The dogs and I walked around the Steeplechase course at Percy Warner Park today. It is always a fine thing to do on a sunny winter Saturday, for one sees other dog walkers, horses and their riders heading out onto the bridle trails, young people with camcorders making home movies, rabbits, deer herds, flocks of bluebirds, Red-Tailed Hawks, and the General Public just happy to be wandering about in blissful aimlessness. And one can always count on someone playing around and ringing the racing bell, seen in one of my photos.
A few years back some of the Entitled tried to ban the public from the course. They did not succeed, for whether one lives in a 3 million dollar mansion on Jackson Boulevard or a tiny hovel off Charlotte surrounded by chain link confining two pit bulls in the backyard, property taxes are property taxes, and they pay for the park.
Today, as I usually do when I visit the course, I found evidence of one of those small but necessary murders that keep living things alive. Tufts of hair, probably rabbit hair, scattered on the ground near the stone bleachers. I do not doubt a red-tailed hawk did it. Another time, at the Sports Plex across Old Hickory Boulevard, I saw blood and feathers on the top metal bar of a soccer goal net. A kestrel was there. He hunts both sides of the road leaving bluebird and killdeer feathers to blow away on the wind.
There were brooks running through the field edges today. Water in winter, but never in summer, for then only the rivers run in Middle Tennessee.
And lastly, a sign honoring the founder of the Pony Club,hand crafted by someone who could not spell.