Friday, February 27, 2015

Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, MS 2/26-27/2015

On the road again Thursday Feb. 25
 We have passed this several times and finally realized it is St. Michael's Catholic Church.

The church was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina but like so many buildings it was restored.

 While at the Biloxi Visitor Center I learned more about George Ohr and decided his Museum would be good to check out.
 He was a prolific potter first doing utilitarian items.  After a fire in his workshop he began to experiment with form and color.
He was known as the Mad Potter.
 It was said his mustache grew to 24 inches.
 His work now is regarded for having thin walls.  (which few could duplicate.)
 He used pinches, coils and snakes in his works.
 Innovative colors.

 He took 600 items to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 and won a Silver Medal.

 His works were not appreciated during his lifetime so he packed them up in boxes as this.  They were stored away for 50 years.  When discovered his work gained recognition and since have been greatly sought after.  He is considered a "harbinger" of abstract sculpture and pottery.

Two other art exhibits:  "The African Diva Project: Paintings by Margaret Rose Vendryes  The paintings are full- figure portrait of a popular black female soloist.  Each wears an African mask, chosen for its character and/or aesthetic compatibility to her image, either an actual mask or a mask painted on paper, and applied to the canvas in the place of her face." 

A second exhibit is by Sarah Qarqish / Morgan Welch.  There is a three-dimensional wooden shape of balsam wood that is 26 feet by 6 feet high with various colors making interesting shadows on the wall.

The architect of the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum is famed Frank Gehry.

 The architecture of the buildings is interesting in itself.  We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Sad reminders of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina 9 1/2 years since it happened.  There are still empty lots.  We could see sidewalks or driveways.  It was very sad to see daffodils blooming what probably had been around someone's house.
 Mardi Gras celebrations are everywhere along the Gulf Coast.  Here are some costumes in the Bay St.Louis Visitors Center.

 B.B. King from this area.
 Muddy Waters

Movie filmed in Bay St. Louis, MS starring Robert Redford, Natalie Wood and Charles Bronson. 
This boarding house was the main setting in the movie.

Alice Moseley Museum was (on the second floor) a local Folk Art painter.  Here's her famous:
"My house is blue but the old lady ain't.
Her work has so much detail.  
 She started painting when she was 60.
 Another beautiful wood carving.
 Alice Moseley's blue home.
 "Shoofly" around the oak tree takes its name from the French word "chaufluer" meaning cauliflower.

As we leave town we see one of the Angel Trees.  (A former beautiful live oak tree)

 Here is one right across the street that survived.  Being once again I keep saying from the Midwest I was not familiar with live oak trees till we started traveling.  They can become huge, majestic like the Friendship Tree we saw Feb. 5.  Amazing trees.
A beautiful sunset.

We are staying at Walmart in Waveband, MS.  We visited with Jane and Jack from Toronto.  They have had Roadtreks for 25 years and traveled so many states and provinces of Canada.  What great people we meet on the road and love hearing their experiences.

On the road again Friday Feb. 27 to Houma, LA.  Phil is attending a genealogy meeting here tomorrow.  We are staying at Capri Court RV Park.

Davis Bayou & Biloxi, MS 2/23-25/2015

On the road again Tuesday Feb. 24
Our excitement for the day was a hike down to the bayou.  This little critter was on the bridge post.  I guess he was looking for some warmth.  Brr...  It's been chilly but nothing like back in Illinois.  Across the road we saw two turtles in the water but couldn't see the alligator who hangs our in the area.  Back at the campground we talked to a couple who had seen the alligator.   This was a day to get some housekeeping done and read and relax.  We stayed again at Davis Bayou Campground.

On the road again Wednesday Feb. 25.  It's a rainy, rainy day so a good day to get my hair cut.
We had lunch at Half Baked Oysters in Biloxi, MS.  Being from the Midwest we are not used to eating oysters.  Phil has never had them and I only once and they were fried in a sad.  Someone suggested this place and YES, they were delicious.  We got the sampler:  3 Oysters Rockefeller, 3 Orleans, 3 charbroiled and 3 Bienville.  We also had gumbo.  It's amazing that each time we have gumbo it is different.  Very tasty and lots of seafood.
Since it was a rainy day it was a good day to go to the Biloxi Visitors Center.  Here's the famous Biloxi Lighthouse.  It's the only lighthouse that has a four lane highway traveling past it.
My photo of a picture of Walter Anderson in his special room.  Still marvel at his work and glad we went to his Museum in Ocean springs.
Throughout the Gulf Coast are amazing sculptures from the trees damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
More Katrina artwork.

