Yesterday Greensboro's weather was a day of rain, rain, rain, and SUN, and rain and rain. Oh, and more rain. During that brief time when the sun was peeking through, the rain resumed, leaving a few moments of sparkling beauty. In our effort to capture this mood in the above photo, you see big drops of rain falling through sunshine. The scene reminded us Georges Seurat and pointillism. Seurat's is the 19th century version of pointillism. If you want to see the 21st century version of pointillism, go here.
As the rain abated, we found ourselves wishing it would linger. It can be pretty hard to top the beauty of nature. By the end of the week, temperatures may actually reach 80 degrees and we just may be wishing for those cooler days of early May.
This past Saturday, an Edible Plant Sale was held in the Edible Schoolyard in the backyard of the Greensboro Children's Museum. The Edible Schoolyard is a gem of a place that is fun for children and adults alike. As communities make more of an effort to eat local produce and to teach children how food grows from seed to plant to produce to table, events like the Edible Plant Sale bring children one giant step closer to their food source. Our regular readers know that we at GDP urge everyone to plant edible items in their yards and flower beds. Chard and lavender and rosemary make great bed fillers. Blueberry bushes are as beautiful and their non-berry producing counterparts. We hope that the Children's Museum continues to hold the plant sale every spring. They should have families come back late summer and bring their harvested vegetables to sell as a museum fundraiser. 50% to the children and 50% to the museum. The children could use their profits to purchase plants next spring.
Today is ABC Wednesday, a favorite with many of our readers. "P" is for "plant" in our GO GREEN GREENSBORO series. May you plant many plants this spring and reap the fruits of your labor later this summer, possibly even turn some profit! Plant, plant, plant.......
This house, at the corner of Hobbs Road and Bearhollow, near Jefferson, shows North Carolina at its best. The homeowners are diligent about keep the yard nice. Now, their azaleas are in full bloom. The corner-appointed house is a welcoming entrance into the neighborhood. The azaleas make the mammoth hill (for Greensboro, at least) look like it was meant to be full of shrubs. Azaleas are a favorite ornamental plant in North Carolina. Professional landscapers and hobbyists alike love the spring flowering plant. The combination of pink and white, as seen above, is especially popular.
This yard is not that far from the battlegrounds from the Revolutionary War and remind us that, when our forefathers were out defending our county and country, they were on hilly terrain in Greensboro. Greensboro's average altitude is only about 800-900 feet, but, as part of the Piedmont, it is just that... foot of the mountain.
The United States has about 17 native azaleas, and on this website, you can learn not only their names but also their bloom times (here). A big thank you for the people who keep their yards looking lovely. You give us all a good gift!
The above photo features the organic produce section at Whole Foods in Friendly Shopping Center. With three supermarket-sized natural food stores in Greensboro, as well as numerous farmers' markets, organic food is getting easier and easier to find. From Ashevilly to Kitty Hawk, here is an organic food store finder Google "ap" for North Carolina. Organic foods do not contain synthetic inputs, nor do they have pesticides. The organic, Green Food Revolution took hold in the 1940's and has been growing ever since. While there is controversy about whether organic food is better for you than commercially grown, conventional food, there is something wholesome about knowing your food hasn't been genetically modified or sprayed with chemicals. Let us remember, until the 20th century, the majority of farming was organic. Organic is the ORIGINAL, old-timey way to grow food.*
Today is ABC Wednesday and for this round, we're featuring A-Z GO GREEN Greensboro and "O" is for original, ordinary, and ORGANIC, the way grandma, and nature intended food to be. Yes, we know there are two sides to this story. AND, Greensboro has several businesses that rely on chemicals and chemical processes. Maybe for the next round of ABC Wednesday, we'll feature science of Greensboro. In the meantime, we're off to plant some organic chard in the yard! Happy ABC Wednesday!
*Wiki organic food reference.
In this hectic world, we seek moments to relax as the opportunities present themselves. In the above photo a man sits, reading at McDonald's Restaurant near Kohl's on Battleground. Azaleas have bloomed and crepe myrtles are coming back to life. The man appears to be seeking a little bit of peace and quiet before resuming his hectic schedule. The scene is Norman Rockwell-esque.
