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#FOWC #rdp camping culture cypress swamp daily prompt environment hiking inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi natchez trace nature poetry ragtag daily prompt story telling word of the day challenge

A Morning Walk

Early in the morning

coolness in the air

taking umbrage to mosquitoes

mostly without a care

 

Remembering the languor 

of a day not long ago

exploring the swamp

with my beau

 

Through the stillness

a story unfolds

of two young lovers

caught in the mist of woe

 

One wanted excitement

could never stand still

action with every turn

an instant thrill

 

The other more quiet

dreams of a simple life

serenity around every corner

never any strife

 

Two young lovers

a decision to make

journey life together

or make a permanent break

 

The swamp is still

trees reflecting in the sun

a snake swims by

the two lovers run

 

Running up the stairs

he carries her in his arms

the thrill of being together

her safe without harm

 

True love prevailed

twenty years of wedded bliss

combination of thrills and serenity

sealed with a passionate kiss

 

copyright 2019 Debbie Pierce

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/rdp-saturday-languor/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/initial/

https://fivedotoh.com/2019/09/28/fowc-with-fandango-umbrage-2/

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#FOWC #rdp culture daily prompt environment history inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi mississippi travel museums natchez trace nature poetry ragtag daily prompt spiritual story telling travel word of the day challenge

A Peaceful Museum on the Natchez Trace

Sitting on a hill

the old homestead stood

living in eras past

porch has some chopped wood

 

In days of old

it was the habit of the caretaker

to hand lemonade out to guests

with ice cream from a wood maker

 

In those early days

explorers crossed the land

seeking a nights lodging

listening to nature’s band

 

Confusion reigned 

in the next centuries years

a great war raged 

there were many tears

 

After the war was over

magnanimous reconciliation occurred

as the culture was rebuilt

different sounds were heard

 

Coming forward

the house is a museum now

testament to the changes around it

ghosts of the past taking a bow

 

Sitting along a peaceful road

lessons from the past

one with its surroundings

resting at last

 

copyright 2019 Debbie Pierce

 

https://fivedotoh.com/2019/09/27/fowc-with-fandango-magnanimous/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/habit/

https://nuthousecentral.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/rdp-friday-confusion/

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camping culture environment happiness hiking history inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi mississippi travel natchez trace nature preservation spring story telling travel

Spring Travel: Natchez Mississippi

Spring is a wonderful time to travel in the state of Mississippi. The flowers are in full bloom and the weather is pleasant. I recently took a day trip to Natchez, Mississippi during its spring pilgrimage. During this time the antebellum homes are open for touring and the history of Natchez is presented. In addition to the museums several privately owned homes are open during this period. Each house has been a part of American history and tells unique stories. This is a brief summary of the events of the day.

 

Natchez is on the Mississippi River and is the oldest settlement. Founded in 1716 it has served Mississippi from a frontier capital to the tourist destination that it is today. The first stop on my tour began at Fort Rosalie. It survived an Indian massacre in 1729. The Rosalie house was completed in 1823. Nestled along the Mississippi River the old house has beautiful gardens and a stately appearance. The huge trees surrounding the house create a quiet serene haven. There is a wonderful view of the river through the neatly cut grass field. Photography is not allowed in any of the antebellum homes. Each one has a rich history of a succession of families who lived in these homes for the past two to three hundred years.

 

After touring Rosalie the next stop on the tour is lunch at the Carriage House on the property of Stanton Hall. The restaurant serves southern style food and has a blue plate lunch special. I had the deviled egg potato salad, shrimp poboy, and gumbo. It was a wonderful mix of spices and flavors. The staff is attentive and the tables are quite elegant for fine dining. The Carriage House is used for events as well during the year.

