Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jackson, Mississippi

John and I have failed miserably at acting like snowbirds.  Yesterday Jackson broke all previous records with a high of 42 degrees.  Coldest on record previously was 48 degrees in 1960 for March 17.  Well, I guess this has not been a normal year weather-wise for most of the country.  As Vicksburg, Jackson has plenty of places for the tourist to visit.  However, with the cool weather John and I were unwilling to spend much time outside.  The capitol seemed the best place to start.
The Mississippi is known as the "New Capitol" since it succeeded the old statehouse in 1903.  Our tour guide informed us that its' cost was $1,093,641, easily covered with funds from a lawsuit against the Illinois Central Railroad for back taxes.  It was built in the Beaux Arts style, which is defined as "scholarly, self-confident, grand and lush" (quotation from the Oxford dictionary of Architecture).
Pictured above is part of the rotunda which features white Italian marble with trimmings of Belgian black marble.  The colossal columns are of scagliola ( plaster made to imitate marble).  All of the inside of the capitol gave me an impression of being dramatic and yet simple in appearance.  Our next stop was lunch, and it being St.Patrick's day we wanted corn beef and cabbage.  In Mississippi it is all about soul food, but we did find a capitol staff worker who directed us to an Irish pub.  They happened to have a special on corn beef and cabbage.  The meal still had over-tones of soul food, but was still quite good.
After lunch we shifted through all the travel brochures of Jackson and discovered that many museums are closed on Monday.  Given the weather we could not do gardens or even the Jackson zoo, which left us with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.   We had a wonderful afternoon there learning all about the diverse natural heritage of Mississippi.  A 100,000- gallon aquarium system houses over 200 species of native fish, reptiles, amphibians and aquatic invertebrates.  Also a 1,700-square foot greenhouse called "The Swamp" has another aquarium which provides a home for alligators, turtles, and fish.
Outside of the museum is a system of nature trails which meander through wooded bluffs, river bottoms and swamplands.  It is part of the LeFleur Bluff State Park. 

Yes, the above picture does have a wintery look to it.  However, I was impressed by certain vivid colors in the scene above.  The slough is a beautiful turquoise blue, the red bud is in bloom and the trees are beginning to don their bright green leaves.  Spring has to be coming soon!  The park also has several varieties of wildflowers starting to bloom, one of which is the"Little-Sweet-Betsy" trillium.

No comments:

Post a Comment