Winters in Nashville are interesting. It starts getting the coldest around January and it only snows for a few days on and off unless there is a rare winter storm, but those are not common. I’m not complaining though since being outdoors and walking in nature is my go to for relaxation and the most effective way to unplug from the constant buzzing of daily tasks and errands.
Since my hiking adventures began in Nashville I started noticing a common pattern. There are mushrooms everywhere! I had not seen as many mushrooms or the amount of varieties elsewhere (so far). It rains a lot in Tennessee, so I suspect that may have something to do with it. Mushrooms love humidity and need it to thrive.
So far one of the most vibrant mushrooms I have witnessed on my adventures has been a neon green kind. It pulsated with life from a far and the brightness of the green beckoned me from a far to come and take a closer look. It was an unexpected surprise to discover how interested I have become in these tiny, spongy and diverse fungus. Sometimes we end up finding sparks of joy in the most unexpected ways.
Living in the city means limited space and most likely no yard. I come from a family of farmers and plant enthusiasts. In Honduras gardening is the norm in the countryside because each town is miles away from the nearest shopping center.
In the US farming is big business. We pay high prices for the convenience of not breaking our backs tilling the soil, planting each seed, and nurturing each plant to harvest. I am happy to see more and more everyday people like me carve out a little space in our tiny homes for our own gardens.
I went through a period of disconnect with gardening in my younger days but eventually our true nature circles back around to meet-up with us again. Gardening is a healing practice. There is no hurriedness in the work, a seed will sprout in its own time and sometimes not at all.
It has been one year since I moved to Nashville from the sunshine state of Florida. Since then, a lot of sight seeing has happened. One of my goals for 2019 was to explore this new land and make memories to cherish with my bae. The Tennessee landscape was a drastic change from Florida.
Pictured above: Downtown Nashville in fall & some spring, and parks nearby
In 2010 the Nashville community suffered through a catastrophic flood that left a lot of the city, especially downtown, 50 feet underwater. Can you image? Flash floods are a common (but not too frequent) natural occurrence in Tennessee. It took businesses and residents years to repair the damage.
One of my favorite places to eat in downtown Nashville is Greek Street Food. It is a tiny building packing a lot of flavor. As a food enthusiast everything I have tried there has been made fresh and amazing.
I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to live in such an interesting city full of diversity, concerts year round, free access to national parks, the cutest houses on hills, amazing food (hot chicken is the best), and friendly folks. Much like most of our cities across the country, the city of Nashville and the Nashville government have a long way to go to keep up with the growing population. The shadow side of Nashville is that the roads are in poor repair, there is litter everywhere, there is a clear economic inequality where dilapidated housing is next to resort style apartments and expensive homes, and homelessness is common through out the city. I hope in the near future more effort is put into making Nashville a great place to live for everyone.
Our Garden Ship is a mysterious miracle. Here we are floating and rotating day after day. The grounds are dressed with more plants than we have explored and studied. When I was a kid nature was my play house. Without tv, books, radio or any other modern technology all I had for entertainment was the trees, the hills and the river.
Botany as a science is intriguing to me and more so because I grew up watching my mom grow 50 foot trees from a tiny seed. It is magic to me. Tending to a garden or simply a couple of plants can be soothing. Plants are living beings healing the very air we breathe. Isn’t that amazing?
I have found that to stay motivated I have to press pause and go somewhere outdoors amongst trees, dirt and bees. However, every time I have lived in a medium to large city the great outdoors were fairly inaccessible.
A car is necessary to drive far distances to reach the nearest park or preserve. A wild piece of land with nature growing freely beyond fences, landlords and fees is hard to come by near a city.
Did you know there are hardly any sidewalks in the city of Nashville, TN? Pedestrians have to walk next to the edge of the road, and walk past benches with advertisements cautioning drivers to look out for pedestrians.
Downtown has plenty of sidewalks, and some upperclass neighborhoods get some sidewalks but not the whole city. Since when is providing a safe stretch of land to go out for a walk only for some and not for everyone?