Humphrey Drive

I’ve been told by my mother that long ago, when my parents first bought our two-story brick house, several years before I was born, my neighborhood did not exist. It was out in the middle of the countryside, fields all around. The roads were barren, and Austin’s city limits were distant rather than one street away. The land was owned by the Robinsons, or so I am told. That would explain why one of our three parks is named after them. But, of course, time changes things, and by the time I was born, the little street of Humphrey Drive was surrounded by other streets, large roads (which bring so many speeders zooming through our residential neighborhood you would not BELIEVE) and apartments, and the urban expansion only grew as I did.

However, some wild places still remain. Not including the aforementioned parks, there’s a soccer field not ten houses down from me (which would be wonderful for stargazing if light pollution wasn’t so bad) where an old wooden bridge crosses over a winding creek where one can hunt for crawfish, the wild grapevines that grow on the old trees, the woodlands where the occasional coyote or deer can be found and the red-tailed hawks and buzzards watch from the trees, where the old Gypsy Oak grows tall and proud in a clearing by the road, it’s branches touching the ground, bark worn from decades of being climbed by curious children. The drainage creek by Rattan park and swimming pool attracts all types of wildlife- from that snake I almost stepped on last week, to turtles, to egrets and herons. That quality, I think, is what I most take pride in about my neighborhood. We aren’t as close to the wild as I would like to be, but we certainly get quite a wide variety of wild visitors.

As I’ve mentioned our three parks multiple times, I suppose I should describe them. The first – the smallest, connected to the soccer fields by a granite path – is Robinson Park. The second largest, closest to the main roads – I don’t actually remember the name – I visited the least. The largest – and my personal favorite as a child – Rattan Creek Park. A park shaded by oak branches, a jogging trail, a pool… now that I think about it, why don’t I spend more time there?

I’d say that’s probably about it – I’d rather not talk about the growing number of apartment buildings, traffic, and general nastiness that comes with a lot of humans inhabiting a small area – I’d start to rant and we’d be here all day. But, yeah – that’s Humphrey Drive and surroundings, the area I’ve grown up in since the day I was born.