Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Double-Breasted House

Double Breasted House, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

This Georgian mansion dates from around 1760 and is called the double-breasted house due to the protrusion of its pair of curved bays, seen above, added at a later date. In 1861 Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was headquartered here when the Civil War broke out with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. It has been said that when he first arrived in Charleston, his hair was black, but by the time Charleston fell a few years later, his hair had turned white. It's also been said he kept four mistresses. Hmmmm. One wonders which was the real reason for his premature white. Speculation runs rampant.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Letter Day!

Letters on the Back of a Fork Lift, North Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Today is a red letter day! It is the first and only, er... Wednesday of the week!

 I think a celebration is in order. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bluesy Tuesday - Shrimp Boats

Shrimp Boats on Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok

Shem Creek is a popular place to berth boats of all sorts... sail boats, mid-sized yachts, deep sea fishing vessels, and especially shrimp boats. The shrimping industry is important to the local economy. But times are changing, and shrimpers are feeling the pinch of higher costs, decline in the demand for ocean caught shrimp, and government regulation. Some shrimpers say in 20 years or so, the industry could be sunk. It's true there are fewer shrimp boats tying up at Shem Creek these days. Instead they're being replaced more and more by pleasure craft. Even kayakers make their home here now.

On a brighter note, if you relish seafood, Shem Creek is the waterfront spot to be. Restaurants line the docks on either side, and offer up delicious fare fresh from the deep blue sea.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mysterious Misty Monday - Spooky Live Oaks

Cluster of Live Oak Trees, Daniel Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

A word of caution: do not read this story, it may cause nightmares.
(Ok, you can read it if you dare, but I warned you)

This eerie cluster of live oaks grows hauntingly at the edge of the Wando River, which you can not see at the moment for it is shrouded in mysterious mists. Do not linger here for long. A feeling of disquiet may creep upon you in this pale unpleasant place. Strange and unearthly sounds have been known to echo ominously from the dire woodlands here, their cause unspeakable, unthinkable, unimaginable. Wraithlike shapes fade in and out of the foreboding fog. They are fleeting movements glimpsed from the corner of the eye, raising the hair on one's skin. Fear grips the heart. One cannot breathe. 
One cannot reason.
But, nevertheless, the fearless photographer, his pulse racing, his camera shaking in hand, endures the shuddersome sounds and sinister sights. He tiptoes closer. He finds the angle he seeks. He snaps the shutter, and as quickly as his two feet can carry him, he runs away. 

Later, back in the car, he takes comfort in a peanut butter and  jelly sandwich. 
But wait... what is that... dreadful... sound?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

San Marco Sunday - All That Glitters Is Gold

Ornate Facade, Basilica di San Marco, Venice, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Even the casual observer can not help but marvel at the astounding beauty of the Basilica di San Marco. Just the ornate exterior alone gives one an inkling of just how powerful and prosperous the Venetian Republic once was. Most of the decorative art work seen here was added in the Gothic period, but the basilica itself is much older, dating from the Byzantine era. The winged lion is symbolic of Gospel author Saint Mark. The horse of course is symbolic of the patron saint of long shots, Saint Seabiscuit.

(Photo note: This image was made with a Nikon F3HP SLR body, a Nikkor 100mm f2.5 AIS lens, on Fujichrome Velvia RVP 100 color slide film)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"I'm All Shook Up..."

A Night on King Street, Elvis Style, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

The big red pig hanging over the street marks the location of Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q restaurant, featuring delicious southern style barbecue. 

"...Mm Mm Mm, Oh, Yeah, Yeah!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Zigzag Dunes

Sand Dunes, Carl G. Washburne State Park, Oregon  © Doug Hickok

Rows of transverse sand dunes zigzag across the beach at one of Oregon's many outstanding wild and scenic state parks. In the distance is the 
prominence of Heceta Head, topped by a bank of low hanging coastal fog. This headland was named after a Spanish adventurer who sailed this region in the late 1700's. 
If you're interested in exploring an adventure of your own, a pair of yurts (Mongolian-style tents) are available year round in this state park, offering a truly unique camping experience.
With that said, here's to a fun and adventuresome weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Of Things Past