One great aspect of photography is that you can capture little slices of life that look so beautiful within the frame. Yet on location, you hear the whirring of traffic on Westridge and Battleground Avenue. You see the clutter of cars parked in the lot and watch consumers dashing to spend their Kohl's bucks or heading to Village Tavern for lunch. For a brief moment, we enjoy the inviting image of a man, sitting alone with a giant McDrink, enjoying his little slice of solitude.
After yesterday's stressful events in Boston, we could all benefit from a taking a few moments to relax and breathe in the beauty around us.
Above, you see a photo of the widening of Highway 220 (North Battleground) at Lake Higgins, between Greensboro and Summerfield- near Strawberry Road. This is how you turn a little rural road into a highway-- one load of gravel at a time. The process is fascinating. First you cordon off the lake to protect the water supply; then you clear the land; next, you fill and grade, fill and grade. An engineer would be a lot more articulate about the process. Our explanation is the perspective of the curious bystander. Before you know it, this road will be a four-lane, limited access highway. If you are local and ever want to see how close a proposed highway will be to your house, go here for an interactive map.
Well, on a totally unrelated note, today is national carry-a-poem-in-your-pocket day. So grab a copy of your favorite poem, carry it in your pocket and read it to everyone from friends to innocent bystanders (a grocery store line would be great). Ideally, roads and bridges connect people. May your poem connect you to others in a positive way!
This past Sunday, the Yanceyville Farmers Curb Market hosted its first plant sale and earth day celebration. Unfortunately, many booths were unfilled and the normal rush of customers were not there. Perhaps attendance was low because it was the day before tax day; perhaps because people are not yet familiar with the event; perhaps because the giant arts and crafts festival was taking place at the coliseum complex; just maybe the event could have benefitted from more advertising. At any rate, we hope that the event continues becaue the plants offered were great and seemed to be a good money value. Plus, vendors were very knowledgeable. One farmer and his wife took the time to explain three different kinds of thyme to us.
We're using the above photo of the event to help with this week's ABC Wednesday post. Today is "N" day for "N" is for nature, nurture, natural. Natural produce helps keep us and the earth healthy and nature is our most important resourse. We must nurture it. From insects to trees and everything in-between, nature keeps us healthy. "N" is the second most commonly used consonant in the English alphabet; second only to "T". We hope you are doing somethi-N to make today special. We hope the plant/earth day event will happen again next year. In the meantime, if you still need plants, consider the Herb Society's event at the Greek Orthodox Church this Thursday. Here is a write-up from four years ago.
There seems to be a real disconnect when Passover and Easter are early and flowers and blossoms are late. Finally, dogwoods are opening and sharing their beauty in Greensboro. Once the dogwoods bloom, we can say SPRING HAS SPRUNG! Our state flower is back in all of its glory. It has only been our state flower since 1941. Before that, the daisy and goldenrod were often considered the state flower.
If you are out on this glorious day today, UNCG is having its 31st annual International Festival, so you can celebrate the great diversity of Greensboro, especially in the University community. Also, be prepared for traffic changes downtown as the city hosts the Biscuitville events. There is so much to do this weekend. However, don't forget to take time to stop and admire those dogwood blossoms. They'll be here and gone before you can say, "State flower."
The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Sandy Ridge Road is starting to come alive again. Farmers are out with plants, trees, and some food items. With the Easter egg hunt behind them, the next big event is the Herb Festival on Saturday, April 20th from 8:00 am- 5:00 pm. Greenshouse Vegetable Day will be on Friday, April 26th from 1:00 am-1:00 pm. That event is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and comes with a free tomato sandwich. The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is one of five that is overseen by the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture. Steve Troxler is Commissioner of Agriculture. The mission statement for the organization is: (t)o provide services that promote and improve agriculture, agribusiness and forests; protect consumers and businesses; and conserve farmland and natural resources for the prosperity of all North Carolinians (reference).
