24 Oct Crispin Street
From Patterson Street to Oak Street.
“North of Hersey Street” neighborhood.
Meet a neighborhood “stream protector.”
Three “Is this ART?” questions.
Photo essay published in 2022.
In this photo essay, I will challenge you with impossible-to-answer questions and introduce you to an under-the-radar water protector. I walked the length of Crispin Street in September 2022. I started at Patterson Street and ended at Oak Street. Crispin is in the neighborhood just north of Hersey Street, between Oak Street and North Mountain Avenue. This photo essay will be mostly photos. I hope to add more stories about Crispin Street in the months and years to come. I think all the houses here were built in the mid-1990s.
Added October 31, 2022: WalkAshland reader Ken Nigel informed me that builder Larry Medinger, who passed away in 2018, developed this neighborhood, and that Crispin Street was named after Larry’s son Crispin (Chris).
Is this ART? Crispin Street question #1
This looks to me like handmade paper, which I think would make it “art.” Even if you don’t agree with that, let’s call the photograph art. It combines the circular shape and texture and color of the paper, with the linear shape and color and knotholes of the wood, with the abstract shapes and blues and whites of the sky. (Plus a splash of bright green, if you want to get picky.)
Is this ART? Crispin Street question #2
Shall we call this “modern art?” Or perhaps we should call this “traditional art.” Maybe even “stone age art” — haha. I am serious, though. Someone placed the different shapes and colors of stones in these exact positions. If the intention was to be pleasing to the eye, to the mind or to the heart, then it is probably “art.”
Is this ART? Crispin Street question #3
As with the stones, this pleasing path is a product of human creativity working together with nature. The green arched tunnel momentarily transforms a boring sidewalk into an almost enchanted passage. Except that the passage leads back to the boring sidewalk. Don’t worry, though. With eyes and heart open, we might find more surprises around the bend. Literally around the bend — in the upper left corner of the photo, you can see that Crispin Street takes a 90 degree bend here.
I meet a neighborhood stream protector
After going around the bend, I encountered the seasonal stream I first saw at the end of Patterson Street, in the pocket park by Poplar Place. [My Patterson Street/Poplar Place photo essay will be published soon.] I spoke with local neighbor Jef Ramsey, who lives on Crispin Street. When I met him, he was caring for this seasonal stream, which he calls Rainy Brook. He also helps maintain the path that follows the stream for a few hundred yards, until downstream it runs into a housing development.
After publishing this photo essay, someone pointed out to me that this seasonal stream has an official name: Mook Creek. Sure enough, when I opened up my Travel Ashland Map Guide, Mook Creek was shown. It begins near Clear Creek Drive (by the railroad tracks) and ends at Bear Creek.
Jef told me salmon used to come up this stream, but no more. He is slowly removing invasive plants and replacing them with indigenous plants. He even helps Mother Nature by giving some water to these water-loving plants as needed. See a comment at the end of this photo essay for more information about Jef’s stream-protector labor of love.