 

After a relaxing lunch the next stop on the tour was Stanton Hall. Built in 1858 the stately house is open for tours and used for social occasions in Natchez. The house has been used as bed in breakfast which included guests such as General Macarthur and his family. It  has also been used for filming movies because of its elaborate furnishings and flair. The bedrooms in the house were used in the mini series North and South. This movie is one of the many stories about the American Civil War. The docents of the house have served there for many years and are happy to share all of the history of this house.

 

The afternoon concluded with a horse drawn carriage tour of downtown Natchez. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and told many stories of the buildings in town. Natchez has some eccentric characters in its history which make for an enjoyable afternoon filled with stories. Many of the buildings downtown have had multiple uses through the years and serve as a reminder of the rich history of this town.

 

It was late afternoon as we left Natchez to make our way home. Memories of this rich historical town will remain with me.  Our tour guides were helpful in suggesting restaurants and other places to visit. I look forward to visiting again to experience more of the historical significance of this town.

copyright 2019 Debbie Pierce

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camping culture cypress swamp daily prompt environment forest happiness hiking inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi natchez trace nature poetry preservation spiritual story telling

Inchoate: Walk in the Swamp

 

cypress swamp serenity april 7

A mixture of beauty

filled with life inchoate and mature

trees and wildlife in the swamp

create a mysterious allure

 

Silent and serene

till a frog jumps

creating a ripple

an artistic mud clump

 

Further down

a picturesque reflection

a cypress tree’s story

feeling a spiritual connection

 

Along the banks

small wildlife roam

continuing the journey

enjoying their home

 

The sun shifts

now there is shade

snake in the water

prey trying to evade

 

The moon is high

casting a night’s spell

an eerie beauty

all is well

 

copyright 2018 Debbie Pierce

 

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Stifle: A Tree Calls for Help

rocky springs tree april 28

 

Big tree struggling

stifled by mismanagement of the land

greed and overuse

guided by a human hand

 

The struggle is real

yet the tree survives

looking for alternatives

to keep itself alive

 

After the assault

other humans came to help

focusing on restoration

hearing the yelp

 

The tree recovers

it will take years

living a long life

overcoming the fear

 

The forest lives on

providing a rich life

to all who nurture her

lessons from strife

 

Nature is renewing

this great natural resource

bounty with preservation

setting a new course

 

My soul is nourished

lessons from within

enjoying the wonder

by not stretching the forest too thin

 

copyright 2018 Debbie Pierce

 

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An Adventure at Mount Locust on the Natchez Trace

The Natchez Trace Parkway begins in Natchez, Mississippi and ends in Nashville, Tennessee. The Natchez Trace has long served as a highway for explorers and travelers.  One of the oldest places to explore is Mount Locust which according to our paper map is located close to Natchez, Mississippi.

Jess and I took a road trip to Natchez, Mississippi via the Natchez Trace. On the way home we decided to stop at Mount Locust. This particular afternoon was hot and it seemed like a great place to rest and have a snack. We parked the truck and began to explore the grounds.

There is a large field that is lined with trees and a wooden fence. Glazing across the field I imagine what a comfort this must have been to weary travelers seeking lodging on the old Natchez Trace. In those days there were no paved roads just a path through the woods. This path was well-traveled until more modern modes of transportation powered by steam would arrive in this part of the country.

mount locust property april 27

We walk up to the information area and view the informative signs explaining the history of Mount Locust. The signs weave a story of the humble beginnings of this place to its current state. Mississippi is home to many interesting historical places that change as time moves forward.

Mount Locust was built in the late 1700’s and has served as an inn for weary travelers to changing into a working plantation. Today Mount Locust is owned by the National Park Service and has been restored to how it looked in the early 1800’s. The admission is free and open most days of the year.

Jess and I move along the path to the old house. The old house is small with a large porch in the front. We climb the steep stairs to the entrance and stand on the porch to reflect on the history of this place. It is easy to imagine the guests in this house sitting on the porch in the evenings exchanging stories of their adventures. The porch must have had a grand view of the property at that time.

