#2 and counting, a hike with the dog on a fall sunday morning

so, we decided to do this 25 dates in a year thing and so far, we haven’t been able to do anything. between soccer games and repairs to the house, we have been a little busy. this morning, we decided to stay home from the garden and do some things around the house and as we read the paper, ate breakfast and chattered, we decided to go out on a hike with the dog and take in a little fall weather.

our destination, ellington agricultural center and the roger’s walk trail. we have lived in nashville for 15 years now and the entire time, we have lived right by this place. about a year ago, we discovered the new trail system in the center and we walk it whenever we can. it is a beautiful oasis right in a very congested part of town.

the ag center also has special meaning to us. when we first moved here, we were unfamiliar with what nashville had to offer as far as recreation and this was convenient in many ways. we were also a bit strapped for cash, something many parents with young kids are, and this was a low cost alternative for us-no admission fees and close to home. needless to say, our kids spent lots of time here playing in the creek, flying kites by the mansion and wandering around the grounds to the ag museum and the iris garden. as we watched our girls grow up, we have also watched the ag center slowly change and the changes have been wonderful-beautiful landscaping adds to the scenery and the trails make this a place to come and enjoy the outdoors.

we parked the car over at the trail head near the apiary-bee yard for the nashville area beekeepers, and set out for our walk with the dog.

before this trail was built, this area was not one that you could walk through. it is full of large old trees and wildflowers.

when you come out of the wooded area, you are in a pasture that had a herd of cattle grazing in it when we first came here. the girls loved to look at the cows and we would spend time walking along the fence and watching the herd. they have long since moved on and this area has been opened to hikers as a result.

the seven mile creek looks so tranquil now but during the flood, it was a raging river! we have been here many times over the years. the girls would try to catch fish and crayfish and we have released more than one turtle here too.

the power of water is amazing-the hole in the rock is proof.

this part of the trail runs along side the creek.

the trail leads out to this pasture that is bordered by the crieve hall neighborhood and the briarwood branch of the seven mile creek.

the housed here have yards that come right onto the pasture and this family has gated their yard.

i found what i assume to be the grave of some family’s cat.

as you walk along the briarwood branch creek, you go back up towards the mansion

the briarwood branch creek

the iris garden is beautiful in spring when everything is in bloom. over the years, we have been here for many occasions. from school outings, girl scout ceremonies to the traditional prom photo sessions.

the little japanese garden has always been a favorite spot in the iris garden, it has always reminded me of the japanese tea garden in golden gate park in san francisco.

the last two years, we have found ourselves among a crowd of parents taking prom photos. the overton hs students always crowd the garden for the photos. it is fun to look at all the kids and see how much they have changed and to look at the dresses. they all line up on the bridge and pose.

we have seen that bridge used in many ceremonies. alix’s girl scout troop had their bridging ceremony here. they bridged from juniors to seniors and it was a walking metaphor-each girl crossed the bridge to receive her pin.

there is a little trail that leads out of the iris garden up to the ag museum and every time i see this tree, i laugh at the way the branches reach out horizontally.

the log cabins have always been a favorite spot to play and explore.

grandma’s garden is full of heirloom plants that would have grown here back in the day

cotton plants and farm equipment as well as a grape arbor.

the mansion that was once a home and is now one of many of the offices used by the ag department.

and a walk with sugar bear isn’t complete without some drama. i saw her standing and looking at the ground while she slowly tilted her head back and forth and before we knew it, she came up with a mole!

sorry to say the little fella didn’t have a chance-she kills them every time

several years ago while walking around the center, we discovered a small confederate cemetery. it is not marked and no signs point you in its direction.

the stones are hard to read and some seem to have been vandalized over the years.

a tree grew around this one

in one section, new stones have been erected so someone must take care of the place

ed jones auditorium. we spend plenty of time here with the master gardeners and the beekeepers.

the horse barn. metro pd keeps their horses here and you can walk through and pet the horses.

sugar bear made a new friend

the ag museum

and back to the beginning. in the distance are the bee boxes in the apiary.

see you next time!

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