Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Walk In the Park

My more-or-less daily workout routine involves a walk along the new Memorial Trail through Tanyard Creek Park and the new Howard property park. The picture above shows the trail through the Howard property as it approaches the bridge over Tanyard Creek.

Tanyard Creek, a north-slowing tributary to Peachtree Creek, which in turn flows to the Chattahoochee River (which becomes the Apalachicola River when it crosses into Florida and empties into the poor, suffering Gulf of Mexico), is a surprisingly scenic little river for such an urban environment. The trail runs along the creek as it cascades over bedrock of what I guess is the Clairmont Formation. The falling water was once used to power Collier's Mill, formerly located where the creek crosses what is now Colliers Road. Today, however, the creek suffers from releases of sewage and has sky-high levels of fecal coliform, so it's a creek best enjoyed visually and not by wading (I don't think there's been a live fish in it for years now).

It rained this weekend, and as always, mushrooms immediately pop up following the rain.

Mushrooms pop up and branches fall down after a rain. Here's a not untypical limb blocking the trail through what's sometimes called the Cathedral Woods portion of the trail.

Here's the southern part of the trail in Tanyard Creek Park. The open field was a Civil War battlefield, part of the larger Battle of Peachtree Creek, the Confederacy's last defense of Atlanta before it was burned to the ground by Union troops. At Tanyard Creek, 4,000 soldiers lost their life in one day of fighting. In that one field, 4,000 lives lost, leading Union General JD Cox, himself a grizzled veteran of many Civil War battles, to state, "Few battlefields of the war have been strewn so thickly with dead and wounded as they lay that evening around Collier's Mill." God-damn war.

The City originally wanted to put the trail through the middle of the field, but the strenuous efforts of many residents of the surrounding neighborhoods and historic preservation groups eventually convinced them to just skirt the edge of the field, and run the rest of the trail along the creek as shown in the photos above. The result was the preservation of the only remaining open battlefield of the Battle of Peachtree Creek, and an overall more scenic and more interesting trail.

It must be interesting - I walk it nearly every day.

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