Yesterday was the epitome of a bleak March day, with a high temperature of 40, gray skies, and drab landscapes. My husband and I drove to Natchez, thinking we might be able to escape the dreariness in Vicksburg, but, unfortunately, it was even worse in Natchez.
After lunch, we rode around in some of the neighborhoods near downtown. I had my cameras with me, hoping to capture signs of Spring that might perk up our spirits and brighten the bleakness.
My first stop was one of the prettiest homes in Natchez ... Glen Auburn, ca 1875, is Mississippi’s greatest remaining Second Empire structure. Due to the aftereffects of the Civil War, very few substantial Second Empire structures were constructed in Mississippi. Of the few that were constructed, Glen Auburn is possibly the only one that could be classified as a mansion. Many of the features originally constructed in 1875 are still present, including the decorative ironwork around the roof, roof brackets, and stone quoins (which I learned are corner masonry blocks).
This next picture is Ravennaside, ca 1902, an outstanding example of Colonial Revival architecture. Ravennaside was the home of Roane Fleming Byrnes and headquarters for her efforts in the creation and development of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The house is currently for sale for a mere $1,150,000.
Here are a couple more houses that caught my eye ...
One of the most disheartening things we saw as we cruised the neighborhoods, were the Japanese Magnolia trees that had been, literally, "nipped in the bud," as Barney used to say.
Japanese Magnolia trees like the ones shown above would normally look like the ones below this time of year ...
There were a few buds on the trees, but their foliage was severely burned by the cold.
Sad though it was to see, at least we were encouraged to see little green leaves sprouting from the branches, so all was not lost.
Camellias were everywhere, and a lot of them were suffering, too ...
The Natchez Spring Pilgrimage [March 8th - April 8th] will be in full swing in a couple of weeks, and I'm sure by then the azaleas and dogwoods will be blooming and those tiny green leaves on the Japanese Magnolias will leave no trace of the damage done by the ice and cold of a few weeks ago.
The streets, houses, and gardens of Natchez will be transformed into a blaze of color and "Spring GREENness" ... and all will be right with the world.
[I captured the following photos during the 2011 Spring Pilgrimage in Natchez]
The word lagniappe, as defined by Webster's, means "something given or obtained gratuitously, or by way of good measure."
"Time never turns backwards
Its old charms to give,
In photographs only
Can yesterdays live."
~ Edgar A. Guest
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