Henry Street – Busy with SOU students

SOU Students, Yard Art and Huge Trees

I walked Henry Street, only two blocks long, on a cloudy, damp afternoon in April 2018.  One end is at Mountain Avenue, running into the SOU Education & Psychology building.  The other end is at Liberty Street.  I enjoyed the yard art on Henry Street.

In the two blocks of Henry Street, there are a few homes and an apartment building.  One large open space (pleasant and grassy) is the Lincoln School grounds.  The other large open space (useful and asphalty) is SOU Parking Lot 36.

Due to its proximity to SOU, Henry Street is very busy on days the university is in session, as it was the day of my walk.  Students are driving through or looking for parking spaces.  They park on both sides of Henry Street and are out walking back and forth between campus and their cars.

Henry Street has a mix of older and newer houses.  I liked the “watercolor sky” above this recently built house with solar panels on the roof.

I didn’t meet people to converse with on this afternoon walk.  I didn’t even meet any of the Ashland deer.  During my traverse of this short street, I was most impressed by the yard art and several massive trees.

If birds chose their houses based on aesthetics, this one would be in high demand.  However, I wonder if it is protected enough from cats to be a practical home for birds.  Cats can climb 10 feet up a tree trunk if they have a reason to, and chirping baby birds might be a strong reason.

I admired the simple stacked-rocks yard art in this front yard near the SOU parking lot.  The rocks and plantings give this small yard a Zen feeling in the midst of a bustling block full of students coming and going.

Morse Avenue – Ashland High School and Yard Art

I walked Morse Avenue, between Siskiyou Boulevard and East Main Street, late afternoon on a pleasant day in April 2018.  Most of the East side of Morse is taken up by the Ashland High School track and field, as well as a high school staff parking lot.

Homes and apartments fill the West side of the street.  I didn’t meet any Morse Avenue residents on my walk, but I saw some lovely sights. Morse is only a couple blocks long, as are many streets in Ashland, so this will be a short article – mostly photographs.

Garden Highlight

The garden highlight on Morse Avenue was 33 Morse.  This home used to belong to Southern Oregon artist Cheryl Garcia and her husband Criss. Cheryl specializes in metal art, and you can still see her work around the garden.

Her website is www.greatmetalwork.com.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Cheryl for the past few years.  She does create great metal art projects, both small and large. You may have seen her huge flowers just inside the main entrance of the Britt Music Festival, at Walker School in Ashland or the bright yellow-orange metal poppies in the vineyard as you drive into Jacksonville on South Stage Road (photo below).

When Cheryl and Criss sold the home on Morse, she told me that she hoped the new owners would honor and keep her artwork in the garden – and they have.  Here is one more photo of her art at 33 Morse.

There is an unusual tree at the corner of the garden where Morse Avenue meets East Main Street.  I think it’s a weeping Blue Atlas Cedar that has been trained to grow in two directions from the sturdy trunk.  It is dramatic!

Animals

During my walk, the deer of Ashland were represented on Morse.  I was admiring the new AHS track recently installed after a huge community fundraising campaign.  Then I noticed that three deer were also admiring the track, perhaps discussing how fast they could run a 100 yard dash.

The track was declared unfit for use in May of 2017, so a huge community fundraising campaign began. $360,000 of private funds was raised to replace the understructure of the track and lay down a state of the art surface layer.  It looks great to me.  I hope the high school athletes love it.

I enjoyed seeing this mosaic at the high school as I walked the sidewalk on Morse Avenue.  If someone knows the story behind the mosaic, please share it in the comments.