Monday, April 17, 2017

Mississippi's Gulf Coast: Katrina Sculptures

Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of Mississippi on August 29th, 2005 changing the landscape and the lives of thousands of people.
Left in the wake of the storm were live oak trees that had stood for hundreds of years but had not survived the winds and 24 foot storm surge.
Wood artists Marlin Miller,  Dayle Lewis, and Dayton Scoggins saw possibilities in this standing deadwood.


They turned the broken branches and bark stripped trunks into works of art that celebrate the resilience of the waterfront and the people who live there.
The sculptures are spread over 40 miles along US 90.
Fred and I made it our mission to find as many of them as we could.
Most of the art is based on sea creatures with dolphins appearing in many of them. We also saw a sailfish, turtles, and a sea horse. There was one stretch of US-90 near the University of Southern Mississippi that featured birds. There were eagles, hawks, and herons.
Our favorite was the Angel Tree in Bay St. Louis. The Angel Tree has a story. This tree saved the lives of 3 people and a dog that clung to its branches in desperation after their house was destroyed.

Soaring Eagles across from the University of Mississippi in Long Beach
Herons in Biloxi
Waterfront hawks in Biloxi
The Angel Tree in Bay St. Lewis.

Waterfowl at the Visitor Center 

The sculptures are easy to spot but not always easy to get to. Many of them are on the median of US-90. Its a good thing there are two of us. Fred put a lot of miles on the truck circling back to pick me up.
It was a great day and a fun treasure hunt. We even found a wonderful waterside restaurant in Bay St. Louis near the Angel Tree. We sat for a while at The Blind Tiger listening to live music and talking about the sculptures we had seen.


  1. Seeing those trees really gives you a sense of just how bad Katrina was. I never knew the Angel Tree!

    1. I can't imagine the terror of having your house break apart around you finding a tree as your only shelter. They were truly watched over by angels.