Mississippi Day Seven. A Walk Before The Rain On The Campus Of The University Of South Alabama

Mississippi Day Seven. A Walk Before The Rain On The Campus Of The University Of South Alabama

Mississippi Day 7 (7 of 37)
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Before my recent visit to Mississippi and Alabama I never heard of the University of South Alabama. I chose the Holiday Inn Express hotel where I was staying in on my last night in the Deep South since it was close to the Mobile Botanical Gardens which I planned to visit. Unfortunately the Botanical Gardens were closed  until Wednesday.   So my plans changed , I learned my hotel was also right across form the campus of the University of South Alabama when I arrived on Monday evening. 

So early Tuesday morning, after my coffee, I left my hotel to explore the campus. I always love visiting the campuses of colleges and universities on my travels. My flight wasn’t until 2;30 p.m. so I had time but there was another problem, there was rain in the forecast. I decided to take a chance and left my hotel with my camera around 7:30 a.m.  The campus was just across busy old Shell Street which I crossed, with some difficulty in the early morning traffic. 

There was a light drizzle as I walked under the old live oak trees that grew on the campus,.

I turned onto one of the main avenues on campus, 

passing what looked like the practice field for the University’s  marching band. 

I walked  past a few campus buildings when I came to the imposing bell tower that overlooked the campus. I enjoyed hearing it’s bells toll at the  8 a.m. and 9 a.m. hours. 

I am not sure why but there were almost no students walking  around the campus.  I saw mainly gardeners and maintenance men  on my five mile hike. There were still many flowers blooming on the  well maintained landscapes of the campus. 

Since my visit I have learned the University of South Alabama is somewhat new, having been created in 1964. It is a well known research university with a medical school.   I continued my hike around campus, constantly checking the forecast to see if the rain was coming. 

In looking at my AllTrail App I noticed  a lake and some hiking trails surrounding it. Of course, I headed that way and found a wonderful nature preserve maintained by the university. 

I came to the lake,

and followed the trail on a boardwalk that crossed the lake. 

I wished it were sunny as I walked across the lake. Actually it started to drizzle. I was disappointed since  I did see some wildlife on the lake including this great egret wading in the waters, 

this double-crested cormorant drying it’s feather after a morning fishing dive and

a few great blue herons flying overhead.

After crossing the lake the trail  continued to the far side of the lake, where I heard the chattering of belted kingfishers. This part of the lake looked like an excellent area to see snakes and alligators in warmer weather. I hope to return and see them. 

The well maintained trail then continued into a pine forest. It looked like, on a nicer day, to be a great place to see some birds and wildlife. I wanted to continue to explore but, I was already out 2 1/2 miles and the rain was expected within the hour. So, reluctantly I made my way back to the hotel.

As I  walked on the boardwalk I saw these ringneck ducks swimming on the lake. 

On the way back to the hotel  I walked past the Via Emilia Italian  restaurant.  This is the restaurant I wanted to eat at the previous evening. I waked in the pouring rain to get there. It looked and smelled amazing but there were no tables available all evening, a good sign as to the food they serve. I hope to eat here on my next visit.  It was now around  9:30 a.m. I had breakfast at the hotel, showered packed and  left for the airport around noon.  I was early and was the only one to walk through security. What a great way to end my wonderful trip to Mississippi and Alabama. I hope to return soon. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my morning walk on the University of South Alabama campus. Mississippi Day Seven.  Morning University hike December 7 2021. 

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
― Anita Desai

This is my first post