Mississippi Day Four: A Morning At Lake Mars Pier And The Fontainbleau Nature Trail In Ocean Springs

Mississippi Day Four: A Morning At Lake Mars Pier And The Fontainbleau Nature Trail In Ocean Springs

Mississippi Day 4 morning walks (6 of 50)
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My plan for Saturday were  to drive my new KIA  rental car to the Fontainbleau Trail near Ocean Springs Mississippi. The trail is a part of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refugee. If you have been following my blog, you would know my plans weren’t working out to well on this adventure. So I was up early, had my coffee, and was very thankful when the KIA started. I was getting used to the smaller KIA and  liked the 20 minute drive to the Fontainbleau Nature Trail. I arrived before sunrise. It was partly cloudy and a cool 52 degrees.  As I was pulling into the parking area I realized I wouldn’t see the sunrise on this trail. 

It was surrounded by a forest of tall pine trees.  Quickly searching Google maps I saw there was a pier located a few miles away. I proceeded, with haste, to the Lake Mars Pier located on the Gulf of Mexico. I arrived just as the sun was rising over a grassy marsh along the gulf. 

I walked out on the long pier and reflected on the sun rising over the waters of the Gulf.  It was beautiful, as they all are . 

Wading in the shallow waters along the shore were large  numbers of water fowl, including this great blue heron,

and great egret.

There were also a lot of fishermen and fisherwomen on the pier.  I chatted with many including a nice couple catching shrimp. I walked the pier observing and photographing the many different shore birds that were feeding along the oceans edge and in the rocks along the water breaks next to the pier. 

The first I noticed were these American oystercatchers. I always love watching these birds and listening to their loud shrill cries.

This royal tern was one of many birds perched on the posts  in the ocean near the pier.

There were also seagulls, great blue herons,  brown pelicans and this double-crested cormorant perched on the posts. 

I could spend all day watching them land and take off from these post, like this beautiful brown pelican. 

or this royal tern. 

There were many birds scampering in the rocks  looking for mollusks or crabs including  what I believe was a dunlin.,

a non breeding adult sanderling,

They overcast skies weren’t the best conditions to photograph  the beautiful and exotic shore birds near the pier so I decided to return later and drove back to the Fontainbleau Trail.  I was the only one at the trail  that meandered through a pine savannah forest, 

It was peaceful walking  in the forest as the sun broke through the clouds, and the smell of the pines filled the air. It  brought back many memories  of hiking in pine forest throughout the country, 

It was quiet, not many birds were active until I heard the song of this beautiful Carolina wren. As usual,  with some patience, I can capture these birds singing by slowing approaching them on the branch they are perched to belt out their loud song. They are such wonderful little birds and I love having them in my yard back home. 

As I continued my hike under the tall tress of the pine savannah I saw  some flowers on the ground, such as these bearded beggarticks, and

beautiful blue downy lobelia. 

I was delighted to find, in many areas,  of the Fontainbleau trail the interesting and carnivorous  pitcher plants which I first saw at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refugee on Thursday. 

And I was even more surprised to see a lot of different species of 


growing on the trail including the only one I could identify the beautiful fly agaric amanita. 

There were also many berries growing along the trail.  Both red,

and black chokeberries,

and these beautiful aptly named  beautyberries. 

There were also  many ferns growing along the trail including bracken ferns and 

Virginia chain ferns. 

The trail meandered and looped through different eco-systems found in the pine forest, including a bayou near the Davis river. 

Here I saw thus great white egret near the river. 

It was a pleasant four mile hike on the Fontainbleau Trail . I wish I would have seen more wildlife but the  few birds, many plants, flowers, berries and mushrooms many it an interesting hike and one I will remember. I was beginning to love Mississippi 

It was now  almost 10 am. Breakfast at my hotel ends at 10 am.  I am  now happy  I missed the hotel breakfast. I now had to look for another place to eat and there were not many breakfast restaurants in the area. There were dozens of fast foods restaurants but I don’t eat fast food.  The only one appearing on the Google map was Bele’s  on the Bayou. It was on my way back to the hotel and a short distance off of Highway 90 near the small town of Gautier. 

It was located in the Indian Point RV resort.  Here I had a delicious home style  breakfast in a small home  dining room. I loved the place, Afterword I enjoyed  the views of the lake and bayou in the resort. , 

I loved the large e old live oak trees and  even saw some birds,  pine  warblers and,

chipping sparrows feeding under their expansive branches. Here is a link to more photographs of these birds and the other  birds I saw  that morning.  Mississippi Day Four morning hikes birds, December 4 2021. 

I walked out on the pier, and took a short stroll through the park. Someday I hope to own an RV and explore more of our beautiful Nation. I would love to spend a few day in a resort like this.  It was a good morning, things finally went as planned. I was thankful for that. Here is a link to a gallery with more photos from my visit to Lake Mars pier and my hike on the Fontainbleau Trail . You really should check them out because they are so much better at explaining and showing the beauty  of the places I visit then I am. Mississippi Day Four morning hikes. December 4 2021. 

 “To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.        Rachel Carson



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