It was hard to get decent photos because of the light coming through the windows.  The Visitors Center had a very thorough exhibit on the people living in this area throughout the years.  Lots of information on lumbering, seafood industry and the many ethnic groups who have settled here.
Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d'Iberville was sent by King Louis XIV to find the mouth of the Mississippi River.  His landing on the Biloxi peninsula in 1699 started the colonization of the Mississippi coast and the Louisiana Territory.

We visited with Catherine and Clause from Toronto at the Visitors Center.  We had met them earlier in the day at Walmart.  They have been traveling in a Roadtrek for 21 years.  What interesting trips they have done:  to the Baja peninsula numerous times as well as throughout the U.  S. & Canada.

We stayed in the parking lot of the Golden Nugget Casino.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dauphin Island 2/22-23/201

On the road again Sunday Feb. 22
 What a change in weather.  It was 61 for the low overnight.  Needless to say foggy this morning.
We went to 8 am mass at St. Patrick's in Robertsdale.

Dauphin Island, AL in Gulf of Mexico.  We drove across a high bridge over the Intercostal Highway.
 A beautiful breeze, 68 degrees, lots & lots of sunshine.  A perfect day for the beach.  We are staying at Dauphin Island Campground. We talked with people from Alabama, Illinois, Wisconsin & Ohio.   The people are so friendly.  Most people come for at least a month.  Some for 4 - 6 months.
 We waited for the sunset.
The moisture in the air is hazing the trees in the distance.

What a peaceful relaxing day.

On the road again Monday Feb. 23
The Estuarium is an educational aquarium.  We learnt about the Mobile Delta, Mobile Bay, Barrier Islands and the Gulf of Mexico.  
 The docents were very helpful.  He kindly put his had in the alligator gar's mouth to show the size.
 It was interesting to see the rays being fed.
There were so many items to touch.  I thought they'd be dry.  I was very surprised that they were moist.  They are put in an alcohol bath.  The docent said your hands are cleaner after touching them.  He was so patient in explaining so much.
 We have seen these black "purses' on the beach.  Here we see the skeleton of a baby skate that would be inside the purse.

 A regular size seahorse.  They also had dwarf seahorse....oh, so tiny.
A unique occurrence happens in Mobile Bay called a Jubilee.  During this time you can walk on shore and pick up dozens of flounder, pounds of shrimp and bushels of crabs.  It seems to happen when there is a change in the oxygen in the water due to wind and temperature.  It can happen several times a summer or not at all.  The phenomenon "Jubilee" occurs in one other place in the world.
 The Gulf of Mexico has been called the "Fertile Crescent."
 A dinosaur in the seaward...the horseshoe crab.
The docent wants us to hold it.  Looking at it upside down he explained how to tell male from female.
 Lionfish start out as tiny ones in a home aquarium.  When it gets too big they are sometime dumped in the local water.  It's a pretty fish to look at but it is eats native fish and plants.
 We drove to the west end of Dauphin Island.  It was a chilly and blustery day.  (45 and 15 mph wind).  The laughing gull is the only one on the beach.
 Other years I brought home shells.  This year I'm only bringing home the photo.
 The beginning of a home.  Lots of pylons.
 Homes have to withstand hurricane winds to survive.

Yesterday when we were driving to Dauphin Island a code came on.  When Phil checked it means when we had the oil changed they put in too much oil.  So we returned to have it taken care of.

We are staying at Davis Bayou Campground in the Gulf Islands National Seashore near Ocean Springs, MS.  We got to talking with the couple next to us.  They invited us for a glass of wine and since it was so chilly we said join us around our fire.  They are from New Hampshire and have an interesting setup traveling in their car.  We also met a Roadtrek couple and visited with them for 45 minutes.  It's great to meet and share experiences with others who love to travel.