In the town where I grew, there were very few alleys - in fact, the only two I can think of were downtown, not in residential districts. In Hyde Park, on the other hand, alleys grow on trees. Well, not quite, because it's entirely possible that the alleys outnumber the trees. But perhaps I exaggerate.
In any case, I walked by this alley on my way between grocery stores (which, of course, means it's a Thursday) and snapped a picture of what I saw. What intrigued me most was the cobblestone, another thing Appleton, WI is almost totally bereft of, with the exception of the street sandwiched between the block of downtown containing the hip university students' cafe, the imports store, and the ultra-expensive gourmet grocery store; and the ugliest parking structure I have ever encountered. It's a treat - it looks like it belongs in Sarajevo circa the mid-1990s (if non-history buffs don't get my joke, let me remind you that Sarajevo was under continuous siege from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996...)
I believe I was talking about cobblestones. You might recall that I've had a run-in with cobblestones once before and mused on it for a while - that street was paved over. This one - this alley, to be more precise - looks like it will be around for a while. What I particularly like is that it has begun, in a way, to meld with the nature around it. There was a pond collecting in the left foreground (and on the sidewalk - I had fun trying to maneuver through that without soaking both feet) and as you look farther off, if you don't concentrate too hard, all those patches of water and piles of snow begin to blur together and, towards the "vanishing point" of the picture, it's hard to tell if the cobblestone has given away to a lake or if it persists until it reaches its outlet, whatever that may be (it's blotted out by the brightness of the sun). I think the reason I took this photo - because sometimes I can't explain why I feel compelled to take a photo until well after the fact - is this cobblestone-water-ice-sun goulash which sums up what I actually like about winter. That and the puddles of dirty meltwater which suggest that spring, my favorite season, is coming...
HVAC James: Half a dozen or so. The Radiators: 3. Burns acquired from accidentally touching them, that is. The Condensation All Over My Windows: At least 30, plus a handful of mold and some cracking paint on the windowsill. In the Kitchen James: 1 Gas Oven: 0