Entering the house the dining area is the first room that we explore. There is a large table with plates and mugs carefully set. This room is small but the table fits nicely and one can almost smell the food cooking and being eaten by the guests of this house. History is wonderful and alive if one’s imagination will take you on the journey into the past.

mount locust dining hall april 27

Jess and I move on to the next room and observe a bed and a desk. The room is quite comfortable as we glance into the past. There is a fireplace in this room that would have served as a source of warmth in the cooler weather.

mount locust room 1 april 27

The next room is for guests with children. It is a larger room with two beds and a table. There are toys on the table for the children to play with. I can hear the laughter of young ones playing and enjoying the travel adventure.

mount locust toys april 27

Our next stop in this small house is a storage area. The sun filled room is home to dishes, shoes, and work tools. This small room has shelves and was more likely used for whatever was needed for the everyday life of the inn.

mount locust storage room april 27

We leave the interior of the house and move into the backyard area. There is a wooden soap making machine in the corner. The early pioneers in this area made their soap from lye. The site has a sign that explains how the soap is made.

In the middle of the yard is a closed cistern. These days it stands as a relic to the past when houses did not have indoor plumbing. The rain water collected in this cistern sustained people in an earlier time. I admire how resourceful the people of that time were and how they contributed to the ecosystem of the land.

mount locus cistern april 27

The back of  the yard is lined with beautiful trees and a trail. In later times Mount Locust became a working plantation when the power of steam made travel on the Natchez Trace less frequent. The trail leads to an old slave cemetery. This was a darker time in Mississippi history.

mount locust slave cemetery trail april 27

The day is hot so Jess and I decline to walk the trail. We take a last look at the house and begin moving up the path toward the truck. I am inspired by the beauty of the land and how it sustained so many people throughout history. Truly this is a wonderful place to visit.

Jess and I leave Mount Locust and head toward home on the Natchez Trace. We love these road trips and admire the beauty of the land surrounding the road. As the sun begins to set we know it will not be long before time to have another adventure.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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The Rusty Bell

mount locust slave cemetery trail april 27

There is an old bell

that sits on a path

reminder of old times

remnant of history’s wrath

 

The tree surrounding it

telling volume of  stories of old

a time when the people

were cruel and cold

 

History must never repeat

this story of old

when people were enslaved

by greed and gold

 

The rust on the bell

is a symbol now

to remind us all

to greed and gold never bow

 

We must treat people

with love anew

kindness, dignity, and respect

all people are due

 

God made us all

beautiful in every way

granting us the privilege

of  living a new day

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/volume/

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Natchez Trace: An Adventure at Cypress Swamp

The Natchez Trace has a long history of explorers. From the beginning of the Natchez Trace in Natchez, Mississippi to the end in Nashville, Tennessee are 440 miles of pure wonder. This is a wonderful road trip filled with many adventures. Each part of the Natchez Trace tells a story of times when Mississippi was a frontier.

Jess and I decided to explore a site on the Natchez Trace that is an hour from our home. We visited the Cypress Swamp off the Natchez Trace and experienced the beauty of dark waters, cypress trees, and reflections from the sun.

The exploration of the Cypress Swamp began as soon as we parked the truck. There is a large sign explaining some of the swamp’s history. We read the sign and then continue walking to the stairs leading to the bridge that crosses the swamp. The stairs are made of wood and steep. There is a sharp drop between some of the steps so we proceed slowly down watching our every move. Finally we reach the last step and move onto the bridge.

cypress swamp stairs march 2017

The stairs and bridge across the swamp show all types of life. The still black waters are the home to bugs, snakes, and the occasional alligator. A few young cypress trees are on dry land. There are trees and undergrowth surrounding the swamp. The quiet is interrupted by the sounds of birds from the surrounding paths. I take several photographs and Jess is filming a video to be posted on YouTube about our experiences on the swamp.  Serenity is abundant in this tranquil environment as we walked the trail.

alligator on the golf course may 5

The still black water is haunting and stagnant on this sun filled afternoon. The cypress trees reflect in the sunlight causing a mirror of trees to reflect in the swamp. It is truly a beautiful site to behold. I ponder the meaning of the stillness.

