ceilings. i first came upon this park as the sun was setting and the sifted low light coming through the needles made me wish that i was just arriving there for a festive picnic with friends.
|the late afternoon light in early fall.|
i love how the pines don't allow for much undergrowth, so the space below is airy and light. between the tall bare trunks, you can easily see who comes and goes through the park, runners, dogs, and children, but you still feel you have your own private little space away from such activity. these tables are at a distance from the bordering two streets so there is a great sense of quiet and relaxation here, allowing you to fully enjoy that bon vivant lifestyle to which you aspire.
and should you be picnicking and should it begin to rain and get a little cool, you could, of course, head under the adjacent arts & crafts-style shelter and light yourself a fire in that big stone hearth and continue on enjoying your company and your bread and cheese and grapes and wine and chocolate, all the while keeping dry and warm.
|the view up the hill towards the picnic shelter. tables from previous images visible center-right.|