We heard a food segment on NPR the other day and they said that the closer children are to fresh fruits and vegetables (like tomatoes), the more likely they are to eat them; with the "closest" being to actually grow the food and to eat what is harvested. Parents were overheard teaching their young children this past Sunday, allowing them to have some choice in the plants purchased and another family allowing children to pick produce. The farmers market is such an educational place to spend an afternoon. Remember to consider planting as many edibles as possible. We already purchased our chard so that we can continue our tradition of chard in the yard and so fun to eat from the flower bed. Try it, Greensboro!
Slowly and surely, it is blossomtime in Greensboro. Pear and cherry trees are blooming and already past peak in most parts of the county. Dogwood will be blooming soon. The above photo was taken in the courtyard of the McIver Building on the UNCG campus. McIver Building formerly housed the language departments and this scene reminds us of an impressionist painting. It isn't every day one finds lavender garden chairs to photograph.
The only thing that would have pleased us more in this scene would have been for a young couple to have been sitting there sipping espresso or green tea. It is a vignette in search of characters. With the language programs relocated to the Moore Humanities Building, and Tate Street the main hangout for coffee breaks with friends and colleagues, it is likely the bistro table and chairs will remain hauntingly vacant.
The early blossoms are already starting to show signs of being replaced by leaves. Do not delay; head out and find a nice place to sit and take in the confetti of petals while they are here for their brief visit.
The above photo was taken at the tennis courts in Sunset Hills; last year, when it was warm at the end of March. The children look so unencumbered with their absence of shoes and winter garmets. It is heartwarming to see children enjoying the out of doors. At first glance, you will see a trio of children. Look closer and find the fourth.
Yellow, blooming forsythia in the forground frame the photo and distance the children from the street. Forsythia are flowering plants in the Oleaceae or olive family. Befitting to photograph children with this plant, given the olive branch is a symbol of peace- dating back to the 5th century BC. As Jews enjoy Passover and Christians prepare to celebrate Easter, let us hope that the world can become more harmonious and peaceful and that children and nature alike can be nurtured. Today is ABC Wednesday; for this A-Z round, our theme is GO GREEN GREENSBORO and K is for KIDS, happy, healthy kids, playing outside and enjoying nature in all its glory. Peace...
Winter skies can be so beautiful as a backdrop to the barren winter landscape. In spite of the recent cold snap, Greensboro has experienced a relatively mild winter. Also, we seem to have been spared an early spring icestorm. We took this photo a couple of weeks ago in northwest Greensboro and reslized if we didn't use it soon, we would have to tuck it away for a year. Officially, spring arrived on Wednesday, March 20th; winter is not just waning, it is GONE.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend to revel in the freshness of spring, we suggest heading to the Children's Museum tomorrow for the Festival of Colors, celebrating the colors of India and Indian culture. From there, you could walk from that to the Best Little Train Show at the nearby Gaylon Depot on Washington Street. If you finish those events by 2:00 p.m., you could walk from the train depot to the Central Library for the free matinee (Aladdin). If you still want more to do, you could bike on the downtown greenway and stop by Deep Roots, welcome them to downtown and visit our friend Elizabeth who works there.
Whether you do attend one of the events we mentioned or do something else this weekend, please open your front door, allow some fresh air to flow through your house and shout at the top of your lungs, "Goodbye, Winter!".
Driving back from Washington, D.C. this weekend, as we were approaching Greensboro, we saw this truck on the road: "best coffee on the Interstate", Pilot travel centers. On the side, the truck's tank had written, "flammable". Somehow, we don't think the liquid inside was coffee. This was a brilliant piece of advertisement from which one cannot escape. Seeing the coffee-bean shaped sign made us want to stop for coffee. However, the closest Pilot (Flying J) travel center to Greensboro is in Mebane and we had already passed it. We settled for getting back to town 15 minutes earlier and brewing coffee at home.
Seeing this photo and looking at photos from this time last year, we notice spring is a little later in arriving this year. Perhaps it is for the best as we don't want any beautiful blossoms to get damaged. If you want to learn about trees that will be blooming soon, look here. Do you have any in your yard? Something a little farther away from home is this 1:32 video about early blooms of spring in the Chicago Botanic Garden. At any rate, as we look at the dull, almost colorless, photo above, we can hardly contain ourselves, anticipating another beautiful spring in Greensboro. Spring, hurry up! Please!