Abandoned Coal Factory, near Sandusky, Ohio  © Doug Hickok

This deteriorating coal factory, long abandoned, symbolizes the Midwest's Rust Belt, a once thriving industrial region that now belongs to an era gone by. It's also appropriate that I made this image, back in 1986, on Kodachrome 25 slide film, another symbolic relic from the past. Kodak recent ended its brand of the once popular film, which began production in 1935, the same year that American's were "swinging" to the boogie of Benny Goodman, driving Studebakers, and paying 10 cents a gallon for gas.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Willy-Nilly Wednesday - All Over The Map

Old Signs, Yellow Springs, Ohio  © Doug Hickok

"Rhino" Tree, Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok

Broken Tile from Demolished Bank, Old Navy Base, North Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Pots in a Plot, Old Salem, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok

Blue Marlin Lounge, Edisto Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

Storm Clouds Clearing, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Decorative Hinge, Church Door, Covington, Kentucky  © Doug Hickok

Detail of Placard, Krakow, Poland  © Doug Hickok

Car Advertisement and Church, Slovakia  © Doug Hickok

Mozart Concert Advertisement, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Detail of Lobster Buoy, Schoodic Peninsula, Maine  © Doug Hickok

Pallet, Crosby's Seafood, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok

Fish Net Canopy, James Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

Bottom of Swimming Pool Through Water, West Harrison, Indiana  © Doug Hickok

Old Yellow Truck, Beaufort, SC  © Doug Hickok

Beauty Pageant Winner, Window Display, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Throwing caution to the wind, I offer you the Willy-Nilly Wednesday special, an aimless assortment of random, seeming unrelated images to send you every which way through the middle of the week. Have Fun.

(So sorry S Duff Bay B Byrd, I couldn't post anymore images. It was wearing me out.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shadow Play of the Dwarf Palmettos

Detail of a Dwarf Palmetto Frond, Kiawah Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

In the maritime forests of South Carolina's sea islands, dwarf palmettos grow abundantly, especially in the shady understory of live oaks, southern magnolias, and tall pines. Shown above are the shadows of a palmetto frond projected upon the green fronds of another, by soft afternoon sunlight. One can almost envision a pixie capering up the "stairs" of the frond.

Click here for the answer to Mysterious Monday - Whose Hand?

Shout out to Saverio! If we had a prize, you'd win!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mysterious Monday - Whose Hand?

Fabric on Display, The Borgo, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Reaching out from behind a fold of fabric, a hand seeks the light. Whose hand, you may ask, is this? The question looms over us for today's spin on... mysterious Monday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saint Philip's Sunday

Saint Philip's Church, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Founded in the year 1681, Saint Philip's congregation is the oldest in South Carolina. The original church on this site burned, but it was followed by the structure depicted here, which dates from 1836, and is a National Historic Landmark. At one time, this church was one of only two churches in the United States to have served as a range lighthouse, which helped guide ships safely into Charleston Harbor. It towers above the French Quarter, where you will also find the French Huguenot Church, the Dock Street Theatre, 18th century houses, cobblestone streets, and a number of art galleries, restaurants and cafes. Evenings in the Spring are lovely times to stroll through this area, taking in the historic sites, the fragrant smells of the flowering plants, and the clip clop of horse drawn carriages.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Impression of a Sunrise III

Sunrise Over Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Using a quick motion panning the camera, a sunrise over Charleston Harbor becomes an impression of line and color.

(For a look at Impression of a Sunrise I and II, click here.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring In Full Swing

Hidden Fountain Garden, Meeting Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Front Door, King Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Foxgloves, Nathaniel Russell House Garden, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Courtyard Garden, Water Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Early Morning Dogwood, East Bay Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Flowering Crabapple Tree, Washington Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Springtime in Charleston is in full swing by mid-March. Here is a selection of images from the past few years to give you an idea of our city's spring beauty. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day (Read with your best Irish accent)

Irish Harp Gate, Hibernian Hall, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Hibernian Hall is the meeting place for Charleston's Hibernian Society, an Irish charitable organization founded in 1801. Above the ornate entrance gate you'll notice a golden Irish harp, an endearing, centuries-old emblem of Ireland and its lovely people. Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is said to have vanquished the Emerald Isle's pagan gods, using shamrocks as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Although originally a religious holiday, St. Paddy's Day is more secular now, offering a fine excuse to take a day off, dress in green, don a silly hat, dance a jig or fiddle a little... preferably at a local Irish pub.
As the saying goes, "Everyone is Irish on March 17th".
So have fun being "Irish" today.
Erin go bragh!

