Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Back Roads Adventure ...

It was a very rainy and dreary weekend here in Vicksburg, but Monday dawned clear as a bell, with mild temperatures -- a perfect day to ramble with my camera. And I had the perfect place in mind to ramble, too ... a place called "Campbell's Swamp," which is in rural Warren County, Mississippi, about 20 miles from where I live.

I had recently read about a charming little chapel located somewhere in the area of Campbell's Swamp, and I hoped to capture it with my camera.

There was also an article in the Sunday edition of The Vicksburg Post (written by Mr. Gordon Cotton, retired curator of the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, and a renown Civil War historian), about a lady who lives in Campbell's Swamp, and she made it sound so fascinating (including tales of alligators crossing the road!) that I could just hear it calling my name -- and my camera.

I had no idea what to expect, but was excited about exploring new and unknown territory and couldn't wait to start my "adventure."

I threw my rubber boots in the car (it had rained all weekend, remember?) ... and with camera, glasses, cell phone, Dr. Pepper, and my trusty GPS, I set off in search of chapels and swamp critters.

I didn't have any trouble finding Campbell Swamp Road, but quickly found myself on a beautiful, very isolated road out in the "boondocks" of southern Warren County.



Needless to say, I didn't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about venturing too far off the beaten path by myself, so my "swamp adventure" was somewhat curtailed. But, if you are a regular follower of my photo shoot escapades, you know I can always find pictures to take, even though it may not be what I set out to photograph.

And Monday was no exception. I dearly loved being outdoors, with the car windows down, listening to the sounds of the wind in the trees, and birds flittering (or fluttering, if you prefer) in and amongst the wildflowers and grass on the roadsides. It was just a good day to be alive and enjoy the wonders of God's simple blessings.

Here are a few of those blessings, along with some whimsical things I captured with my camera (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like):


I love these red lilies and the old glass jar bird feeder. If you click on the picture you can see that the lilies look almost transparent with the sun behind them.

Old wooden cross at an abandoned country store ...

The Wonderful World of Yard Art

I did a double take when I saw this ...



Isn't this little fellow sweet ...




Gotta love it!

This elegant cobalt gazing ball was an
eye-catcher in its rustic natural setting ...

And I loved this pretty little resting place beside the road, with its log bench and metal sculptured flower ...

We recently planted rose bushes on an arbor,
and I hope they turn out like this one ...

I usually receive some kind of lagniappe while on my photo shoots and this little guy was my lagniappe Monday:

I took several pictures of him, but was so excited that I had my camera focused on the grass instead of his face! He was just beautiful and was sitting beside the road at an intersection, peeking through the grass at me ... almost as if he was a figment of my imagination.

And speaking of "figments," I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this old abandoned bus/steamboat? in a field ...

I was told by my friend and fellow Vicksburg blogger Marty Kittrell, that one of the casinos used the bus in parades several years ago, but "retired" it because it was too large to safely maneuver through the downtown parade route.

By the way ... if you have not discovered Marty's photography blog, I hope you will visit him. I promise you will be awestruck by his God-given talent and inspired by his uplifting words.

In closing, it seems that many of my photo shoots end up at old cemeteries, and Monday I stopped by the Yokena Cemetery. This was my favorite discovery there ...

I love the little lamb on top of the stone and the sweet message at the bottom ...

I enjoyed my back roads "swamp adventure," but have to admit that this was a welcoming sight coming back into Vicksburg ...

Perhaps I can go back sometime when my husband can go with me, and we can find the elusive "Campbell's Swamp," the little chapel, and maybe even see an alligator or two crossing the road. What great lagniappe that would be!

P.S. ... I was just joking about the alligators. I don't want you to picture our lovely state being infested with swamp critters. The only alligator I've ever seen in Mississippi, was at the Jackson Zoo!

12 comments:

Stacey said...

Oh how funny, I was just about to ask if you ever see alligators!!

What a beautiful swamp adventure day. Love your pictures as always.

Anonymous said...

I was impressed when I heard you had a place with alligators about 20 miles from your house! Whenwe first went to New Orleans years ago I told my husband I wanted to go see the alligators in the middle of the road. We never did, and we didn't get to go on a swamp tour, either. But once I went on an airboart ride in FL with friends and THAT was remarkable! Wow, they were everywhere!!! Little eyes glittering in the darkness, you could hear them slithering! What a feeling to be surrounded by such creatures. I hope you find one and I hope you have your camera with you!

Julie@ohsweetchaos.blosgspot.com

Susie Mitchell said...

As always, Janie...beautiful photos! Thank you so much for taking us along on your adventures. However...I for one...really don't want to encounter alligators on the road! LOL
Make this a wonderful day! They seldom happen by accident, you know!
Blessings,
Susie

Lisa said...

Such beautiful photos! The little tombstone was awfully sweet and even more touching when you see the dates.

Deb said...

you take such interesting photos, I always look forward to your new posts, love the yard art, it is fun to see what other folks do..love your new header..very pretty

Blessings of Health and Prosperity said...

Hi Janie! This is my first visit to your blog, but you can be sure I will be returning on a regular basis. How wonderful! I loved the closeup of the tombstone saying, had to laugh at the dogs hind end in the air and the old cross at the deserted country store the best but all of your photos are top notch. I am going to follow you. Be seeing you soon! Blessings, Celene

SandyCarlson said...

What an exciting place. Thanks for taking us along on the walk.

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

Hi Janie
I'm like you...haven't seen an alligator, but plenty of snakes.

I enjoyed your photos and your Smilebox of the zoo!

I was in Vicksburg Tuesday with our church...hopefully I'll get to do a post on it soon.
:) Diane

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, that's a fun view of Cambpell Swamp! Look for the house with a thousand cats in the yard to find Gordon. ;-)

XO,

Sheila

nikkicrumpet said...

As always...it's fun to see the world through your camera!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Sheila,
Great pictures, I haven't wondered the back roads of Vicksburg for awhile. Will have to get DH to take a side trip and look for Campbell's Swamp.
I live just south of Co-Lin Community College and we have a Lake south of us on 51 Hwy that has some of the biggest, meanest Gators in it you will ever see. We used to go back up in the inlets in Spring fishing and the Momma didn't like us being that close to her nest...I got some pictures one time...hummm wonder what I ever did with them.
Thanks for sharing.
Molly

Darrence Jerry said...

Is that bus still sitting there and who owns it? It is a bus built in 1964 first owned by the Memphis Area Transit Authority. You can reach me at www.facebook.com/bigdiesel901