Monday, February 28, 2011

Misty Monday - Old Oaks and Tidal Marsh

Old Oaks and Tidal Marsh, Daniel Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

Yesterday the Lowcountry had a foggy start to the day, so I went out early to capture
the misty mood of the morning.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Early Comes the Spring

Daffodils, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Red Camellia, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Daffodils, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
Narcissus, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

The weather here has been so warm lately that we now have a yard full of the hues of early spring flowers. We also have tea olives beginning to bloom. They have tiny white flowers, easily missed by the naked eye, that have the most stunning and far reaching fragrance. It seems they're all a few weeks early this year.  
So the good news is, it's Spring!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Color Therapy

Pink Door Under Renovation, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This paint job could give any contractor the blues.  The color therapist recommends extensive rehab to restore a healthy pink glow.

This pink's for you, Leanne.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Receding Ridges, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok

May your weekend be as golden as mountains aglow at sunset.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Posts on a Purple Porch

Porch Balustrade, Georgetown, SC  © Doug Hickok

To continue from yesterday's theme, here is another pattern of lines photographed against a purple background. A porch is an ideal place to have a restful gathering; to sit back and relax a bit. 
So why not add a shade of orange, and a green hue to that 
eye-catching purple, and have a nice gathering of secondary colors? 
You can almost here them conversing, speaking that special language only colors can speak, when they are happily together.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bridge Wednesday - Pylons on a Purple Palette

General Westmorland Bridge on a Foggy Morning, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Here is a multi-pylon bridge to guide you over the mid-week murk,
and safely into the weekend. Woop. Woop.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Creatures Among Us, Part One

Old Tree and Haystack, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 
Tennessee  © Doug Hickok


(Etymology note: Ent is an Old English word for "giant")

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mysterious Monday

18th Century Row Houses, Elliott St., Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

It was a dark and misty morn. Fog shrouded shapes seemed to loom in the gloom. A creeping stillness silenced every sound. Street lamps dimmed as an air of mystery tightened its hold on the narrow alleyway. Suddenly, a door creaked slowly open, and from within the shadows emerged a...
What honey? My chocolate chip pancakes are ready? Sorry, I gotta run.
Mysterious Monday continues... to be mysterious.

(Unless you wish to complete the mystery yourself) 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

From the Archives - Mission Sunday

Angel Head, Church Entrance,
Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Texas  © Doug Hickok

Out Buildings, Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Texas  © Doug Hickok

Convent, Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Texas  © Doug Hickok

Mission San Jose is the largest of five missions in the San Antonio area. Founded in 1720 by the Spanish colonials, it served as an outpost for preaching Christianity among the native populations. Even though these missions are part of our National Park system today, many still operate as active parish churches. When we visited Mission San Jose, we attended a Sunday Mass, which just happened to be a Mariachi Mass. Yes, a service accompanied by a brightly colored mariachi band! So there was plenty of singing, toe tapping, and swaying from side to side. Perhaps the strangest part of the Mass, which I can still visualize vividly, is that the usher had an uncanny resemblance to the ponytailed action film star Steven Seagal, who you may know is also a 7th dan black belt in martial arts. Needless to say, no one protested where the usher sat them. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lobster Buoys

Lobster buoys, Mount Desert Island, Maine  © Doug Hickok

When out trolling for a tasty photo, I'm often buoyed up by the sight of enticing color. Here I've hooked a shot which lured my eye, a pattern of hues, hung on a wall for display.

Photo note: If you're in the mood for a little off the wall humor, check out the work of Chinese photographer Li Wei.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's Folly

A jetty at Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

Frankly, on this fine Friday, we're foraging for fun and folly.

Finally, felicitations to our fabulous friends Sarah and Rob on becoming fiances!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Corner of East Bay and Broad St., Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Day or night, the best way to experience Charleston is to walk it's narrow streets and alleyways, and experience up close it's many charms and delights. But don't forget to glance up occasionally, because you might see an array of hues that catch your eye.

Photo Note: If you like exceptional black and white photography, check out this artist.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Evergreen Flowers

Market Hall, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

A row of evergreen flowers leads the way to a Greek Revival building, Charleston's Market Hall.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

From the Archives - Dusk at Kiawah, and the Great Beyond

Sunset, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

This is a photograph made of a cluster of coastal Live Oak trees silhouetted against the sky at dusk. Beyond this lies the Atlantic Ocean, and beyond that North Africa. And beyond that lies the Middle East, and beyond that China. Further beyond that lies the Pacific Ocean, and beyond that Southern California. Further still beyond that lies Texas, and beyond that South Carolina, where this photograph was made.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day from Charleston

Heart-Shaped Ironwork & Redbud, Meeting St. Garden Gate, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

May your day be filled with love, happiness, and the pursuit of chocolate.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

From the Archives - One Year Ago Today

Antebellum Mansions, South Battery, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Garden Gate, Longitude Lane, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Snow in the Face Fountain, South Battery, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Crepe Myrtle Trees, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

One year ago today, Charleston awoke to a rare winter beauty, a snowy lowcountry landscape. It lasted only half a day, after which the sun came out and quickly melted the snow. What a surreal morning it was!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

From the Archives - Museum Ruins

City Museum Ruins, Cannon Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Charleston may not be as old as Athens or Rome, or have as many ruins, but it is old enough to have been ruined a time or two. Wars, earthquakes, fires, they've all left their mark on Charleston over the years. These Corinthian columns are all that remain of the old city museum that burned about 100 years ago. They stand as a monument of sorts in Cannon Park, where people gather these days to play with their dogs. This image was made a few years ago, on slide film, at twilight. The unusual green glow is the way the daylight film recorded the color temperature of the mercury vapor street lamps, which illuminated the ruins from nearby.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Architectural Sketch - High Key Rendition of City Hall