I am struck by the large cypress trees that inhabit this ecosystem. They are still but yet teaming with life. This swamp has been here for many years and I wonder at the stories the trees would tell of the visitors who come here if they could speak.

cypress tree seedlings april 20

These cypress trees will take root when the swamp does not have much water. As the swamp fills with water, the trees will live in this environment for an extended period of time. Cypress trees in this swamp have adapted to the environment.

The cypress trees tell a story of survival and life in the forest. Long ago a river channel fed this area and a swamp developed. As the cycle of life in nature has continued the river channel has slowly dried up and is now no longer supplying life-giving water to the swamp. The change is gradual and will take a long time but eventually the cypress trees will be gone. It will be replaced by new types of trees and undergrowth. It is a sad thought to me that this swamp will disappear and future generations will not have this serene and tranquil experience. Still the cycle of life must continue with death and renewal.

cypress swamp trees 1 march 31

Jess and I reflect upon life and ponder some questions about it. Are all living things meant to continue or disappear completely? Will the cypress trees be remembered or just a distant memory? Nature continues to grow and renew itself. Like us there are parts of our lives that continue and other parts that disappear. The memories of our lives will be gone within a few generations. There will be new stories and adventures to be told and experienced.

cypress swamp from left side march 31

The sun continues to reflect the trees as we continue our journey across the cypress swamp bridge. We look for an alligator, snake, or some other form of swamp life but are disappointed to only find insects grazing across the water. The stillness is deafening as we approach the end of the bridge. Carefully we watch our steps while climbing up the steep stairways.

I turn to take a few more photographs while Jess is finishing filming for the afternoon. We discuss the introduction and ending to the video of Cypress Swamp. It is difficult to decide what is the most interesting experience in this swamp. Jess and I decide to edit the video and see what story the cypress trees would like to tell.

The time has come for us to leave this beautiful swamp. It is a relaxing ride home on the Natchez Trace and we return to our home refreshed. Nature has renewed our spirits and we are ready for the next adventure.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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history life mississippi travel natchez trace personal preservation

Rocky Springs : An Adventure into the Past

Rocky Springs is an adventure into Mississippi history. Located on the Natchez Trace the ghost town has now been transformed into a campground and a trail detailing it’s past life. The remnants of this town are haunting and intriguing. Jess and I pack a picnic lunch and take to the Natchez Trace for an afternoon adventure.

Visitors entering into Rocky Springs are greeted by beautiful trees in the forest landscape. The paved road is filled with the options of turning into the campground or driving and parking at the entrance to the trail around the remnants of Rocky Springs. We decide to park at the trail and tour the site before our picnic.  At the entrance to the trail there is a board enclosed in glass that has a map of the trail.

The trail begins with the birth of the town and ends at the remaining sites of Rocky Springs. The sites contain an old church and a cemetery. A haunting reminder of the history of this town. The trail is beautiful and surrounded by a forest. The sun shines through the trees on this day and there is a pleasant breeze. Jess and I read the signs of the birth of Rocky Springs.

The ecosystem surrounding this area had a spring that served as a source of life for the plant and wildlife. In the late 1700’s this was a perfect spot to form the town of Rocky Springs.  The Natchez Trace was still well-traveled and there was farmland close by to provide food and cotton for traders. Rocky Springs thrived for many years as a community.

It is not hard to picture the life of the people at this town. The town was growing at a steady pace. There were merchants, teachers, and doctors to aid the people in their daily lives. This was a prosperous time when the people would be laughing and enjoying life. The ecosystem is alive with birds, animals, and other wildlife. It was a wonderful time to live in Rocky Springs.

