Pedagogy of the Plants

Archive for the ‘Cycle Hikes’ Category

Hand Carved Door to the Tropics

leave a comment »

IMG_8602

IMG_8605

IMG_8606

Written by Cameron Brooks

August 7, 2020 at 8:55 am

June Foraging

leave a comment »

IMG_8573

Cantharellus cibarius

A bike ride to a secret spot off South Milledge reveals a neon patch of orange on the forest floor. Click here for a simple and delicious recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 26, 2020 at 11:41 am

Matanzas Inlet Gets Rinsed

leave a comment »

IMG_E3758

Written by Cameron Brooks

March 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm

Kudzu Bloom

leave a comment »

IMG_7986

Pueraria lobata

IMG_7989

Pueraria lobata

Written by Cameron Brooks

September 1, 2019 at 9:19 am

Chance Encounter Under the Overpass

leave a comment »

IMG_7707

Odocoileus virginianus

Amidst kudzu and trumpet creeper, a doe stands sentry high above the North Oconee Greenway on a Sunday afternoon.

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 17, 2019 at 10:34 am

Hairy White Oldfield Aster

leave a comment »

IMG_6644

Symphyotrichum pilosum

Strange Fruit in Montgomery

leave a comment »

IMG_6507

A weekend road trip and bike ride around Montgomery triggers an unrelenting lump in the throat.

IMG_6504

IMG_6531

IMG_6517

IMG_6518

IMG_6521

IMG_6523

IMG_6535

IMG_6537

IMG_6548

IMG_6554

IMG_6559

IMG_6561

IMG_6477

IMG_6479

IMG_6483

IMG_6485

IMG_6487

IMG_6489

IMG_6491

IMG_6493

IMG_6502

IMG_6496

Kudzu Vista

leave a comment »

Kudzu On the Tracks

The latest section of greenway spits cyclists out near Lexington Road. A short ride west under Loop 10 leads to the now-vacant homeless camp called Tent City, which sits on one of many recently clear cut and mulched embankments around town. Hike up to the top of the hill, past a handful of abandoned huts and peek under the overpass for an incredible view of kudzu blanketing a stretch of buried railroad.

Written by Cameron Brooks

May 26, 2018 at 11:53 am

Tent City

leave a comment »

IMG_6208

On the morning of the last day of school, one of my students pulled me aside and discreetly mentioned, “This weekend we’re moving to a place called The Salvation Army.” I explained where it’s located and talked it up as a place where they’ll be well-taken care of until they have to move again (a familiar ritual). After our conversation, I wondered how the residents of a local homeless camp were faring given recent destruction of woodland habitats, and recalled my first visit to Tent City.

I drove across town to join a small hodgepodge of volunteers from Athens and Atlanta in a Lowes parking lot on the morning of January 6th, 2008. The meeting was organized by an Atlanta-based nonprofit called The Mad Housers. We drove two miles west to Tent City on Lexington Road, a homeless camp tucked into the woods along a stretch of Loop 10.

Wielding tools and panels constructed the day before, we hiked up a shady trail dotted with tents and rudimentary lean-tos in varying states of disrepair. It was hard to discern which were occupied and which ones were abandoned. Once the path leveled a bit, a gentle war veteran named Radar greeted us with firm handshakes. He was the reason for our visit.

IMG_6211

Radar and the rest of our crew spent the next few hours chatting while building his new home, the now-vacant hut pictured above.

IMG_6210

The Mad Housers returned to Tent City and built more homes over the years. Radar passed away, then a woman named Sissy shared the hut with her ailing mother.

IMG_6216

IMG_6220

Now everyone is gone. Crews contracted by the Georgia Department of Transportation are in the process of felling trees and clearing undergrowth alongside major roadways. According to a piece on the WUGA website, the project “pushed back the tree line to reduce shadows on the road and ensure falling trees wouldn’t disrupt traffic in storms.”

Whether it’s a mom unable to pay rent and utilities, a chipmunk or garter snake seeking refuge from predators, or military veterans and the mentally ill seeking shelter, the DOT has disrupted more than a few fallen trees and shadows on the road ever could.

 

 

Written by Cameron Brooks

May 26, 2018 at 11:47 am

Palma Sola Bay to Sarasota Bay

leave a comment »

IMG_5081

A bicycle tour south through Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key begins with great egrets, brown pelicans and an opportunistic gull.

IMG_5085

IMG_5086

IMG_5088

IMG_5093

After grooming atop a pole, an agile resident settles into a standing split.

