Jackson County

Mississippi has colorful fall foliage, if you know where to look

This black gum foliage on the property of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center on Arthur Street in Moss Point is starting off the Coast’s fall foliage with beautiful color.
This black gum foliage on the property of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center on Arthur Street in Moss Point is starting off the Coast’s fall foliage with beautiful color. Pascagoula River Audubon Center

I came across this web post that tempts me to take a road trip upstate. It looks like I could find the color of fall foliage just four hours off the Coast.

The goal for me would be the reds and golds, a real feeling of autumn, something more than the well-intended pumpkin patches and bales of hay we offer here on the Coast.

But I’m told we have it here, if I know to look.

I do catch myself searching for color in the woods of the Coast. Oddly enough, it’s the non-native and very invasive Chinese tallow, called the popcorn tree because of the clusters of little white balls it produces, that offers the color we often see — yellow and red.

My mother, a tree lover, planted a red maple by her kitchen window in Gautier so she had an easy access to fall color. Mark LaSalle with the Pascagoula River Audubon Center likes the “drop-dead gorgeous” hickory, but says they are a little more rare on the Coast. His favorite is the black gum that start the season off with early color, starting now.

This nearly 14-hour, preplanned road trip takes a Coastian all the way to Sardis Lake near the top of the state.

But you and I can do as much or as little as we want. The pictures will make you want to go.

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