Winter(ish) Walking

Thanks to a bicycle accident last week, my soul has been getting a workout lately. Today I walked a total of 8 or 9 miles to and from school. Being unable to ride a bike definitely slows down life. And what I would give for a working, efficient public transit system. Ironically it takes 20 minutes to bike to campus, 45 minutes to an hour to ride the bus, and 1 hour to walk. Given the choice of $1.75 each way for a ridiculously slow walk+bus ride, I’ve decided to walk. Luckily Georgia has a few beautiful tricks up her sleeve.

I’m almost dumbfounded anytime I see standing water now. Given the drought in Georgia and the fact that my city is about to run out water, seeing it on the ground is almost a miracle. Too bad it’s too early to call this one a Christmas miracle. I crossed the south fork of Peachtree Creek a couple of times and it was running strong–higher than in May when I monitored it with the USGS. Funny how things work. But then again, I wrecked my bike because it rained for the first time in over a month and the roads were quite slick.

American Holly–Ilex opaca– lines the sidewalk in the historic area of Druid Hills. It seems all the rage with the rich people. Personally, I just like that nature comes out in full force for the winter season some times. It’s ridiculously difficult to identify plants in the winter–my deciduous tree i.d. tests were always bad this time of year, leaf scars and buds can only tell you so much before it all looks alike. Luckily little opaca likes to be most vibrant when everything else seems to die down. She’s such the optimist!

But then again, this is Georgia. It may be 30 or 40 something degrees outside, but we seem to always have azaleas blooming. This purple azalea is a native one, I’m not sure which species, and there were only a few blooms on the bush, but it’s certainly an interesting juxtaposition to the holly berries and Christmas wreaths gracing every house!

Although I was a couple of minutes late to class–Southern Literature–it was well worth it. I wasn’t stressed out all day, I was able to sip coffee and snap photographs on my commute, and the squirrels and woodpeckers and I had several conversations and chase scenes (the squirrels like being chased, I swear). Walking is so archaic in Atlanta–no one does it–but I really think it’s one of the best ways to rediscover the environment.

Did I mention I was able to drink coffee on my way to campus? ;)

One Response to “Winter(ish) Walking”
  1. Steve says:

    There’s nothing like a good walk to allow us to see the world! It’s amazing how much we miss zooming around in cars, isn’t it? (Or even on bikes, though that’s better!)

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