Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day-Trippin' to Natchez, Mississippi

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 ...

On a lighter note, I was delighted to see this beautiful display of tulips on one of the downtown streets.

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]


Myrtle Terrace
Stanton Hall
 The Burn


Tonja said...

Well, I just want to go put on a pair of shorts and my flip flops! I feel like spring is really here after looking at all these beautiful pics! I am so ready for it this year! Loved all the houses. They stand like monuments, don't they? Reminding us of a grander more elegant time years past! Love looking at them. My fav, though, has to be the tulips in pots on the street. Loved the contrast of the waving tulip with the hardness of the concrete pot and the sidewalk.
Thanks for sharing these. Your work is amazing, as always!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

The prettiest city in America!



Beth said...

Beautiful pictures! I went through Natchez yesterday and wished I had time to stop. Spring is ready to burst forth!

Thank you for letting me know about the mystery white trees. We have Bradford Pears in San Antonio, but they are smaller. These in MS are lovely.

Richard Cottrell said...

I went through Glen Auburn a few years ago and it was owned by George Hamilton and His Mother lived there. I believe it was pink on the out side then,. The maid gave the tour. It was very impressive, all done in the French Empire style, but rather dark, like Mr. Hamilton's tan. It is an impressive house. I just love Natchez. I'd like to buy Cock Taw,spelling? It is for sale and is only $890,000.00. A steal. Come on in lottery! Daffy wants a new house. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Pat said...

Janie, what a nice trip to Natchez.

I love those beautiful old homes you showed us. All of your photos are so sharp and beautiful. The tulips were amazing also.

What a beautiful world we live in and you capture it with your camera so nicely ... you are such an inspiration to me ... Thanks!
Pat in Tallahassee