For some reason, this photo of a desolate tree at Lake Higgins reminds us of a scene from Gone With the Wind. It stands tall and alone on the horizon in the December sky, like something Scarlett O'Hara would fight to hold on to. It is hard to believe that spring will be here within a month and, before you know it, the trees will be putting on leaves.
Lake Higgins is a 226-acre municipal reservoir. The lake is one of a trio of water reservoirs: Lakes Higgins, Brandt, and Townsend. It is not always clear when you are leaving one lake and approaching another. They are located in the north end of the county. Fishing, kayaking, and hiking around the lakes are especially fun ways to exercise and enjoy our beautiful community. Since these next few months GDP is sharing posts of an environmental "Going Green" theme, this article about trees is especially appropriate. Please read a tree story, here... a little sappy, but timely with Earth Day and Arbor Day coming up in April!
Lake Brandt is a great place to visit on the weekends. It is an 815 acre municipal reservoir, built in 1925 and named for Leon Brandt, Mayor of Greensboro from 1907-1908. The lake, a fabulous recreational facility, is open from 8am-5pm this weekend. If you want to get out and hike, kayak, or walk your dogs, it is just a few miles north of town. Water sports are fairly dormant this time of year, however, before you know it, Lake Brant will be offering youth kayak certification classes, having bass tournaments, kayaking classes, rowing practices and more (see here).
The responsible pet owner, above, has her chihuahuas on a leash and, as you can see, they were very tolerant of the young child with a stick. Actually, he was playing very nicely with the dogs. Chihuahuas seem to be gathering a little bit of celebrity status in Greensboro. This one likes to wear costumes and this one likes to sell costume jewelry. The ones in the above photo were perfectly content to sport nothing more than their beautiful fur coats and to hang out at the lake and marvel at the little child in stripes.
The above photo was taken last weekend on property located between Carlson Dairy and Pleasant Ridge Road. The cows seemed to be enjoying the sunny day as much as the humans were. Guilford County still has some farms remaining. It is nice on the weekends to drive around and look at them, to show children animals in real life.
We don't know if these are dairy cows but they got us thinking about cow trivia. Dairy cows drink 35 gallons of water a day and produce 7 gallons of milk. Milk is 87% water so it can quench thirst. There are 11 million milk cows in the USA. On average, cows live to be 20 years old (unless they suffer an untimely death). As of 2009, cows have had a fully-mapped genome. If you are enjoying these tidbits, go here and play some cow trivia. Here is a list of some nearby farms that conduct tours- if you want to get closer than we did for the above photo. Here's to a great weeken where everyone takes time to stop and interact with nature... and livestock........and be thankful that we are not snowed under!
Just after Greensboro got that fabulous, Super Bowl sky, by Monday afternoon, the weather was soon dull and overcast. However, sleuthing across from Grimsley High School, we found what resembles a Japanese Apple Bush. If it is, the plant is related to the rose and quince family. If not... well... a little pink and green in the middle of the winter is enough to put a smile on anyone's face. It would be nice for Greensboro to have a botanical garden to enjoy on the cold, winter days. (An indoor one would be especially pleasant).
If you like plant growing, conservation and seeing interesting flora, consider becoming involved at the North Carolina Zoo. Less than an hour south of Greensboro, you have a wealth of fabulous happenings in the plant world. There is also the Bog Garden near Friendly Center. Other options include the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, the Grenesboro Arboretum and the Ciener Botanical Garden in nearby Kernersville. At the end of the day, if you haven't found any flowers and plants to enjoy in their natural setting, you can always head to a grocery store and hang out in the floral section. Where do you go to enjoy nature? What do you have blooming this time of year?
Yesterday, the gray skies parted and Greensboro got a healthy dose of winter sunshine and some of the prettiest clouds ever. Cold, sunny, winter days can be glorious.