City Hall, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Swag, cinquefoil, egg and dart, dentil molding, Ionic capital, pilaster and volute. If these terms mean something to you, you're probably not a botanist, nor a dentist. Probably not a strutting hipster either. Instead you're probably an architect. This image of Charleston's City Hall illustrates architectural elements dating back to the era of the ancient Greeks, the great builders of the Parthenon. The classical style has been so influential over time that it can be seen ubiquitously throughout the western world. Yes,  the style is so prevalent that, as a matter of fact, I just happen to have a Greek temple of my very own, in my back yard, built by some fellow named Ictinus.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

From the Archives - Winter Tree

Winter Tree, Great Smoky Mts. National Park, NC  © Doug Hickok

There's something to be said about good old fashion film. This image was made on slide film about 22 years ago, and when I found it recently in my stacks of old slide boxes, I marveled at the color.
The film had captured the hues of the mountain light in the evening hour perfectly and still retained it!  I like the hint of orange (in the little leaf still clinging to the branch) against all that blue and purple. By the way, this photo is from the Great Smoky Mountains, one of my favorite places to visit. I've been going there since I was a kid back in the 1960's, and have made regular visits since then. And, you know, there's something to be said about good old favorite places too...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bridge Wednesday - Ravenel Bridge at Night

Charleston Maritime Center, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

A sail boat finds safe harbor at the Maritime Center. In the distance, illuminated by lights, is the Ravenel Bridge, stretching over the Cooper River. The night was quite dark, but a long exposure of 30 seconds brought out details I missed with the naked eye. You may have noticed the sail boat shows some soft blurring from the gentle rocking of the waves.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011 Spoleto Festival - Ticket Brochure Extras

2011 Spoleto Festival
 Ticket Brochure

Palmetto Reflections,
Kiawah Island, SC   © Doug Hickok

To continue from yesterday's post, this is what the cover of the ticket brochure looks like. In case you're curious, here's a link to the actual brochure so you can page through it. Also, included here are additional images used in the interior pages of the brochure.

Facade Ornamentation,
Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Broad St. Shadow, Charleston,
SC  © Doug Hickok

Virginia Creeper and Blue Shutter,
Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 Spoleto Festival - Shutter Pattern

Single house, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

One of my images was chosen this year for the cover of the 2011 Spoleto Festival USA Ticket Brochure. Charleston's international arts festival is one of the world's largest, lasting 17 days, and offering a wide array of performances from artists and musicians from around the globe. Kudos to Stitch Design Co. for their excellent creative work designing the brochure.
Incidentally, Spoleto held a contest asking their employees where they thought this photo was taken. It may be hard to guess, as I made this image several years ago, and recent renovations to this single house have changed its appearance somewhat. This underlines how transient the moments are that we capture with our cameras. The moment is there, then gone forever. All that remains is what was recorded in that instant, which lingers only in our memories and our memory cards.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Tree Grows in Pisgah

Mountain Ash, Mt Pisgah, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok

Against all odds, despite the harshness of high altitude elements... driving rains, icy storms, gale force winds... a solitary Mountain Ash grows on a ridge near Mt. Pisgah, along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rooted tenaciously, standing strong, the tree withstands a sudden autumn snow squall, its twisted, stunted form enveloped in the dimming light. In a sense, this hardy soul embodies the spirit of the mountains... in spite of relentless hardships, it endures.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ode to a Classic

Old Truck, Burnsville, NC  © Doug Hickok

The old truck Zephyrus was once a god of the road. Breezing down a two lane highway at the jaw-dropping speed of 35 mph, his new body of freshly painted steel glinting, his spotless chrome trim gleaming, he became the talk of the town. But time passes, like the gusts of the west wind, and  Zephyrus soon blew gently toward the twilight of his winter, becoming obsolete, nearly forgotten, by-passed by the newer, the faster, the more beautiful. Yet, he persisted. Born into a new Spring and thriving once again, he assumed the mantel of a weathered, but colorful character. He stands today, proud, venerable, and wise, the classic symbol of a shining era gone by.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fence on Fire?

Iron Fence, Murray Blvd., Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Not quite. What you actually see here is the warm light of a setting sun suffusing blades of sweetgrass with fiery color. Sweetgrass occurs naturally in the lowcountry, and has been used for centuries by the famous Gullah basket weavers to hand craft their beautiful basketry. Also, many Charlestonians grow ornamental sweetgrass in their gardens.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From the Archives - Swamp Snow

Audubon Swamp Garden, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

It's rare for us to have snow, let alone enough accumulation to make a pretty winter scene. But, back in the late 1980's, we had such a snow. This is an image from that day, offering an unusual look at a southern swamp, though not what you'd expect. There are no alligators, no swarms of mosquitos, nor oppressive layers of stagnant air dripping with ego humbling humidity. Just a pretty snow, etching rare winter beauty.

Trivia note: You may remember a campy horror movie from 1982 called Swamp Thing. Parts of that movie were filmed right here in this very swamp. Yup.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Two for Tuesday - Orbs of a Different Sort

Chinese Lanterns, Crosby's Seafood, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

Winking Sun, Cosmotique Boutique, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Today, I offer a different sort of sunrise, one with a winking blue and gold happy face. I offer this as a warm and affectionate greeting to everyone, and to express my appreciation for all your kind comments. 

And the Chinese lanterns I included to celebrate the advent of the Chinese New Year, which is this Thursday!  2011 will be the Year of the Rabbit (no relation to that wascally wabbit, Bugs Bunny by the way).

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