Our lives are super hectic! Not in a bad way, we are simply preoccupied with life. When we are not at work, school, team sports and community projects, we like to travel. since we can’t go away every weekend, we make it a point to explore our own area.
Less than 20 minutes from our home in Louisiana is Picayune, Mississippi. My son and husband usually make a trip to Picayune at least once a month if not more. We usually head over the the scrap yard, barber shop for my son and have a meat market we shop at on occasion. One of our favorite Chinese buffets are located in Picayune.
Instead of making our way solely to get some chores accomplished, we decided to start our morning Sunday morning off with a nature hike. The weather has been agreeable and signs of Spring are starting to become more noticeable. We stopped at the Crosby Arboretum is located in Picayune, Mississippi which is located down the road from some of our favorite Picayune local businesses and the perfect place to spend a few hours with the kids.
The Arboretum is home to over 300 species of indigenous trees and shrubs and contains longleaf pine forests, slash pine hardwoods, sweet bay-tupelo-swamp bay, beech-magnolia, bald cypress-tupelo, bottomland hardwoods, hillside bogs, and savannas.
Our hike turned into a mini photo walk as we noticed the first signs of Spring. The Arboretum is very quite and on Sundays offers very little foot traffic. for us, it gave us time to focus on each exhibit and learn more about the local eco-system.
You can search through the calendar of events for various workshops like the Fairy House workshop for a small fee or enjoy educational classes like Controlling Wild Hogs. They also offer a Summer Nature Camp in June of Bug Fest in September.
Crosby Arboretum is an important native plant conservatory in the Southeast and also offer Quarterly Native Plant Sales several times a year. This weekend we noticed red maple, mayhaw and yellow cow lily starting to bloom. We plan on going back and trying to spot other blooms we can find and talk (and learn) about each flower next month.
There are 104-acre in the native plant center some of which contain rare, threatened, or endangered species of plants and wildlife. While we did a self-guided tour, you can schedule a private group tour for your scout troop, church youth group or school field trip.
Don’t forget about wildlife! With your admission fee, a small bag of food is provided to feed the animals. If you follow the trails properly, you will find the Pond Journey Exhibit. There you will find iris, water lilies, duckweed and of course turtles. My kids just loved watching the turtles!
Aside from the wildlife and plant species, the pièce De résistance is the Pinecote Pavilion. The Pond Journey passes through the Pinecote Pavilion, an outdoor meeting place designed by Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones. The simple, open building is perfect for weddings, artistic performances and other social gatherings.
The geometric themed Pavilion is accented by a central skylight, brick pavement and has with zero decorations. The shadows that frame the light continuously enhancing the symmetrical shed. The building is recognized by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as a Mississippi Landmark.
Our Sunday morning hike (and photo tour) became a small adventure and we learned more about the Pearl River Drainage Basin in Mississippi and Louisiana. A lesson that may not be taught in local schoolbooks but is just a few miles away from our home.
What better way to explore the outdoors than to explore your own “backyard”.