From the looks of the box store parking lots (like this one on North Battleground), it seemed as if all of Greensboro were out buying snacks for Superbowl parties. Whether your team won or lost last night- or you didn't watch at all- hopefully, you can appreciate one of the few instances of the Nation coming together to watch a show simultaneously. As for the Superbowl.... well..... you know a TV event must be important if it gets the Downton Abbey crowd recording the episode!
As for Super Bowl XLVII, it could have used a little of that sunshine during the power outage.
The small tree in the foreground on the left was planted in memory of Chancellor Patricia Ann Sullivan who led The University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1995- 2008. In her thirteen years as Chancellor, she led UNCG through a period of great growth. Under her watch, student enrollment increased by 36 percent and her capital campaign brought in over $100 million dollars. If you haven't been on campus since the early 1990's, you won't believe how UNCG has grown. Chancellor Sullivan died of cancer in 2009, but she will be remembered by students, faculty, and UNCG employees for years to come.
UNCG has such lovely landscaping and the trees, planted in memory of people who have contributed so much to the University, add such a personal touch. Chancellor Sullivan would be pleased to know that the next tree over is dedicated in memory of a student who left an indelibe impression on the professors who taught her. Here's to planting trees in memory of others and to taking the time to walk by and appreciate them.
Yesterday, we featured a bronze statue of Dr. Joe Christian. Today, we share a photo of his beloved Bog Garden at Benjamin Park. Dr. Christian dreamed of turning this formerly blighted parcel of land into a place for native plants to thrive is a natural setting. The wetland home is nestled on seven acres between Hobbs Road, Northline Avenue and Starmount Drive. The Bog Garden is open year round from sunrise to sunset. It has, numerous wildlife species, native plants, and a recirculating waterfall that Dr. Christian himself helped construct. The trails and boardwalk, visible in the upper left corner, allow visitors to travel through the natural bog, disrupting it minimally. This photo shows the Bog Garden at its brownest, most dormant time of year. However, without excessive foilage, one can get an idea of just how easy it is to explore the area. We were expecially curious about the duck in the middle which one little visitor dubbed "tuxedo duck" because it looks it is wearing a black tuxedo. The white strip if feathers on the inside of its neck and chest looks like a white dress shirt. This is the kind of creative expression that emerges when parents take their children out to explore nature. If you want to combat nature deficit disorder, head to the Bog Garden and explore!
For this round of our beloved ABC Wednesday GDP's theme is "Go Green" Greensboro. Today is ABC Wednesday and B is for Bog Garden. We are delighted that Greensboro has natural areas for present and future generations to enjoy. Here's to keeping the "green" in Greensboro!
Today's photo celebrates one of Greensboro's great naturalists, Dr. Joe Christian. Dr. Christian loved spending time outdoors whether hunting or exploring or just spending time with his family. He was instrumental in establishing Greensboro's Bog Garden. He helped reclaim the stream that was littered with garbage. He relocated over 16,000 native plant specimens to this natural space.
His bronze statue, featured above, is located at the northwest corner at the intersection of Hobbs Road and Starmount Farms Drive. The statue is by South Carolina sculptor, Maria J. Kirby-Smith. She knew the humble Dr. Christian personally and dedicated the statue while Dr. Christian was still living. Kirby-Smith depicted her subject with a shovel in one hand and a soon-to-be-planted alum plant in the other hand. Dr. Christian had so many talents, not to mention he was a well respected medical doctor who graduated from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
If you want to read more about the above statue, read here. You will learn that Kirby-Smith has sculpted many statues around Greensboro. We also direct you to Dr. Christian's obituary. The accomplished, Renaissance man died in 2011. Stop back by GDP tomorrow and we'll show you a view of Dr. Christian's bog garden in its tranquil, sleeping, winter state.
When the weather is cold and messy, we tend to spend a little more time inside. In Greensboro, on snowy days, if one waits until about 9:00 am, roads are fairly safe to navigate. By 9:00 am, the sun is usually shining brightly. Such was the case yesterday when we entered the Battleground Starbucks, located in the plaza with Earthfare. Thanks to the sunshine, we noticed the large coffee plant growing in the south facing window.
