Walt's Look Around: J.P. Coleman State Park - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: J.P. Coleman State Park

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IUKA, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Famous photographer Ansel Adams once said that the most important element in taking a good photograph is knowing where to stand. And I'll add, knowing when to stand there.

Most of my photographer friends are up at this time of the day making their best shots; sunrise. Fortunately for me, sunset works almost as well. Because I'm a lot more likely to be awake at sunset than sunrise. But the other day was an exception. It was the first sunny day after our prolonged rainy season and we were spending the night at J.P. Coleman State Park on Pickwick Lake in far, far north east Mississippi.

The biggest feature of J.P. Coleman Park is Pickwick Lake. Matter of fact, if you don't have a boat, there's not much to do here otherwise. And I didn't have a boat. But we did have the sunrise

And what else we had that particular morning were banks of fog rolling out of the hollows between the ridges across the lake on the Alabama side, giving Pickwick a dimension is doesn't always have. The light playing off the fog and the low angle of the sun reflecting off the water reminded me why this is such a good time to be awake and such a good time to get acquainted with the world again.

Pickwick is the headwater of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, so not all the boats you see here are small fishing boats. But even the barges seem the be churning fire in the early light.

And the woodpeckers playing in the trees and other birds waking up and trying on the world for size are worth losing a little sleep to see.

You envy the birds. They don't have a care in the world. No bad economy to sap their juices, trying to cope with, or any of the other traps we people have built into our world. Just the sunrise, the trees and, if you're early enough, you get the worm.

I suppose the case could be made that J.P. Coleman State Park is the first place the rising sun shines on Mississippi every morning for what that's worth. And when the light is playing like it did that morning, it's nice to be up with the rising sun, to be a part of it.

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