Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ferny Woods

Ferns and Rhododendron, Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view.)

Along the mountain trail to the top of Craggy Gardens, hikers pass through thick groves of rhododendron and a forest floor lush with ferns. But be alert for little creatures that scurry beneath the ferns, like fairies, gnomes and trolls... oh my!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yin and Yang

Shutter Clasps, Elliott Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

Two shutters and clasps mirror one another as evening light illuminates opposite tones.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bastion of Light

Arched Arcade, Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest, Hungary  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

Early morning light shines through these east facing archways 
spotlighting an arcade in Fisherman's Bastion.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Misty Monday - Outcrop

Rocky Outcrop, Ship Harbor, Acadia National Park, Maine  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view.)

Using the imagination, it is not unusual to see
 anthropomorphic shapes in rocky outcrops... perhaps the profile of an aquiline face, for instance. Or something completely different like a proboscis monkey or a pop tart.
 Oh, and speaking of prominent noses, I turn 55 today!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Evening on the Creek

Boats, Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view.)

Shem Creek boats glow in the violet light of twilight.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Today, Eye See Red II

Handle, Church Door, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

I am not mad, just happy to see red.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lion Fountain

Lion Fountain, Courtyard Garden, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

A glimpse into a courtyard garden reveals a small fountain

 and the calming sound of falling water.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunset Surf

Surf at Sunset, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Sunset colors surf the waves at the edge of America.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Large Rock, Tanawha Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

A boardwalk trail leading down from Grandfather Mountain offers spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains,
 except for that big rock obstructing the view!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Altered View

Mills House, Meeting Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film)

Just as tourists view Charleston differently than the locals, these tour bus windows reflect an altered view of downtown Charleston.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Misty Monday - Apparitions

Black Mountains, Near Burnsville, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Mists rise above verdant mountain valleys 
like apparitions.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ornate Handles

Decorative Door Handles, The Saracen, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

Like the scrolls of clefs on sheet music, these ornate door handles are a melody of charm, enticing the visitor to enter.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Looped Ropes

Red Ropes, Tall Ship, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view.)

Learning the ropes enables you to live a well ordered

 life on tall ships at sea.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Theater Mask, Riviera Theater, King Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film.)

A close-up of this beautiful mask on the side of the Riviera Theater, two stories above street level, shows details not seen from cars and pedestrians passing below. Often it is the task of the photographer (or writer, or actor, or sculptor, etc.) to show an aspect of the world around us not commonly seen. The textures of this sculpture reveal how much skill went into the making of this mask. And this in turn gives me insight into the work involved in the making of many things I pass each day. If beauty is in the details, then there is much beauty to be admired in the world. We simply have to take time to notice.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Babbling Brook

Mountain Creek, Tanawha Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Gurgle, murmur, plash... 

imagine the soft soothing sounds of a mountain stream.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Laughing Gull, Clouds and Jetty Ruins, Folly Beach, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Gliding over the sandy beach,

 a Laughing Gull looks down upon the ruins of an old jetty. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Handel was not a Handle

Yellow Wheel Cart Handle, Old Depot, Lewisburg, Ohio  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

The composer George Frideric Handel, as you may know, was not a handle. He was not a yellow wheel cart handle, nor a caboose door handle, nor a coffee cup handle. Neither was he a shopping bag handle, nor a sink faucet handle, nor a tree saw handle. He was not, as most people think, an umbrella handle. And he was most definitely not a sauce pot handle. No, George Frideric Handel was simply Handel.
 Handle it.
Thank you.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Misty Monday - In a Fog

Man in the Fog, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC  ©  Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Seemingly lost and looking for direction, a solitary man peers into a thick coastal fog in Charleston Harbor.
Luckily his wife was nearby pointing him the right way.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rambling Time

Hiking Trail, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

It is that time of year when the urge to travel is strong. The urge to vacate work. The urge to start a long road trip, to visit family and friends, to hike a trail, to savor the beauty of mountains, to hear the warble of bird song.
Yes, it is rambling time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Shrimp Boat Reflections, Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

The word of the day is chaos. It is a noun that means disorder or lack of organization. The word derives form the Greek meaning of chasm or abyss, but was extended to mean utter confusion by the 1600's.

In Greek mythology, the personification of the word, Chaos, refers to the void preceding the creation of the universe. Ovid described it as "a rude and undeveloped mass."

Chaos is also the genus name of a giant Amoeba.

In science and math, chaos can refer to randomness, or the lack of intelligible pattern.

Chaos Theory applies to many fields of science and mathematics. It attempts to explain how the most subtle influences can have significant impacts on system dynamics. In general it shows the difficulty of long term predictions, say for example in weather patterns or baseball scores.

So my picture today perhaps incapsulates some of these ideas.

Oh, and chaos often refers to the state of my hair when I first wake-up in the morning.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Methuselah Tree

Angel Oak, John's Island, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

A short drive from Charleston is, I think, the most underrated park in our area. It contains the venerable Angel Oak tree, which is estimated to be the oldest living organism East of the Mississippi River (at 1400 years old!). Walking beneath the undulating branches of this impressive tree gives you an indelible impression of just how large and ancient it is.

