Pedagogy of the Plants

Posts Tagged ‘athens

June Foraging

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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

Vernal Purple Invader

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Wisteria 2 (1)

Wisteria sinensis

Wisteria 1 (1)

Wisteria sinensis

Written by Cameron Brooks

March 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Kudzu Vista

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

May Day Flurries

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

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94% Humidity Over Claypit Pond

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Claypit Pond Mirror

Written by Cameron Brooks

December 7, 2014 at 9:59 am

City Hall

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Rooftop Oddments

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Snow Dipped Gumballs

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Liquidambar styraciflua in Snow

Liquidambar styraciflua

Written by Cameron Brooks

January 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Full Moonrise and Strix varia

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Full Moonrise

A resident Barred Owl announced the full moonrise last Thursday (ten minutes before the alarm went off). Listen to haunting hooting the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes as “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”

Written by Cameron Brooks

January 19, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Nat Arnold Building

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Dendritic Silhouette

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Written by Cameron Brooks

March 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

Moss and Homelessness

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The fuzzy log above points to an abandoned homeless camp just off Old Jefferson Road.

Unique construction includes a large section of drainage pipe connected to a tent-sized bamboo structure with a brick oven/fireplace.  The drainage pipe has linens and pillows inside.

The roof is a sagging bag of rainwater and pine straw.

Out of 159 counties in Georgia, Clarke has the 8th highest poverty rate.

Ten yards away, country club members tee off.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Shadow’s Female, Ilex vomitoria

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When I showed my students this photo, Josie informed us that when digested, these ruby spheres “make you throw up,” hence the name.  She taught us so much.

 

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Persian Witch-hazel, Parrotia persica

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Grayleaf Cranesbill, Geranium cinereum

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Judd Virburnum, Virburnum x juddi

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Bracket Fungi

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