IMG_5096

IMG_5097

Vying for scraps, a laughing gull plops down on a pelican’s back as it dives for mullet.

IMG_5065

Next is a ride through the Robinson Preserve.

IMG_4979

Stretches of paved path yield to elevated sections winding through mangrove forest.

IMG_5070

IMG_5071

IMG_5073

IMG_5057

Hidden breaks in the forest lead to amazing vistas of the bay.

IMG_5030

A flock of white pelicans slowly bobs up and down until one notices a school of fish.

IMG_5033

An awkward orange, black and white ruckus erupts. The collective briefly takes flight.

IMG_5039

IMG_5041

IMG_5026

Crashing down onto one another, the frenzy lasts maybe a minute (but it doesn’t appear that many catch a snack).

IMG_4996

IMG_5067

Compared to Robinson, Perico Preserve is a smaller and younger restoration project. Bikes are restricted to a small loop, but the route includes curious flora and fauna, including fallen trees and sharp turns.

IMG_5074

Drivers and cyclists on Manatee Avenue are forced to take in the view as a yacht lumbers through the drawbridge over Anna Maria Sound.

IMG_5107

More avian natives eye tourists from a weathered jetty on Coquina Beach.

IMG_5102

Taking such subjective advice in Florida (and across the US) is hard these days.

IMG_5111

IMG_5124

A dune daisy blooms below one of many towering resorts occupying Longboat Key.

IMG_5125

The day’s ride begins and ends on Palma Sola Bay.

St Marys River

leave a comment »

IMG_1067

IMG_1070

IMG_1084

How many photos of a place are too many?

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 6, 2016 at 5:41 pm

May Day Flurries

leave a comment »

IMG_1985
 

A flurry of cottonwood seeds occupy an entrance to the North Oconee River Greenway.
 

IMG_1986
 

IMG_1994
 

IMG_1993
 

Nat Arnold Building

leave a comment »

Fallen Tree, Falling Water

leave a comment »

Holly Tree Trail Bike Ride

Weekend psychogeography leads to Watson Mill State Park’s Holly Tree Trail, and the ruins of a hydroelectric dam and power house built in 1907.

IMG_5367

South Fork River Dam Flow

South Fork River

Power House Ruins

Overgrown Power House Ruins

Red Gospel Tabernacle

leave a comment »

Gospel Tabernacle, Carlton Georgia

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 23, 2013 at 11:39 am

Reclamation

with 2 comments

North Oconee River Greenway

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

Two Wheeled Mantis, by Eko Suparman

leave a comment »

praying-mantis-bike-800x499

Eko Suparman took this beautiful photo in a Muslim cemetery in Borneo. The shot is featured on the cover of the May/June issue of Orion MagazineClick here to read an interview with the photographer, or here to see photos of local Mandidae neighbors who have visited our small garden here in Athens.

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Boulevard Community Garden

leave a comment »

IMG_5278

 

Stone Pile With Wheelbarrow

So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow (with this soil).

Boulevard Garden Plot 1

 

Boulevard Garden Plot 2

 

Herb Garden Path

 

Boulevard Blueberries

 

Pink Flower

 

Garlic Flower

 

Purple Thistle

 

Author Matt Hern is the founder of The Purple Thistle Centre in Vancouver, Canada. According to his website, “We run a 2500 sq/ft resource centre that has a ton of supplies, tools, materials, classes and workshops,  and its all free.  There’s a library, bike fixing shop, computer lab, silkscreening room, animation facility and lots else.  And maybe best of all, the whole thing is run by a youth collective that controls all the day-to-day operations and really runs the place.” Matt’s latest guidebook for teens is Stay Solid!

 

Wandering Onions

 

Wooden Chair

Listen Under the Overpass

leave a comment »

overpass listen

IMG_5197

Under glazed hazel, fibrous tissue tugs, fixing eyes to matching four inch screens. Father and son synchronize strides along the cement path. Colorless injection molded earbuds drown cardinal song, eddies whispering rivulet secrets, and eighteen wheelers thumping down the concrete and steel bypass twenty feet above. Stopping, the boy slaps dad on the shoulder, points, then shouts, “Listen!” The irony of exclamation from self-induced deafness is lost when curiosity focuses on two syllables yanking son and father from oblivion for a few minutes.

Listen…

Sheep Haiku

leave a comment »

sheep

Sheep Haiku, by Martin Espada

A lone sheep cries out:
There are more of us than them!
The flock keeps grazing.

Written by Cameron Brooks

May 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm