I've walked this route for several years now, so I know when to look for certain things (like keeping an eye out for the blooming of the huge Catalpa tree in spring, and then the Mimosa tree in summer), but there are also many things still to discover.
I took my camera along during a couple of recent walks to capture some of what I see.
One of the main things I wanted to photograph was the beautiful flowers of the Catalpa tree. Very often these flowers are pretty high up in the air, and it's hard to see all the amazing detail contained in them. Luckily there is a Catalpa along my route that has some shoots that grow very low to the ground.
Not only are the leaves huge, but the tree itself is huge. And the bean pods that they produce in the fall? You got it, huge (10" long maybe?)!
On to the flowers... (The street I travel is largely filled with student rentals, so no well-kept lawns here. Makes for good "weed" watching!)
This one is a stumper! I'm quite sure it's a member of the Geranium family, and the closest thing I can come up with is Herb Robert, but I know that's NOT what this is. The whole thing seems to start off green (with the little white flowers), but then...
Things start to turn red and black. If anyone can pinpoint an ID on this one, I would appreciate it, because it's unlike anything I've ever seen!
Clockwise from upper left: Field Garlic, Grapevine leaves, and two unknown beauties.
A 15-foot (approximate) section of "wildness" along the side of the road that so many walk and drive by every day, without so much as a thought to the diversity of life contained within. Probably at least 25 different species of flowers, who knows how many species of grasses and sedges, lots of trees and shrubs, countless bugs (most noteably, snails galore!), not to mention micro-organisms.... And I can't help but wonder how many of the flower species are edible by humans.
And then... the destination for my fancy coffee fix, Donkey Coffee and Espresso. I love this place, and I love the employees. They serve only fair trade coffee, awesome sweets and pastries made by local bakers, and they're even trying to make the "fancy" stuff like syrups good for us, with no high fructose corn syrup and light on the sugar. If you're ever in Athens, be sure to stop by 17-1/2 W. Washington St!