The October wildflowers of I-75 | News
BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. -- This is a great month for pumpkins, colorful leaves, and German beer. October is also a great time to see wildflowers in bloom along a stretch of interstate known better for pileups and law enforcement speed guns.
How rare indeed, the beauty of Interstate 75 in Bartow County on a wonderful fall evening.
Acres and acres of pink wild flowers lining the highway.
It's an extraordinary site that can make a wrong turn all right.
Jack Hollis lives in Canton, he missed his turn but was happy to stop.
"It's just gorgeous," he said. "I'm glad I turned wrong and now I'm seeing these flowers."
Flower petals and bees beckon weary travelers to skip the Cracker Barrel gift shop for something more substantive.
Vehicles are stopped these days with iPhones outstretched from arms capturing their moment in the sun.
Mohammed Farid and his family live in Cobb County and they stopped to take pictures. "This time of year most things have died," he said. "To see such beautiful flowers surprises us."
It surprises thousands who pass this stretch on an hourly basis. The visceral beauty is a welcome respite from the endless ribbon of interstate asphalt.
The flowers are a lasting legacy of former Georgia First Lady Rosalyn Carter when she met with Lady Bird Johnson, the former First Lady of the United States.
Mrs. Johnson had created a wildflower project in her native Texas that had drawn national praise.
In 1998, Georgia voters amended the constitution and approved those wildflower vehicle tags.
The cash infusion keeps GDOT busy and the flowers blooming with vivid color right into fall.
April showers bring October flowers and motorists pulling over with their cell phone cameras.
But with the autumn chill they won't last long.