Wabi-Sabi: a Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty and serenity in objects, landscapes, and designs that are simple, imperfect, and impermanent.
Wabi is about recognizing beauty in simplicity.
Sabi is concerned with the passage of time, the way all things grow, age, and decay, and how it manifests itself beautifully in objects.
Old Car City
Old Car City is well-known among photographers, a self-proclaimed “photogaphers paradise”. For many, it’s a regular Mecca. I was superficially familiar with it. I referenced it after wandering around Palmer, Alaska, and coming upon the Eklutna Tail Race with its old, rusted cars being reclaimed by nature.
There’s not much accessible local wildlife in February in northwest Georgia. So I left Dalton (the AstroTurf capital of the world) and took a short trip down I-75 to White to wander the “world’s oldest knowd junkyard.”
It’s unseasonably warm, 60 degrees, and sunny. There are 4000 automobiles in the woods surrounded by and being reclaimed by the pine forest. There’s a pond somewhere on these 34 acres among the seven miles of trails. There’s no map. Just an upside-down satellite image of the compound in the former general store. It’s just a wander.
Delightfully, there is all manner of junk collected here. I immediately understood why people return time and time again. It’d be hard to ever really explore it all.
The entrance is an artfully arranged series of collections: hubcaps, bicycles, box springs, mufflers, signs, and more before I pass through an old barn and emerge in the forest of cars.
The purveyor’s mom “parked the first car here in the ’30s.” There are older car sections, truck sections, and “newer” car sections. New is relative, the newest cars here are early 70’s models.
The rust, wires, pine needles, vines, squirrel nests, and patterns of lichens are enthralling. It’s slow going.
I wonder why we ever got away from these glorious hood ornaments.
I arrived a little before noon and spent three hours fully immersed in the exploration, and the art, only joined by birds and squirrels. It was the best thing I’ve done for my mental health all year. Enjoy some of what I captured.
Reclaimed by Nature
Wonderful Old Cars
If you’re interested in purchasing or licensing any of the images you see here, please email me: SNewenham at exploringnaturephotos.com, and I’ll make it happen.
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