As the years passed there were changes in the ecosystem. Hard times began to fall on the people of Rocky Springs and the surrounding farms. The landscape became diseased and crops began to fail. These changes may have been preventable if the people had known how to manage the land . Insects and erosion became the invading army and the land was devastated. The people began to move away as the food supply dwindled and the hard times continued. It would take years for the ecosystem to recover. But as time passed and preservation initiatives took hold the land regained its fertility.

rocky springs tree april 28

Other changes were occurring in the life of the town. The country was experiencing the Civil War and it would not be long before the war reached the town. Many people on both sides of the battles were killed or wounded. The blood shed would aid the poor management of the land to destroy the town.It was a horrible time in history for all involved.

This war would cause much hardship to all people in the country. Rocky Springs was one of many towns in the country to suffer. Many tears would be shed over the loss of loved ones and economic stability. Years would pass before the people of both sides could move forward. There is much pain and suffering in a war.

A third invader of the land would mark the end of the town. Yellow fever is a disease that took many lives. There was no modern medicine to aid the people and the cause of the disease was poorly understood. The outbreak would be contained and the survivors were relieved. The disease would be contained for several years and then returned to inflict pain and suffering once more. The death toll continued to rise. The remaining people would move on in search of a better life.

rocky spring cemetery april 28

Eventually Rocky Springs became a ghost town with a beautiful church and a haunting cemetery left to tell the story. The church is still alive and services are held in the building. The cemetery behind the church has many old graves of people who once lived in this thriving town. It is a solemn reminder of how fragile life is and how we are only in this world for a brief time.

rocky springs church 2 april 28

Jess and I make our way to the campground to find a picnic table. The afternoon sun is warm and the gentle breeze is still flowing through the trees. We enjoy our food and then pack the truck to return home. The Natchez Trace continues to be a pleasant drive with beautiful scenery. We reflect upon our blessings and ponder on what our next adventure will be.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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inspiration natchez trace nature personal

Piper at Reservoir Overlook

The Natchez Trace is filled with interesting scenery. The parkway is filled with mounds, a swamp, trees, and a large diversity of wildlife.  Recently Jess and I visited the Reservoir Overlook on the Natchez Trace. The overlook is close to the suburbs and is visited frequently by people wanting to take part in nature. The Reservoir Overlook is composed of a big field with some shade trees with a nice view of the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

fallen limb in reservoir outlook march 31

As we were walking to the edge of the water a blue heron landed and began standing in the water. Blue herons are beautiful and there are many of them in this part of Mississippi. The birds have an abundant food supply with the fish in the reservoir and few predators. The grandiose presence of this bird makes one admire how wonderful life is. The head of the blue heron reminds me of an aristocrat wearing his dress hat. He is dignified admiring his territory.

blue heron at reservoir overlook natchez trace

 

The blue water is inviting and peaceful to look at and experience. I think about how that majestic heron has the freedom and ability to fly without worry. For the most part the life of the blue heron is calm and peaceful. Since there are few predators he has the ability to choose where to spends his time. The reservoir is a large body of water fed by the Pearl River creating many small islands and inlets. As the blue heron flies away when we approach, I am grateful for the blessing of being able to photograph and observe all the beautiful blessings of life.

blue heron cropped

As we walk in the field there is a large tree that stands alone. It is a beautiful tree that guards a portion of the field. The shade from the tree provides a perfect area for a picnic and to lie under on a blanket to contemplate the meaning of life. Jess and I wonder how long the tree has been here and how much of life changes it has seen. This area is protected but the areas in close proximity to it have seen many changes as the suburbs grow. big tree reservoir overlook natchez trace

As we end our day at the Reservoir Overlook there are more people arriving to enjoy the late afternoon and the sunset. This is a wonderful place to visit and experience peace and serenity. Jess and I hope that you enjoyed this overview and can come to visit Reservoir Overlook on the Natchez Trace.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce