From the Editor

Story Stacy Clark | Photograph Martin Howard

If this issue inspires you to do nothing else, I hope it rekindles your urge to meander. To wander. To explore.

The moment I saw this issue’s cover photo, I thought, when was the last time I took a stroll through the woods? Not a hike for exercise and not to reach a certain destination, but a leisurely trek just to see what I can see. To kick rocks along a creek bed and look for arrowheads and buried treasure like my brother and I did when we were kids. Wishing, above all, for a friendly encounter with some of the local fauna.

This issue spotlights its fair share of explorers. Starkville chef Ty Thames, Gaining Ground and their valiant mission to cook up fresh Southern menus that draw our attention to locally-sourced culinary riches. Artist Critz Campbell and the unconventional path he took to create a singularly captivating dwelling space in downtown West Point. Biologist Ross Whitwam and his observations while paddling Mississippi’s creeks and rivers.

This summer, let’s follow the example of these friends and neighbors and explore the great outdoors and resources of our community. Is there one thing you’ve always wanted to know more about, but just haven’t gotten around to taking a closer look? There’s no better time.

As always, I invite you to share with us your stories, along with your recipes, comments and event information. Email them to or visit us on Facebook.