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inspiration life Mississippi nature park personal

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

Categories
art food gardens life lifestyles Mississippi museums

An evening at the Mississippi Museum of Art

The Mississippi Museum of Art is a wonderful place filled with many beautiful sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. During some months of the year there are special exhibits from artists all over the world. These exhibits range from contemporary works of art to paintings from the Renaissance. Each month the museum holds an outdoor event. This month the museum featured a band and a movie.

Jess and I packed our chairs with a snack and headed to the museum. The Mississippi Museum of Art has a large outdoor space filled with a grass lawn, patio area, and gardens. After picking a spot to watch the people and movie, I headed to the gardens with my camera.

The gardens are filled with paths separated by a large concrete entrance area. I headed to the garden section that has areas dedicated to the memory of loved ones of museum sponsors. This garden is filled with various colors of flowers and some grasses. It is a well-kept area and filled with visitors.

white flowers at ms art museum april 20

My favorite flowers in the memorial area are the foxgloves. The beauty of the colors in the flowers stands out among the green grass. I take several photos of the foxgloves on the path. These flowers stand in their full colorful glory.

foxgloves ms museum of art april 23

The next garden section is across the concrete area that is very well planned and groomed. There is a sculpture that welcomes visitors through this part of the garden. It has vibrant colors that shine in the afternoon sun. The path going through this garden has flowers and trees on each side. The various plants are a feast for the eyes and the fragrance from the flowers pleasant to the nose.

sculpture ms art museum april 23

I stop and take pictures of several flowers. There are some beautiful white flowers on a hedge along the back fence. These flowers are surrounded by trees and are across from a bed of tall green plants. There are other people with cameras taking pictures along the path. One is a young couple having engagement pictures taken by a photographer. The scene through the path is serene and tranquil.

It is time to return to our spot on the grass to snack and watch the people. There is an eclectic group of people in the crowd. Many of them have stopped at the food truck parked on the street. The smell of food from this truck is enticing and it is hard not to walk over to try some tasty treats.

The museum has a restaurant and a patio with tables for outdoor dining. This area is full with waiters bringing a variety of dishes to the tables. Most of the people in this section are dressed formally and have come directly from their jobs. All is calm and relaxing as the people dine listening to the band.

The museum has a small water feature with water spurting into the flat area like small geysers. There are several children playing in the water having an exciting time. It is fun to see their smiles. The museum encourages people to bring their families to this event.

water feature ms museum of art april 23

This month the band is playing contemporary music and the crowd is filled with young people. There are a variety of fashion styles in the crowd. Many of the people have dyed their hair to match the outfits they are wearing. Others have come wearing the costumes from the movie to be played. I admire the diversity in the crowd and how well they interact with each other.

There are many dogs in the audience as well.  They are content to walk and observe the crowds. The dogs sit with their owners during the movie and are extremely quiet.

After the sun has set it is time for the movie to begin. The movie is one of the most recent from the Star Wars series. Several members of the audience remark how the outdoor theater is a better place to watch the movie. This is a popular fairly new release that is free at this event. The audience is in love with the characters and visual effects of the film.  It is a good movie much like the old ones from the seventies and early eighties.

The movie has ended and it is time to return home. As Jess and I pack our things and move toward the truck I admire how a group of diverse people can enjoy dinner and a movie together. It has been a wonderful evening filled with conversions, food, a movie and flowers.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce