Monday, January 12, 2009

A Weekend Trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast ...

My husband and I spent this past weekend on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and early Saturday morning I ventured out to take some pictures. I was especially looking forward to getting some shots of the Biloxi Lighthouse at sunrise, but as luck would have it, it was a cloudy morning and the skies were a dull gray.

I did manage to get a couple of the Lighthouse, though, just as dawn was breaking ...


About 40 minutes later, I was on my way to Mary Mahoney's Old French Restaurant, to photograph the "Patriarch Tree," which is reputed to be 2000 years old. Unfortunately, I got "turned around" (aka "lost"), and found myself on a bridge crossing a bay over into D'Iberville, MS. I was so upset with myself because I was wasting good "picture-taking time" being lost!

But as I was driving over the bridge, I looked out over the area and noticed a "picture" that was just begging to be taken ... a picture I probably would have missed if I hadn't been up on the bridge, which afforded a great view of the area. I couldn't wait to get to the other side of the bay so I could turn around and come back and take that picture that was "calling my name."

This is the steeple of the former home of the First United Methodist Church of Biloxi (look closely at the cross on top of the steeple) ...

Although it was battered and bent by the wrath of one of the most destructive hurricanes in history, the cross is still holding on ... a symbol of hope and inspiration to the people of the Gulf Coast, who are still rebuilding their lives, their homes, and their businesses.

Although it has been three years since Katrina wreaked its havoc on the Coast, it is still very difficult for me to see and comprehend the extent of its power and destruction. Where beautiful beachfront mansions once stood you see empty concrete foundations covered with weeds, and the majestic oak trees that once shaded the mansions are either "gone with the wind," or are forever broken and twisted and bent. There are still piles of broken concrete scattered about, and everywhere you look there are construction vehicles and work crews tearing down ruins and building or rebuilding new businesses and homes.

To refresh your memory of the extent of the destruction, I've included a few pictures from a previous visit we made to the Gulf Coast in June 2008 (if interested, you can click here to read my story about that visit) ...





We also saw sobering reminders of the toll Katrina took on the business community. In some of the restaurants and shops that survived you see marks denoting how high the water was after Katrina, some of which are just mind-boggling.

Another picture I just had to capture is this forlorn-looking shrimp boat which was grounded by Katrina ...

Here are a few more pictures I took along the coast in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which is east of Biloxi ...

Like the brick house in the story of "The Three Little Pigs," it's going to take a lot of huffin' and puffin' to blow this house down. It's made of concrete!

"Pascagoula Pelicans" ...




I always notice trees, and wondered how this old oak tree came to be growing on such a strange angle, almost parallel to the ground ...

We enjoyed our visit to the Coast, and I look forward to going back again sometime to get that "Lighthouse at Sunrise" picture I wasn't able to get this time. Perhaps in the spring ...

Sincerely,

7 comments:

Stacey said...

Janie, you are making me want to just pack up and go somewhere! The Gulf Coast looks beautiful even with the signs of hurricane destruction visible.

Kitty Scraps said...

What a beautiful place! I enjoy your pictures so much, keep them coming *smiles*
Wishing you a wonderfully blessed week!

Sincerely Yours said...

Morning Janie! Your photo skills are better and better with each post! Most people would'nt have even noticed the cross but your picture/post definitely conveys the symbolism! Love that tree growing sideways! I kinda feel that way lately!lol Sounds like you really enjoyed your weekend. And your getting "lost" was just a Happy Mistake!!! Have a picture perfect day - Sincerely, Jeannette

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Janie,
Love your photos. You have me wanting to make a trip to the Ms. Gulf coast!

I love Mary Mahoney's!

Diane

nikkicrumpet said...

Beautiful pictures...I thought the lighthouse ones turned out really great!

beth at aunties said...

Janie,
Your pictures are so moving and I love the stories you share with them. It really makes me want to take a trip to the south and spend time.
Katrina sure took it's toll and I am so glad you got the picture of the cross. Those sweet people need some hope to cling to.

Thanks again for sharing!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Janie

I have a fondness for lighthouses, so it was exciting to see your Biloxi Lighthouse photos, and I'll check out your link to learn more.

The cross on the church steeple was an amazing shot too. I hope they will keep it that way as a reminder of strength in adversity. Katrina's devastation was horrible. We saw much of the destruction in New Orleans on a trip there last year.