(Photos by Matt Bigelow and Kelsey Blackwell)
About a dozen vintage 1950 cars from an abandoned homestead sit on the east side of the 1,000 acre park.
The cars have evolved into a biosphere of sorts for flora and small fauna in the area and, given the cars location in the forest, it would do more environmental harm than good to remove them, according to Interpretive Ranger Tim Wilson. We even saw an eastern fence lizard doing a mating dance of sorts on top of one of them.
(The male, on the right, performed a series of push ups to show off his brilliant blue chest. The female, with her back turned to the male, seemed generally unimpressed).
More than anything, these cars showcase the triumph of nature over man, and stand in ironic contrast with the canyons they overlook. Providence Canyon State Park consists of 9 finger-shaped canyons caused not by natural forces, but rather by the poor farming practices of the area’s rural inhabitants in the 1800’s. They are a testament to the destructive capacity of men and women on their surroundings.
To make matters worse, as the soil eroded kudzu was planted on the canyon’s evolving banks in an attempt to stave off the erosion. Unfortunately, kudzu, as it is now widely known, is an invasive species that threatened to choke off much of the plantlife that would have kept the canyons from deepening.
The area was made into a park in the 1970’s and the canyons are now touted as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.”