Speaking of impressions, here are a few photography links for your weekend viewing...

Enjoy these amazing aerial abstracts...

and these satellite images...

and finally, from above the earth to beneath the seas, check out these watery images from a master of the genre.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Colonial Lake

Tall Walker, Colonial Lake, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

To continue park week, the narrow greenspace and walkway around Colonial Park offers a perfect setting for walkers and runners who seek the pleasant evening air at sundown. Large oak trees and palmettos frame Charleston single houses which line the lake.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Old Navy Base

Pavilion Canopy, Riverfront Park, Old Navy Base, North Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Located on the Cooper River, the pavilion at the Riverfront Park offers an ideal setting for outdoor concerts. A huge canopy overhangs an open space creating a striking venue for music performances. The park was developed after the navy yard closed in the 90's so that the property would not fall into disuse. In addition to the concert pavilion, a playground, a military memorial, art installations, fishing piers, boardwalks, and plenty of wide greenspaces are included in the park.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Washington Slept Here!

President Washington Statue, Washington Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Yes, it is true! President George Washington traveled to Charleston for a visit during his second term 
(one of our original tourists?). In May of 1791 Washington spent a week in town, and made quite an impression on the citizens of Charleston. They held a big party for him, because galas and festive events are a tradition here.

Years later, a park was dedicated to Washington in the heart of the city, and a statue erected in honor of our first president.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Waterfront Park Morning

Ornate Bench, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

This week I wish to feature several of the parks and greenspaces in and around Charleston. I do this as a dedication and thanks to the folks at the Parks Commission, whose vision, development and maintenance of our beautiful parks grace

 and accent our surroundings.

Charleston's Waterfront Park faces the harbor and offers splendid views of sunrises. It has two fountains, one of them being the Pineapple Fountain,
 shown here in the background.

This ornate bench is a variation on the Charleston Battery Bench, a style of outdoor seating unique to Charleston. The design dates from the 1800's, and features a cast iron motif of Lowcountry flora and fauna. At that time, the Carolina Parakeet, shown here upside down, was a common sight in the coastal plains, and was famous for appearing in large colorful flocks. The Seminole indians called it pot pot chee, "head of yellow."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Early Morning

Saint Michael's Church and Broad Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

An early Sunday morning view down Broad Street shows how quiet a busy tourist town like Charleston can be.
 This peaceful time of day is my favorite time of day for photography.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Arch of Titus, Roman Forum, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

1,930 years ago, the military exploits of Roman Emperor Titus were recounted in stone on this handsome arch, which spans the Via Sacra in the Roman Forum. In spite of the many centuries since then, it still stands strong. It was perhaps the most attractive of all triumphal arches, and served as a model for many that followed including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

It was during the rein of Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus that the Colosseum was finally completed, and Mount Vesuvius famously erupted, burying the city of Pompeii.

When I was a kid, I had a pet frog named Titus Andronicus.
 He croaked quotes from Shakespeare.
 Oh, he was a piece of work!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Arabian Nights?

Arcade Arches, Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

This image may conjure visions from The Arabian Nights, perhaps as a setting for an Ali Baba or Aladdin story. But it is actually a detail of Moorish architecture from historic Fox Theater, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Completed in 1929, The Fox was designed as a Shriner's Temple but later converted into an opulent movie theater. These days it provides a popular venue for performing artists. This year it will feature stars such as Il Volo, Norah Jones, The B-52s, Ringo Starr, and Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.

For a little weekend entertainment, I have included below three photography links that I hope you will enjoy.

This girl seems to levitate like a magic carpet.

Try this for self-assignment photography.

Finally, a collection of masterworks by Marc.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Light

Alleyway, East Bay Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Today marks the 26th wedding anniversary for me and Becky,
my spouse, friend and blog editor.
 In walking our path together these last 26 years,
she has been the light of my life,
and the joy of my soul.
 Simply put,
 I loved her then
I love her now
and I'll love her for eternity.

(I, Becky, don't think this needs to be edited at all!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kicking Trends

Detail of Outdoor Mural, Auburn, Alabama  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

If you step
to the beat of a different drummer,
or walk
the path less traveled,
you are the individual

who sees the trends
and rethinks them,
making your own impression.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Early Spring Mountainside, Tanawha Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

I have searched high and low,
East and West,
North and South,
in my unending quest for the perfect yodeling spot.
This outcrop of lichen covered rock
overlooking early spring blooms of Serviceberry
high above the Blue Ridge Parkway
certainly seemed a good candidate.

Yodeling works best at an open spot like this
where all the mountains and valleys can hear your echo,
and where all the birds and bees can flee for cover.

Yet this day was too windy and cold
 for a good old fashion yodel.
So my quest continues ever onward
for the perfect yodeling spot.

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