Supreme Sweet Sixteen Salutations Sequoia...
and a Sensational Celebratory Soiree to you too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ancient Volcanos

Mount Jefferson and The Three Sisters, Cascade Range, Oregon  © Doug Hickok

As dusk settles on the Cascade Range, deep blue and pink hues envelope the peaks and valleys of Mount Jefferson (10,497 ft. elevation) and in the distance, The Three Sisters. As fate would have it, these dormant volcanos are part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, which extends from Northern California to British Columbia, and includes the not so dormant Mount Saint Helens. 
When hiking in the remote and rugged wilderness of Mount Jefferson, beware, for The Three Sisters may have their eye on you.

This post is dedicated to LC and to Vulcan, God of Fire, who dwelt in Italy's active volcano, Mount Etna.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Eyes of March

Ironwork Gate Shadow on Tile, Saint John's Lutheran Church,
Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Tall Ship Portals, Union Pier Terminal, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Tombstone Stonework, Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

On this day, the Ides of March, in the year 44 BC,
Julius Caesar had more than just a bad hair day.
He was assassinated in a ghastly manner by not only his foes, but his friends as well.

Because I don't happen to have any photographs of that event in my archives, I instead present to you my take on the "eyes" of March.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Misty Monday - Communicating with ET?

James B. Edwards Bridge, Daniel Island, SC  © Doug Hickok

Although it may appear that a ray of light is beaming up from this lamp into outer space, in reality, this is not true. It is only a lamppost juxtaposed against a long bridge, cloaked in the mists of early morning. The geometry and perspective of this image create an optical illusion of sorts. So, don't worry everyone. This is not, I repeat, not a covert government operation to communicate with ET... ok?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Family Funday Sunday

Our daughter, Chelsea
(aka Zee Puff Schmooie)

Photo by Mom.

Our son, Adam
(aka cookin' Ochie)

Photo by fashion photographer Billy Graham.

Doug & Becky
(aka Papa Bear and Momster)

Photo by Grammy; smiles by Pop-pop.

Na'vi wannabes
Photo by an Avatar... what!?

Just for fun, here are some family snapshots for today.
Look... you were right!  The face behind that Mardi Gras mask is lovely and adorable!

Here's to enjoying time with your family!
(This post brought to you by Becky.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Cafe near Borgo Pio, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok

Today would be a perfect day to find a tranquil spot... off the beaten path.

Relax... pull up a chair and savor a fruit smoothie with me, Roman style.

Friday, March 11, 2011

For Cloud Lovers - Clouds Like Wild Fire

Clouds at Sunset, Oregon Dunes NRA, Oregon  © Doug Hickok

As the day ends, a cluster of clouds blowing inland from the sea is torched by the light of the setting sun, just as they scurry dramatically over a ridge of grassy dunes.

May your weekend be as breathtaking as clouds ablaze with sunset's fire.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three for Thursday - Reflections in a Ballet Theatre Window

Ballet Shoe, Charleston Ballet Window Display,
Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

 Ballerina, Charleston Ballet Window Display, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Ballet Dancers, Charleston Ballet Window Display,
Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Illustrated here, in these three images, is a little dose of Charleston culture and style. The Charleston Ballet Theatre, a professional dance company, stages various performances, both modern and traditional, throughout the year. Additionally, it features a school for aspiring dancers. Reflected in the Theatre window is a yellow Charleston single house, the William Akien House (circa 1810). This National Historic Landmark is a prestigious venue for weddings, dinners, and other special events, and was featured in the 2004 film, The Notebook

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday - Angel of Alms

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok

Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, traditionally begins a time of prayer, fasting and alms giving for Christians around the world.

If you are in the frame of mind to give alms this Lenten season, please take a moment to visit the site of one of our fellow photographers, Sidney.

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