The above photo shows this plant with its coffee berries in all stages of ripening and the plant and berries are glorious. From creamy white to pink to raspberry to eggplant purple, the berries pop against the waxy green leaves. According to Starbucks' associates working yesterday, the plant has been in the store for at least a year- or the best they can recollect. Other customers in the store also marveled at the beauty of the ripening berries AND at the fact that none of us had noticed the 5' tree over the past year. Amazing how a change in weather affects what we notice.
Let's all go on a noticing spree this weekend and see what we uncover in our respective communities. If you are local, head to the Battleground Starbucks and see coffee growing.
Well, if the weekend in Greensboro ends up being as beautiful as they say it is going to be, you will want to head OUTSIDE! The above photo is a picture of Julian and Ethel Clay Price Park off of Hobbs Road and New Garden Road. Price Park is 93 protected acres of land that was formerly part of the Jefferson-Pilot Club House Property. It was acquired by the Piedmont Land Conservancy in 1999. The property is now a City of Greensboro Park and Recreation Department property.
The park is a great place to get out and enjoy some open space, to walk your (leashed) dog, and to even stop in to the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library to check out some books or DVD's. Today, between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, the Piedmont Land Conservancy will host a Weeds & Warriors workday here. Volunteers will clear out invasive plant species and prepare the meadow for spring birds and wildlife.* This lovely, hilly land down the road from Guilford Courthouse National Military Park was actually the site of the war reenactment in 2007.
Come out and help the Piedmont Land Conservancy keep the GREEN in Greensboro! Look how beautiful it is to see all of that open space.
*Read more here.
As 2012 draws to a close, we leave you with a view of a little bit of open space, Greensboro's version of big sky country, on Old Battleground. The white clouds hover above the old, leafless trees. Down the road is Guilford Courthouse National Miliatry Park. Just beyond is the Yadkin-Atlantic Greenway. This view has remained unchanged since Greensboro became a city in 1808. However, behind us is a new apartment complex and the Battleground/Horse Pen Creek Harris Teeter parking lot. The beauty on the ridge butts up against encroaching modernity. Through programs like the Piedmont Land Conservancy, we are finding ways to preserve land for future generations while building facilities to enhance our city.
One of the biggest changes to downtown in 2012 was the infill development of 4.2 acres on the edge of Fisher Park. The Greenway Apartments opened on property that had been an auto dealership for the last five decades. Deep Roots Co-op should open in 2013, bringing a much-needed grocery store downtown. Locally, 2012 was also a growth year for the building that several mini-businesses under one roof. Hopefully, the News and Record will feature one of their year-in-review articles.
Thank you for your faithful readership in 2012. Please continue to read in 2013. As you ring in the new year tonight, do not drink and drive. If you see someone who has been drinking, insist they take AAA up on their free Tipsy Tow service. AAA will get you and your vehicle home, members and non-members, as long as you are 7 miles or less from home. Happy New Year's Eve!
In Greensboro, the camellias are in full bloom. They are a lovely, flowering bush, related to the tea plant. Camellias were cultivated in Asia for centuries before arriving in Europe or America. The flowers range from red to pink to white. The plants with their woody stems and evergreen leaves do well in acidic soil alongside other acid loving plants- like rhododendrons.* In Greensboro, tey bloom at a time when, short of holly and nandina berries, the local landscape can look pretty bleak. The blooms, surrounded by those waxy green leaves, look especially lovely when peeking out from a fresh dusting of snow.
While admiring the bloom above, consider ordering a copy of Alexandre Dumas' The Lady of the Camellias. If we get snowed in, all of Greensboro can read the book and have an online discussion- right here on GDP! Every time we think about that book, we are reminded that Guiseppe Verdi put the story to music and called it La Traviata. So, next time you look at those pretty little blooms, think about the fact that they have quite a botanical and artistic history.
*If you are interested, read more about camellias, here.
Lake Brandt looks like it is hosting an installation by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the married couple famous for installing enviornmental works of art by the mile. In reality, in the photo above, you see a barrier around Lake Brandt (at Lake Higgins) intended to keeping contaminants from entering the water while North Battleground (Highway 220) gets widened- Project R-2309. The project has been underway since May; however, only recently have we enjoyed the great, golden wall.* Tetra Tech of New York was awarded the 96 million dollar contract; we're betting they are the ones making sure that our drinking water stays safe and clean. Even in the above photo, you can see the difference in movement of water to the left of the barrier and to the right of it. We wish we had access to a small airplane to do an aerial photo shoot of the snakelike object. It is our own little Running Fence.
