Thursday, March 23, 2017

Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS

We are on our last day of a lovely week at Roosevelt State Park in Mississippi.  It is located about 35 miles east of Jackson in a forested, hilly area with a large lake in the middle.  I would not mind coming back here again some the early spring, of course:)  Flowering trees are blooming amidst the pines and butterflies are out.  Just nice!

partial view of the lake at Roosevelt State Park

this swallow tail reminds me of a stained glass window

one of several trails at the park

dragon flies are popping up more and more also right now

the small blue heron below hung out  near our site one day

wisteria vines coming into bloom look like grapes hanging from the trees
We drove over to LaFluer State Park in Jackson for a hike and brew.  Very nice hike through the swamp there!
LaFluer State Park

After the hike we went to check out the Lucky Town Brewery....which was supposed to be open but was not;(  They did have this fun mural on their wall though:

Not far from the brewery this huge "statue" outside an artist's studio caught my eye. Pretty cool.
 Before heading back to the park we had to have beer....which led us to the Pig and Pint.  Great find!  Lots of good beers and great BBQ!
Pig and Pint, Jackson, MS

We also checked out the Shockaloe Trail not far from here
Shockaloe Trail

never know what kind of "art work" you will find on a trail:)

back at Roosevelt SP

these two were involved in a mating dance

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Baton Rouge, LA

We spent the past two weeks in Baton Rouge, Louisiana visiting relatives.  We did, however, do a few things we had not done on our last stop here two years ago.  Here are some of those things:

The Baton Rouge "Race for the Cure" happened the day after our arrival so we jumped right on that as my cousin, Sandra, who live there is a 2x survivor.  Great cause, great day!
Race for the Cure walking by the LSU stadium.....

....and by the clock tower at LSU

after the race we enjoyed some jambalaya!

......listened to some good music and watched others line dance;)

My cousin, Sandra, on the left, never give up!!!!!!
we visited the Cohn Arboritum

The Draft House in the old historic area near the levee in Baton Rouge had a good variety of beers to try!
We spent a nice morning at the LSU Ag Center and Windrush Gardens:

 Windrush Gardens has lots of lovely statues and garden settings to wander around:

A trip to a Louisiana winery, Ponchatrain Vineyards, had to happen of course:
Ponchatrain Vineyards, picked up a couple of bottles here, one bottle of a 20 year old Norton grown there!
 ....As well as a trip to Abita Brewery!
Mike and I both like some of their beers!

We enjoyed some live country and bluegrass at the local Saturday, Red Stick Market. (It was raining outside;) Bought some great local meat and baked goods though!

The LSU Museum of Natural Science and attached art gallery were worth a look around with my cousin Donna

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Week in Mobile, Alabama

We continued on to Mobile, Alabama for a week where we did several more things with Dave and Mary.

 We did have to note that we will not ever go back to the campground we stayed at due to the street noise and horrible bug situation!  We found out all about "noseeums"!  We could not enjoy sitting outside there and Mary, Mike and I had some miserable nights from the itching.  Mike easily had hundreds of bites by the end of the week!

We now know that Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras!  Who knew!  Most of us would assume it is New Orleans right?  It is such a big thing in Mobile that the schools are closed for the week of Fat Tuesday as there are so many parades taking place all week and so many people are involved in them.  Although Fat Tuesday is the biggest day, if you are not into that much craziness, you can attend some of the parades on the other days of the week that are not quite so crowded.  We decided to go on Monday and were very happy with that decision.

While in Mobile we drove up into southern Mississippi to visit the Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge.   These particular sandhills are very special because they are a sub species of the sandhill crane spending their entire life in this refuge.  There are only about 130 of these cranes and they are on the critically endangered list.  We were fortunate to see 8 of them on the far side of a field.

Mississippi Sandhill Cranes on the critically endangered list

a trail in the refuge took us along Davis Bayou....


beautiful blue accents under
this lizards chin and on his belly!

"Hucks" on the river

a trail at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island

pintail duck

a noisy but beautiful mockingbird

a pair of juvenile horned owls!  

adult and juvenile gulls

Our Monday Mardi Gras
parade in Mobile!

seamen from the USS Mitscher, in town for a few days, led the parade. We visited the Mitscher and were given a tour of her deck areas.

beads, candy and toys flying everywhere!!

after the parade we visited the Bier Garten for a brew

a mural made of mardi gras beads

in Mobile it is oyster shell art!

 A day at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile:  We toured the USS Alabama, a retired battleship, and the USS Drum, a retired submarine.
USS Alabama shot down 22 enemy airplanes during WWII

USS Drum, during WWII she was credited with sinking 15 enemy ships
Our last day in Mobile, Mike and I went to Blakeley State Park for some hiking.  A very nice day with no bugs;)  This park is known as the site of the Civil War Battle of Fort Blakeley, fought on April 9, 1865. It's fall led directly to the capture of Mobile by Union forces.

a trail at the park

Fort Blakeley was comprised of 3 miles of earthworks