This Spring Break I traveled to Macon Georgia for Alternative Spring Break to do service on the homes of elderly and disabled residents. Macon is built along the Ocmulgee River, home to the Ocmulgee Native Americans. After European settlement, Macon became a center for manufacturing which is evident in vast open fields that often featured piles of lumber, wood chips or gravel.
The considerably warmer weather felt great after a long winter spent in BTV. Unfortunately I did not have the autonomy to venture somewhere removed from city or suburban life but I took note of some phenological differences all the same. Macon celebrates it’s Cherry Blossom Festival this week, a beautiful time of year where the whitish pink blooms of the flowers attract tourists. This type of festival definitely wouldn’t be found in Vermont this time of year since leaves don’t typically emerge until mid April.
I also experienced what the locals called “Georgia Clay”, a deep orange clay that resides just beneath a thin layer of dark soil, filled with iron deposits. It was different than any type of soil I’ve ever seen in Vermont, the vibrancy of the orange was incredible.
At a nearby park, I spotted what I am fairly confident was a wood stork, standing in warm shallow, stagnant waters. It’s long curved beak and full body tipped me off as to what species it was. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this bird and was certainly different than the typical Vermont wood thrush that frequent Centennial Woods.