There is no environment that resonates with me more than an abandoned or neglected human structure that has been reclaimed by nature. Something about seeing the rigid, repetitive logic of engineering being slowly, but surely, entangled in the fluid, organic chaos of nature fascinates me and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a reminder that no matter how much we refine the earths elements, map out the perfect euclidian geometry that will form our neat buildings and highways, and reduce everything to the simplest, purest efficiency, eventually natures infinite fractal of unpredictability will embrace all.
The last thing I expected to encounter while ambling through the streets of Vancouver was a rusty, overgrown railway. Even more unusual was how easily accessible the tracks were. There were no fences and no signs; a slight diversion from the pathway and you find yourself strolling along abandoned train tracks.
Starting under the overpass south of Granville Island, barely 5 mins away from the bustling Granville market you can walk onto a simple platform with the remains of what used to be a few shelters. As you step off this platform, the rusty tracks arc off eastward, surrounded by trees and thick rows of bushes. As I followed eagerly, it was easy to forget I was in the centre of a thriving metropolis. The vegetation on either side grew higher, muffling the sounds of civilisation. The tracks wound their way under graffiti marked bridges, branching off into a double tracked station. Occasionally the bushes would abate and I would glimpse passers by and the puzzled looks they were giving this strange individual, striding happily along a dirty old railroad.
I love to observe the way nature interacts with a human structure, if left to it's own devices for a while. Vines will entwine themselves around any protruding ridge or extension, fluidly adapting to the artificial shapes. Bushes and undergrowth will gradually consume and obscure all but the most defiant of constructions, leaving nothing but the ghostly form of what used to occupy the space. Even at the smallest level, metal warps and rusts, paint peels, wood splinters and rots, even the substances themselves aren't safe from the relentless onslaught of the elements.
I paid my obeisance to the forces of nature as I treaded softly among the flora—like an acolyte observing in ignorance and admiration the work of a master craftsman—and emerged once more into the frenzy of civilisation.