Mississippi Day One: Exploring The Charming Gulf Towns Of Pascagoula And Moss Point
How did I wind up in the charming little town of Pascagoula, Mississippi is a good question. I am not sure. I will say it was totally random, having never heard of the city until about a month ago. I wanted to get away and relax. . My visit to the Dominican Republic was fun but exhausting. I was going to visit the Everglades and Key Largo. I love this area and the wildlife in the Everglades. But I needed a change. I did some research and I think the first thing that attracted me to Pascagoula was the Pascagoula River , it being one of the few remaining undisturbed natural river sheds and Audubon Center . I hoped to photograph some birds and other wildlife. . I also wanted to enjoy some warmer weather and sunshine. The flights here were convenient too. Well, for whatever reason, after a half day of travel, I arrived at the Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn around 1 p.m. on Wednesday. I quickly checked in and was off exploring the area.
The first place I decided to explore was the Audubon Center which is actually located in the town of Moss Port about three miles north of my hotel. I got lucky with the weather it was sunny and 75 degrees when I arrived at the Center.
I stopped in the visitor center and had a pleasant chat with the attendant at the desk. I learned a lot about the center and the birds and wildlife in the area. After touring the visitor center I walked to the bayou at the rear of the center.
There is a viewing platform here overlooking the river and surrounding bayou.
Unfortunately there were not birds to be seen while I was there. It was mid afternoon and wildlife usual is not too active this time of day. I walked the grounds which had many native plants such as the yaupon with its red berries, and flowers,
such as the tropical milkweed which I am sure attracts birds and butterflies.
The grounds had many interesting artifacts and decorations including this fence with a painting of a red-bellied woodpecker.
I left the center and decided to walk through the surrounding neighborhood. I love learning about an area by walking its neighborhoods. The homes were modest and well maintained.
Many had ancient live oak trees gracing their yards. These southern oak trees are always green. They do lose their leaves but they are continually replaced throughout the year. They are beautiful trees. Some have Spanish Moss hanging from their branches. It made for a idyllic southern scene.
There were also plenty of flowers growing in the well maintained yards, such as southern Azaleas which were blooming in December in the deep South.
I walked out of the residential neighborhood and toward the shores of Beardslee Lake , which is an extension of the Pascagoula River. Here I found more bayou. A bayou is just a slow moving creek or swampy section of a lake or river. They are everywhere here in southern Mississippi.
I was again disappointed not seeing any birds. However there were some pretty wildflowers growing in the wet and lush vegetation, such as the blue mistflowers,
As I headed back to the residential neighborhood I saw this brown pelican dive for a fish in the waters of the lake.
Walking through the neighborhood I saw more well maintained yards. The homes ended at a another lake and I came to a boardwalk along built along the l and followed it.
There was a park next to the boardwalk again lined with old live oak trees. . I followed the boardwalk which ended after about a quarter mile, As I was walking back I saw a few seagulls flying overhead.
The local fire department was putting up Christmas decorations along the road. It was an enjoyable 2 1/2 mile walk. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my visit to the Audubon Center and the surrounding neighborhood. Mississippi Day One Audubon hike December 1 2021.
It was getting late in the afternoon and I next decided to explore the the beach area of the city. It was about a five mile drive and I arrived at the beach late in the afternoon, Leaving my SUV I walked through a park with a grove of more ancient oaks to get to the beach. I love these trees .
The beach along the Gulf Of Mexico was beautiful. I was surprised how unspoiled and undeveloped it was. Homes were built right across a road along the beach. There was a long pier extending into the ocean.
I left the park and walked east along the beach, toward a huge Chevron oil refinery in the distance.
There were beautiful old homes along the road across from the beach. All of them were surrounded with more large old live oak trees.
Many of the large home had extravagant Christmas displays. It seemed strange to me to see Christmas decorations under green oak trees
I walked along the beach, as the sun set in the west. and passed many folks walking and jogging as the enjoyed the setting sun.
I turned around when I came to this old white mansion. and walked back to the pier.
As I walked I watched a few pelicans and seagulls flying over the ocean.
When I came back to the pier, I walked out to enjoy the view,
At end of the pier where a couple of fishermen trying to catch a late meal.
As I waited for the sun to set I returned to the park and I admired the old live oaks shining in the last rays of the sun.
over the Gulf of Mexico ending a long, exhausting and exciting day for me.
Watching the sun set I saw this great blue heron standing along the beach appearing to also be watching the setting sun.
I approached and it remained still,
until it finally decided I was getting to close and flew off into the sun set.
I noticed another couple watching another great blue heron along the beach.
.It was a great way to end my visit to the beach. It got dark quickly as I walked back to my SUV. I now realized I was hungry, so I decided to stop at a local seafood market my Google map said was along the way back to my hotel. Bozo’s seafood, I learned, is a local favorite. Freshly caught seafood is prepared while you wait. I had steamed shrimp, an ear of corn and a potato. It was delicious. A great ending to a great day. I was exhausted, I was up at 3 a.m. that morning and was soon fast asleep, dreaming about more adventures in Mississippi the next morning. Here is a link to a blog post with more photos from my evening hike. Mississippi Day Two Evening beach walk. December 1 2021.
It’s time to see the world
It’s time to kiss a girl
It’s time to cross the wild meridian
Grab your bag and take a chance
Time to learn a cajun dance
Kid your gonna see the mornin’ sun
On the Pascagoula run
Jimmy Buffet Pascagoula Run.