A Tree Growing Straight Through a Truck

Treethroughcar

(Photos by Matt Bigelow and Kelsey Blackwell)

A tree grew straight through the passenger side window of this rusted-out 1957 Chevy truck in Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia. (Google map).

Oldrustedcar

About a dozen vintage 1950 cars from an abandoned homestead sit on the east side of the 1,000 acre park.

Indoorseatsteeringwheel

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.

Twoeasternfencelizards

(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).

Providencecanyon

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.”

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    Nice pictures.I wonder how long those vehicles have been there.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm
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    March 31, 2012 at 7:11 am
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    Lipan Point is a promontory located on the South Rim. This point is located to the east of the Grand Canyon Village along the Desert View Drive. There is a parking lot for visitors who care to drive along with the Canyon’s bus service that routinely stops at the point. The trailhead to the Tanner Trail is located just before the parking lot.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:26 am
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  7. renamer

    WOW. Its pretty cool. Never seen anything like this. Thanks for sharing.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:22 am
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    Matt,
    This is really awesome. Beautiful photographs and nice philosophical connection to the man vs. nature phenomenon. You’re doing some great stuff.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm
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    haha- that is great- I wonder how long those vehicles have been there

    May 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm
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    Lipan Point is a promontory located on the South Rim. This point is located to the east of the Grand Canyon Village along the Desert View Drive. There is a parking lot for visitors who care to drive along with the Canyon’s bus service that routinely stops at the point. The trailhead to the Tanner Trail is located just before the parking lot.

    April 23, 2010 at 9:03 am
  11. Matt

    Hey Mark,
    You make good points. And I don’t doubt that with the tools you describe someone could probably remove those cars and trucks with minimal impact on some of the trees around them.
    I think the real issue is that these abandoned automobiles have become ingrained in the habitat. Birds, squirrels, and even lizards have made these old rusted-out Chevys into homes.
    And that’s not to say there isn’t an incentive to leave them for the quirkiness factor, although I can’t speak to that for sure.
    Good points though.

    June 20, 2008 at 7:45 am
  12. Mark Branton

    I can’t believe that a mechanic with the right tools and a good cutting torch (with someone standing by with a fire extinguisher, of course) couldn’t disassemble those automobiles in small enough pieces to be packed out of the area. You could even sell the pieces to defray the cost of doing it if nobody would do it for free. Souvenirs of all types are sold like that. Boy Scout Troops could come in there with empty packs and hike out of there with them full as a community enhancement project. So where am I going wrong?
    Thanks for allowing a forum to express my idea, Mark Branton
    P.S. I was amazed that this place was on the list of the seven wonders of Georgia and Cloudland Canyon isn’t. Go figure, huh?

    June 19, 2008 at 10:28 pm
  13. Matt

    That’s the spindle from Wayne’s World, right?
    How could they take that down for a Walgreen’s?
    Did you hear what the sculptor said when he found out his artwork had been demolished in the middle of the night?
    “Dirty deeds are done in the dark.”

    May 5, 2008 at 8:43 pm
  14. Brian Saltzman

    Yeah the spindle! They tried to sell it on e-bay but no one bid.
    But anyway good stuff Matt!…glad to see Alabama is treating you well and I hope the lizard finally made an impression. Chicago is in full bloom now!

    May 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm
  15. Daniel

    Speaking of which, have you heard about the Spindle in Berwyn, Ill.? They just took it down last night!

    May 3, 2008 at 10:16 am
  16. Jessica Moman

    nice use of the words flora and fauna in the same sentence!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm
  17. Matt

    TB -
    That last photo on Gottlieb’s site is classic – the abandoned building and the city skyline separated by a river. Just plain cool.
    Joe -
    Thanks, man. The canyons are incredible if you ever get a chance to see them. In the walls of the canyons you can see different colors of soil from different time periods exposed – evidence of man destroying in a century what took nature millions of years to create. Nature’s slow reclamation of those rotting cars, however, subtly remind us that there’s (hopefully) only so much damage we can do.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:02 pm
  18. Joe Moorman

    Matt,
    This is really awesome. Beautiful photographs and nice philosophical connection to the man vs. nature phenomenon. You’re doing some great stuff.

    May 2, 2008 at 10:35 am
  19. Kelsey Blackwell

    Matt, this turned out really well. I love the captions for the photos — great job!

    May 2, 2008 at 9:19 am
  20. TB

    I grew up in LaGrange, GA and this place is news to me. Seems like a natural wonder. I think the unnatural part – the truck – intrigues me more. I bought a book of photographs once, by Steve Gottlieb, called ABANDONED AMERICA. Love the stuff. http://www.gottliebphoto.com/Abandon/AA.htm

    May 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

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