*read more here.
Tamannary Forest is a neighborhood that is almost a peninsula, with Lakes Townsend and Jeanette wrapping around it. Tamannary Forest is located directly across the street from Air Harbor Airport off of Air Harbor Road. One could land a plane and walk home in no time if living on the above property. This view characterizes the neighborhood. Homes, built from the mid 1980's to mid 1990's, are graciously large. Lots are nearly an acre in size and wooded, making the houses difficult to see from the road when leaves are on the trees. This time of year, however, views are memorable. Tree trunks and limbs cast long, reaching shadows over the forest floor- a place where fairytales look as if they could come to life.
Technically, Tamannary Forest is not within the city limits so residents escape paying city taxes on these homes, which cost upwards of half a million dollars. Tamannary must fly under the radar, literally (airport) and figuratively, as virtually nothing is published about the neighborhood and not even the origin of the word Tamannary is not clear and there doesn't appear to be a neighborhood website. Regardless, it is lovely; today is ABC Wednesday and T is for Tamannary Forest. (Quickly scroll through A-S Greensboro here).
The last couple of days, we've focused on new buildings. Today, we take you to the remains of an old motel, near the Wings of Healing Tabernacle, on the east side of Highway 29 between Cone Boulevard and Hicone Road. All that remains of this once thriving roadside motel is the brick exterior and stoops leading to hollow rooms filled with shrubs, trees, and weeds.
Motor hotels, shortened to motels, became increasingly popular in the United States after World War II. As the highway system grew and long distance journeys were more commonplace, motels sprang up everywhere. They peaked in popularity in the 1960's, and in the following decades, the interstate system took motorists around cities and towns.* It is easy to see why we no longer find motels useful and opt for the brimming-with-amenities hotels. It is harder, however, to figure out which current cultural icons will be abandoned later in this century. We'll ponder that question as we traipse around Greensboro this weekend, looking for places (new and old) to feature for you. Happy weekend, dear readers.
By the way, do you know why North Carolina is considered part of the Old South, moreso than the Deep South? Do you know why the term has fallen out of favor? If not, the answer is a click away.
P.S. If you live in an "S" neighborhood, we'll probably be driving by for our ABC Wednesday photo!
*reference and additional information here.
The above photo is a view of Colonial Materials, Inc. the largest distributor of drywall in North Carolina. The Pleasant Garden Yard opened in 1992 and is located on Hunt Road. We stumbled on it when we were driving along country roads in southeastern Guilford County in search of a little splash of color on an otherwise drab day. When we rounded the corner, just south of Pleasant Garden, and saw this riot of secondary color (orange, green, purple), it was just what we were seeking. If you are from elsewhere, does your community have a drywall business this bright and cheerful? We like the way the fallow field in the foreground adds to a touch of nature to the scene.
The scene looks like a place Swedish artist Michael Johansson could have fun organizing. We'd like to see Andreas Gursky, who took the world's most expensive photograph, come photograph this Guilford County scene. (To our artist and non-artist readers alike, if you click through these last two links, your appreciation of this post will be enhanced).
Seeing this view alongside Horse Pen Creek Road, just south of Greensboro Country Club's Farm Course, reminds us of Emily Dickinson's poem, The name- of it- is "Autumn".* While the meaning of her complex poem is believed to reference the Civil War,** for us, it evokes the image of veins and arteries as we see orange, scarlet, and vermillion leaves on trees, completely sheared of limbs on one side. In Greensboro, Duke Energy performs this tree cutting, near power lines, because they are certified to do so and can preform the task safely. Agressive pruning is an evil necessity since so many of our power lines are above ground.
Here is Dickinson's poem:
The name- of It- is "Autumn".
The hue- of it- is Blood.
