I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes yearn to spend more time in other parts of the US. The mountains of the West, the Northwest coast, the Maine coast, and others are always fun to visit. Some of my appreciation for other parts of the country stems from the fact that I am a born and bred Southerner. I’ve grown accustomed to my region and just enjoy visiting other places that are different from my home.
However, each year at this time, I’m reminded of how beautiful my little part of the world can be. We may not have the dramatic landscapes of the West or the crashing surf of the ocean, but spring in Georgia creates some of the most beautiful sights that anyone will ever see. The landscape becomes a riot of color beginning in March, peaking in April, and usually lasting well into May. As I write, the number of flowering trees and shrubs that I see every day is impossible to describe. Just about every bend in the road brings a view of oak, cherry, redbud, wisteria, azalea, dogwood, and other species in all their spring glory. In addition, flowers of all types are springing up from the ground while budding trees create a multi-hued green canopy that stretches in every direction. The only downside is the pollen count. A warmer than normal winter has apparently created a record pollen season. The counts are ridiculously high and every horizontal surface has a yellow-green tint from the settling pollen. It’s a small price to pay to live in a giant flowering garden. Atlanta and the southeast in the spring is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
This year, I decided to return to central Georgia to follow the Antebellum Trail. It begins in Macon and ends in Athens. On the route are Gray, Milledgeville, Eatonton, Madison, and Watkinsville. If you enjoy pastoral country settings, small towns, beautiful architecture, and flowering gardens, you really should visit the Trail in the spring.
This image is from the second day of our trip and was taken in beautiful Madison, Georgia. As Sherman marched through the South towards Savannah and Charleston, he followed a scorched earth policy. Fortunately, he made an exception for towns that surrendered peacefully. In light of an overwhelmingly superior army, many Georgia towns wisely laid down their arms. For them the war was over. For us, their beautiful architecture was spared for us to enjoy today. White columned mansions are not just myth. They exist in abundance in towns throughout the South. Nothing says small town southern town to me quite like a white columned house with azaleas in full bloom. This is a great example of the genre. I hope you enjoy it. There’s more to come from the Antebellum Trail.