The Community of Strawberry Patch Park

Strawberry Patch Park is located in Ridgeland, Mississippi at an intersection with a school on one side of the street and residential housing on the other street side. This local park has been in existence for over thirty years. I spent many days as a young woman walking the trail in this park.

It is a warm spring morning and I am visiting my mother. She lives in a neighborhood not far from the park. We decide to take a morning stroll and take pictures along the trail. The trail is a mile long and circles around the entire park.

I am amazed at how little Strawberry Patch Park has changed over the years. The areas surrounding the park have exploded with new subdivisions, roads, and additions to the school across the street. The park seems to be thriving with only new playground equipment added a few years ago.

The trail path begins with an arbor inviting people into the park. My mother and I begin walking and the park becomes alive with life. The new playground is in front of us and is filled with children. The swings and slides are filled with running and laughter as parents sit nearby having conversations and drinking coffee. All is well in the world of childhood.

After passing the restrooms I spot some ducks and geese near some picnic tables. As an amateur photographer with a love for nature this is a wonderful spot for adventure. Slowly approaching the sleeping birds with my camera to get a picture I manage to take a few photos before the birds sense my presence. They awake and sensing no danger from me pose for a few more photos. I whisper a word of thanks to the birds and move on.

ducks in strawberry patch park april 23

The next stop on the agenda this morning is a small memorial dedicated to the military in the area. Mississippi has a lot of military families and this memorial to the soldiers has been placed by a local garden club. It is surrounded by a metal fence, lovely green bushes, and a bench upon which to reflect life. The memorial is beautiful and fits in with the life of the park.

strawberry patch park memorial april 24

My mother and I keep walking and see a family of geese. The parents are taking the goslings to the pond surrounding part of the walking trail. They pause for a moment at a puddle of water to drink before proceeding. I take a few pictures before the adult geese decide that this is too close for comfort. I quickly move on as they make noise and attempt to show me how big they are. These geese are protective of the young goslings.

geese drinking water in strawberry park april 24

In the pond is a duck enjoying the sunshine. The duck allows me to get close enough to take a picture of him swimming. These birds are beautiful and swim with precision and elegance.

red headed duck strawberry patch park april 24

We continue our journey enjoying the coolness of the morning. At the back edge of the pond is a small chapel. This chapel has stain glass windows with bushes, trees, and a metal fence surrounding it. The short brick pathway to the entrance is inviting. In front of the chapel is a large white bell. The peace and serenity of the chapel is welcoming to anyone who cares to enter the doors.

chapel in strawberry patch park april 24

There is a group of turtles on a tree stump beside the pond in front of the church. I tried to take pictures of the group but got too close and off they jumped into the water. It is a funny scene as the turtles scurried into the deeper part of the pond.

Mom and I continue our journey and greet people as they pass us on the path. We are slow walkers observing scenery along the path. This part of the trail contains large trees that have been here for many years. Pecan trees are along the trail and will yield a large number of pecans in a fruitful year. These nuts are fun to collect in the fall.

The ecosystem of this park remains intact and continues to grow. There are new gardens of daffodils that have been blooming. The yellow color of these daffodils are beautiful and act as an enhancement to the landscape.

Strawberry Patch Park is home to many squirrels. These creatures playfully run from tree to tree in search of food. There is an abundant supply of food for them in the ecosystem. We also observe a variety of small birds in the trees. There are blue jays, robins, and other small song birds in the park.

squirrel eating grass in park march

Mom and I are now at the end of the trail. Before leaving I spot a turtle sunning itself on a tree root above the pond. I decide to try for a photograph one last time. Ever so slowly walking toward the tree I finally get the picture. This photograph feels like the prize from a contest.

turtle sunning strawberry patch park april 24

We exit the park and head to the car. It has been a wonderful and relaxing morning. Exercise is great for the body but nature is nurturing for the soul. Mom and I ride away and look forward to the next day in Strawberry Patch Park.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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