When I was looking for our first house, I knew I wanted a good backyard. First, it had to be fenced for our dog, Katie. After years of not being let off her leash, during apartment living, I just wanted her to be able to chase a tennis ball with reckless abandon.It had to have a sprinkler system, because I wanted to be able to have my own green grass in between my toes, and we do not have the attention spans to remember to move a sprinkler around.
When we were looking at houses, I would immediately head for the backdoor to see the yard, because I knew it would make or break the deal for me. The house we ended up in is really small, but it has a big backyard that butts up against the trees of the city park.
Over the four years we have lived here, some of my favorite things I didn't know about when we made the offer to buy the house.
Besides having no neighbors behind us, being next to the city park has a lot of perks. On many summer days we can hear chants of "faster, faster, faster" from kids on the merry-go-round. We are also near the amphitheatre, which allows us to hear all the free concerts we want from our backyard. We have heard the faint sounds of jazz, rock and even the band America.
The park also has a stream that leads to a duck pond. During the spring we have had mama ducks lead their babies right through our back yard, and I have actually fed ducks off my front porch.
To the north of our backyard, their is a pasture with horses. While they spend most their days head down to the ground eating grass, we have seen them frolic, gallop and other horsey things -- sometimes they are downright majestic. But our favorite thing about this pasture is Fernando.
This is the name we have given the brown and white bull (with full horns still attached), who hangs out with the horses. Fernando looks as fierce as if he came straight from a bull fight in Spain, but the few times I have attempted to make contact over the fence, he snorts and runs away like a scared puppy. I have no idea Fernando's real name or the reason that someone would own a bull, but I think I like it that way.
One of the best features of my house comes only once a year on the Fourth of July. We don't have to worry about getting a good parking space and finding a spot for our blanket, because from our backyard we can see the city's fireworks each year.
Although this site advocates going, seeing and doing, sometimes you don't have to go far from home to do it.