Alabama is absolutely breathtaking right now. The dogwoods have just peaked in Maple Hill and Monte Sano mountain is green and lush. And, just the other day, I was driving through the Jones Valley area on Carl T. Drive and found myself transformed by springtime in the Tennessee Valley. If you’ve ever seen the Jones Farm in springtime, you’ll know why I was so taken aback.
This working cattle farm is sited in the center of one of Huntsville’s most popular areas. So, as you travel up Airport Road from Whitesburg, or over Garth Road past Randolph & Jones Valley Schools, your eyes are overcome by a beautiful, green valley of gently rolling land all surrounded by spectacular hillsides. Trees, cattle, birds, streams, blue sky… that is Jones Valley. The other day, however, the pastures were filled with delicate, yellow flowering grasses. It was as if an angel had sprinkled yellow glitter on the entire valley. Unbelievable.
Thanks to Hopscotch for the “Lonesome Tree” pic of the Jones Farm on Flickr…
I wondered if anyone else felt as I did, so I posted the following comment on my Facebook page: “I can’t believe how beautiful the Jones Farm is today.” I never dreamed anyone would reply. But they did – from a depth of emotion and fond memories. I felt that it was something I should share with you as another reason you should Come Home to Huntsville...
From one of my fellow school classmates who now lives in Woodstock, GA: “We used to drive up Four Mile Post and turn onto Garth – way before Carl T Jones was there. Our dog would go crazy when he saw the cows. Thanks for reminding me of a happy childhood memory! :-). That farm really is beautiful.”
From a high school friend who is now raising her family in Jones Valley: “I’m so grateful that my children get to start their school day driving thru that beautiful farm and saying good morning to the cows!”
From a client who married a Huntsville native and lives in the Dug Hill area: “I will never forget the first time I saw it. It was early morning after a rain with a little misty fog and the sun coming up over the mountain…. A sight you never forget even after almost 40 years.”
From a high school friend & client who grew up in Jones Valley and is now raising her family there: “The house I grew up in (my parents still live there) backed up to the farm. It was practically our backyard. This was before Carl T. and Jones Valley Gardens. I woke every morning and looked out my window at the cows grazing. We use to lay down in the pasture and let the cows come lick our hair (gross I know – we were trying to make a cow lick). The smell was sometimes not so good, but you got use to it. I have so many wonderful memories as a child of that beautiful farm – ‘my huge backyard with cows'”
So, my “Come Home to Huntsville” topic today is Jones Farm and the Jones Valley area. Today, the farm still exists, though many acres have gone to a large shopping center (that I frequent MANY times a week), upscale houses and some of Huntsville’s most desirable neighborhoods. The road that cuts through what was “The Farm” to me as a child is known as “Carl T. Jones Road,” named for the father of the current Jones children. The family still lives on the farm and, though most are involved with the family’s engineering firm and land development, have been careful to preserve the beauty of the farm while making way for progress. The farm is one of those great Huntsville gems – a pristine piece of undeveloped land in one of Alabama’s largest cities. It’s an unexpected pleasure to come over the hill and, in a sea of concrete and rooftops, to see such a natural and breathtaking beauty. Puts a girl’s mind in proper perspective.