An Artery- upon the Hill-
A Vein- along the Road-
Great Globules- in the Alleys-
And oh, the Shower of Stain-
When Winds- upset the Basin-
And spill the Scarlet Rain-
It sprinkles Bonnets- far below-
It gathers ruddy Pools-
Then- eddys like a Rose away- away-
Upon Vermillion Wheels.
Before you know it, the wind will blow and the time will be upon us to get leaves hauled away. In the meantime, we'll just enjoy the great globules of colorful leaves as they cling to the arteries and veins of the trees. Should you see trees near power lines that need work, read what the city can and can't do to help (read here). Happy Monday to all!
Fall is upon us in North Carolina. In the mountains, the leaves are moving into peak season, a little past at the highest elevations. Greensboro is not quite at peak; however, this weekend would be a great one to take a day trip and enjoy the season. Appalachian State University's biology department maintains a fall color report to help estimate the timing of fall color peaks for the various NC regions.
Above, you see the native persimmon, diospyros virginiana, nicknamed the possom apple. In North Carolina, the Scotch-Irish families have been enjoying persimmon pudding and other dishes since moving into the state in the 1700's and the Native Americans were eating the sticky, glue-like pulp long before colonial times. Fullsteam Brewery in Durham puts a different spin on the fruit, making it into beer. They will even pay $3 a pound for fruit, as long as it is picked at peak readiness and they don't have an overabundant supply.
With the loss of farmland in the Piedmont area around Greensboro, the native persimmon is not readily abundant. Consider planting a few trees on your property if you are in the position to do so. Unfortunately, the native persimmon doesn't like to be crowded and it takes a male and female tree to get fruit. As fussy as nature can be, it is hard to believe that these these used to be everywhere.
Sorry for the late post. Time Warner Cable is coming out a second time today to see why we don't have internet access at our house.( Thanks to wi-fi at a local coffee shop, we're able to post). If the TWC worker gets our internet fixed, we just may fix him a 'simmon puddin.'
just waiting to be made into persimmon pudding, lest they be devoured by birds.
The High Point Rowing Club is not yet a month old, but this past weekend, they participated in their first regatta. The event was held in Wake Forest, North Caroina on Falls Lake. The regatta, hosted by UNC Men's Crew, gave crews a chance to get their times before November's big rowing event, Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, TN. Head of the Hooch is the second largest regatta in the USA. The HPRC team is ready and plans to participate. This is a wonderful opportunity for the team. In the above photo, High Point's two crews are seen getting ready for this past Saturday's race.
While this blog is Greensboro Daily Photo, we're glad High Point rowing has brought the sport of crew to the Triad. Currently, the team practices on Oak Hollow Lake. It would be wonderful if Coach Gene Kininmonth also started a rowing program on Lake Brandt or Lake Townsend. Greensboro has lots of young ladies (and even a crew of parents) ready to row. Maybe they could even get Greensboro's own Caroline Lind, gold medal Olympic rower, to come home and give the girls a few tips.That would be simply OAR-some!
Tis the season of maclura pomifera- also knows as osage oranges, hedge-apples, horse-apples, bois d'arc, bodark and bodack* The brainlike texture of this fruit looks like something that should be decorating a house at Halloween. Although we've always called this grapefruit-sized, inedible fruit an Osage orange, it is more closely related to the mulberry than an orange. The dense, heavy orbs are filled with a sticky sap that, as old-timey lore has it, repels spiders and insects. Scientific studies show there is some evidence for their effectiveness as an insecticide.
Some refer to the trees and fruit as bois d'arc because early French settlers noticed that Native Americans used the strong, flexible wood in bowmaking. In early America, the trees were planted to serve as natural barbed wire fences as the branches are quite thorny. We think this is a photo of the "orange tree" wood in the Greensboro Arboretum; that would explain the spikes. Recently, we found several Osage oranges on a walking tour of Greensboro's Westerwood neighborhood. It takes a brave person to allow these trees to fruit on one's street; because, if they fall off and hit your car, they leave a pretty serious dent. The Osage orange has some interesting history, some of which is linked to US presidents! Why don't you head out for a nature walk and try to find some, and ...... watch out for that THUMP!
* see this reference where we got the general information for this wonder of nature!