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A Blindingly Beautiful Cactus Garden

The Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group got lucky last week, January I5, It began with temperature in the nigh 40s, but some sunshine made: it a wonderful day for winter walk. Perhaps house-bound too long, a large group of 31 walkers and two K-9 best friends showed up at the Exedra for the weekly walk.

They were pleased to see Chelle, Piedmont's new Recreation Director, before starting off. The group was also leased to welcome first time walkers Cliff and Nancy from Sarasota, Florida, in town to visit their two children.

The group went up Highland Avenue to Sheridan Avenue and then Wildwood Avenue, through the Hall Fenway to Crocker Avenue and to Latayette Avenue which becomes LaSalle Avenue when it meets Woodland Way LaSalle led to the top of Florida Avenue to Dick Carter's home on a private driveway serving three other homes The houses were built in the 1920s by a man who wanted his children to live next door. The group stopped for a photo on Carter's front steps, then turned a corner and came upon a cactus garden at the home of David P, who pleased to answer the groups' questions. He explained that 10 years ago he began transforming an ivy covered, raggedy front yard into this lovely cactus garden. He said maintaining the yard requires time and lots of care - and there are some dangers. A toxin in the cactus needles can cause significant pain and can cause blindness if it gets into your eyes.

When asked how he meticulously weeds the garden, he answered, "Very carefully."

David generously offered clippings to any walkers interested in starting a cactus garden; but there were no takers. It was after 11:30 a.m. and time to head back to the Exedra. A walk further down Portal to Ashmount had to be postponed another day. The group retreated up Florida to LaSalle, took it up to Muir Avenue, back to Lafayette and Crocker, which they took to Lincoln Avenue. and then back to their Exedra home base.

In all, it was a little over a two-mile, 90-minute walk with old and new friends to work-of-art cactus garden.


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