Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Nature Takes It Back

My life in appalachia nature takes it back

The tree is growing inside an old silo on farm land along the banks of the Hiwassee River. If left alone, nature will eventually take back what it once owned.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 12, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Speaking of kudzu, back in 2008 a Caldwell County woman disappeared on her way home from work. A thorough search of the route she usually took and even those she didn’t use. After several days the searchers decided she had driven or had been forced to drive out of the area. Then 5 days later someone noticed some marks along the side of US-321 in an area that had been search several times before but decided to look again anyway. He looked down into a 100 foot deep ravine that was filled with kudzu vines. Seeing nothing he decided to move on. But then he say something shiny back amongst the snarl of leaves and vines. When he climbed down to get a better look it was a crushed Toyota Tacoma pickup and inside it was Amber, dehydrated and starving, drenched with blood and rain, pinning under the dash and with a broken leg. All she had had to drink was water that collected on the kudzu leaves from the morning dew and from the rainfall. She was in critical condition but she was alive. Alive to be airlifted to Charlotte, alive to recover and go home to her two little children and her husband.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Profound photo, profound comments – especially Ed’s.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    August 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Discovery Channel did a series several years ago on what would happen if humans disappeared. It was very thought provoking as to how fast the buildings built today would disintegrate. In a matter of a year the windows would start to fall out of the skyscrapers so the birds could use them.
    I read that in Ohio a person may use the water flowing across his property, but he does not own the water as no one can own it. It will evaporate, soak in, etc. In many ways land is the same. We can use it, but if we stop maintaining it, nature will reclaim it.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I love these photo’s of Mother Nature reclaiming what is hers. It shows man;s futility in trying to tame her.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Our holler where we once had a cornfield with tossels as far as you could see now has poplar and hickory trees that would be awful hard to reach around. It’s kinda like Chitter and Chatter’s song, “nothing remains the same.” Life goes on…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I love Virginia creeper and I have to remind folks that see it that it is NOT Poison Ivy.
    Do not mention Wisteria unless you can say it under your breath. The better-half hates the stuff. Yes, I planted a purple one here years ago. It is a plant that has to have constant supervision, cut, clip and root chop to keep It where you want it on your trellises! Yes, mine got away by underground runners! We now have a huge Magnolia tree that has the long purple intoxicating fragrant blooms in the spring and big white magnolia blossoms in June! HA Beautiful, but it looks like it is trying to leap to other trees.
    English Ivy…Another one of my loves. I planted little sprigs to cover a deep basement ugly cinder block
    wall. What was I thinking. It has covered the walls and climbed up the backside of the house.
    Jim is right on about these plants. The only thing good about Kudzu is the fragrant purple blooms in the fall usually hidden under the giant leaves. When we are driving thru Kudzu infested areas my favorite pastime is picking out Kudzu animal shapes, etc. as it covers shrubs and trees. Can’t forget when we have the hard freeze which kills it, after it dries a day or two, bring out the cardboard boxes and make a huge side down Kudzu hill. My friend also makes paper out of the plants. Thank goodness I didn’t bring any Kudzu from Moms that was growing on a forgotten lot next door. PHEW!
    Love this Post Tipper,
    PS. We have been in a battle with poison ivy in our flower beds Never had so much of it. We think our bird friends have dropped the seeds around! Jim. We have managed to get one strong wild grape going close by and quite a few muscadines…Thank you birdies at least for those!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 12, 2016 at 11:31 am

    What people often forget is that nature owns the things of earth. Even we, who think we are in a battle against nature, are in reality only a fragment of nature too. Nature will reclaim that old farm silo and also the silo in which our spirits reside. However, some of us are imbued with a spark that exists outside natures realm and will live on even when nature herself is no more.
    Now, hows that for a bit of philosophy on a Friday morning?
    Why Apothecopie when Apothekorie would be prefect?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Yes, nature always takes it back! If the people were all gone I wonder who would win, the kudzu or the roaches.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 12, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Your picture is an allegory to those of us who tend to think about the meaning of things. So many that have come and gone and nature has reclaimed their fields and homeplaces. And there were others before them of whom little trace remains.
    There are many abandoned silos down in Wilkes County, Ga where once there was a thriving dairy industry. And there is one on the head of the Toccoa River near suches, Ga.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

    It is truly amazing how quickly nature reclaims the land. I look at some fields I hoed corn and cane in when I was living at Needmore which seems to be just a few years ago. These fields now are grown up in trees which would make decent saw logs. When I think about it I realize that there are two facets of nature at work here, one being how rapidly some plants grow and the second being how our minds are kind when we look back at how many years have flown by. I have found that a quote I heard several years ago that “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer one gets to the end of each the faster it goes” is very true.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 12, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Tipper–That’s a really neat photo. You must have backed the shutter speed down quite slow and used a tripod to get that much depth of field. Or maybe it’s just that you are really steady of hand. Either way, you’ve got a photographer’s eye, and with today’s cameras, that’s arguably more important than detailed knowledge of bracketing, f-stops, and the technical side of things.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. There are some ways nature takes things back that I don’t like–kudzu won’t just take back; it will take over. Poison ivy doesn’t spread quite as rapidly, but it can be quite invasive as well. It looks like Virginia creeper in this photo, and I like it (beautiful foliage in the fall). Then there’s English ivy and wisteria, and the more you think of it the more you realize that most of the “problem children” are introduced plants. One family of plants I really enjoy in recovery settings is wild grapes.

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