Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Hood Detail of Old Mercury, Danny's Classic Cars, Elko, South Carolina 
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved


Monday, July 30, 2012

Fiery Beacon

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia National Park, Maine
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Click on image for larger view)

Even on a sun-splashed afternoon, a lighthouse beacon glows like the blacksmith's fiery furnace. Steady and reliable, it blazes regardless of weather or season, guiding boats safely to harbor and home.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Unitarian Church (foreground) and St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston, SC
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

On Sunday's in Charleston, the musical sound of bells tolling in historic churches are part of the quaint ambiance of this charming Southern town.

(These two churches are National Historic Landmarks. They are among the 1400 historically significant structures within 
the Old and Historic
 District of Charleston.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Gem of a Window

Stained Glass Window Detail, Sottile House, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved (Velvia slide film)

Little jewels of light and color... elegant patterns of stained glass illuminate this Queen Anne style mansion in Charleston.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Left Hanging

Tree Swing at the Beach, Botany Bay Plantation, Edisto Island, SC  
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

A rustic swing lolls from an ancient tree by the sea as children's whispers echo on the breeze.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Standing Out at Sea

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

In a place where the sea's blue horizon meets the blue of the Carolina skies,
 this trawler stands out when it sails out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Haute Couture

Window Display and Reflection, King Street, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

How will you wear your pinwheel this summer?

*Fashion tip: display it proudly on your lapel,
 on your hip, in your hair, on your hat,
 or perhaps more daringly
 in the middle of your forehead.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Silky Connection

Gate Scrollwork and Door, Legare Street, Charleston, SC
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

One of Charleston's hallmarks is its decorative ironwork, as seen on this gate. Notice the little cobweb of silky gossamer spun between two adjoining arms of scrollwork... a small example of nature's symbiotic connection with the works of man.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Day

Sunrise and Pineapple Fountain, Waterfront Park, Charleston, South Carolina
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Seeming to dangle from the fingers of a fine fountain, a Carolina Lowcountry
sun rises to begin a new day. In that same spirit, I shall begin a new chapter in the story line of Doug's Photo Blog. Shifting the setting from our adventures out West, I return to the Deep South, where Becky and I have lived for
more than 25 years in Charleston.

Every story should offer a bit of drama and intrigue, and perhaps some comic relief. Hence the title of this week's chapter shall be, "A Return to Charleston...  whereupon the leading characters ride a runaway carriage, stroll along the Battery promenade during a tropical tempest, feast on she crab soup while whistling Dixie, shop for pineapple-shaped chocolates at the Market, collect sea shells by the sea shore (even after getting swamped by a salty rogue wave), fish in backwater creeks 
among cypress knees for stumpknockers,
and dance the Charleston while wearing silly feathered hats." 

P.S.  Please note that Doug's Photo Blog may be a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places, yaks and incidents could be the product of
my imagination or a condition of delirium brought on by eating too much
she crab soup. Any resemblance to actual persons, events,
yaks or locales are likely to be entirely a fluke.
 Thank you.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Go West XXXIX - On Safari?

Giraffe, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on any image for slideshow)

Gorilla, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Elephant, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Zebra, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Rhinoceros, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

King Kong, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Putt Putt Golf, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Becky putts her ball in before I do.
She wins, again.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Go West XXXVIII - Golden Grains

Grain Field, western Kansas  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Although western Kansas seems an endless wave of golden grains, these high plains were once the realm of immense prairie land. Vast herds of buffalo roamed the plains, and prairie grass stretched for hundreds of miles. It was a scene my ancestor James Butler Hickok (aka Wild Bill) was no doubt familiar with, having worked as a stagecoach driver in the territory of Kansas, and later as gunslinging marshal in Hays City and Abilene. But the Old West is gone, along with the unspoiled prairie.

Today the vast lands of Kansas are a bread basket for the world, producing wheat, oats, barley, milo, soybeans, corn, and sunflower seeds for backyard birds,
and binocular-slinging birders, like me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Go West XXXVII - Pueblo Style

Visitor Center Patio, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

The decorative architecture of the Great Sand Dunes National Park Visitor Center accentuates a brilliant blue sky. Its color and design suggests a Native American influence, especially that of the ancient pueblo style.

Pueblos were buildings made of adobe mud and wood, often constructed one on top of the other to form apartment-like villages. 
Spanish explorers in the West were the first to use the term pueblo, which means "town". The Anasazi were thought to have begun building pueblos around 750 - 900 AD, although this Visitor Center is considerably more modern.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Go West XXXVI - Book Cliffs

Clouds and Book Cliffs, Grand Junction, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Afternoon clouds build above Book Cliffs in western Colorado. These cliffs are an arid escarpment of layered rock that span about 200 miles. They are an excellent example of stratified geology, and provide a consummate study model for scientists. The sandstone layers seen here are the remains of an ancient sea that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Yukon during the Cretaceous period, roughly 100 million years ago.

This vast, largely undeveloped desert area contains a protected Wild Horse Range and is one of the few places in the country where bands of Mustangs roam free. The Book Cliffs also harbor coyotes, mountain lions, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and American bison. But alas no yaks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Go West XXXV - Quirky

Garden Sculpture, Boulder, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Boulder has a reputation for being a bit quirky. But that's not a bad thing, especially when imaginative and fun-loving oddities like this are on display in neighborhood gardens.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Go West XXXIV - Silverton

Main Street of Silverton, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

The small town of Silverton began as a silver mining camp in the 1870's. But the past evolves into present and instead of mules and horses tied-up in front of these establishments, pickup trucks and SUVs park. Instead of communicating to the outside world via telegraph, there is satellite TV, and instead of mining for silver, they mine for tourists (the area is now a National Historic District). To add a bit of local color denizens dress-up in period costumes,
playing their part of the Old West.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Go West XXXIII - Chilling Out

Little Blue Lake, Mt. Sneffels Wilderness, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Growing weary of this exhaustingly hot summer?
This alpine lake looks like the perfect place for a cool dip.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Go West XXXII - Tenacity

Sage and Red Rock Formations, Palo Duro Canyon, Texas
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Life is ever persistent,

 taking hold even in the least hospitable places.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Go West XXXI - Fences...

 Property Line Fence, Woodstock, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Protecting people from nature or
protecting nature from people?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Go West XXX - Canyon Senses

Canyon and Tree, near Alberta Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

The shaded canyon wall of Glacial Creek provides a colorful backdrop for a lone conifer tree. This small canyon is just downstream from Alberta Falls (9400 feet elevation) in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 The canyon trail delights one's senses. Echos of roaring cascades reverberate among the rocks. The warbling song of a Ruby Crowned Kinglet sparkles through the air with its trilling melodies, and sun rays warm pine and fir needles, liberating their alpine aromas.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Go West XXIX - East Meets West

Ornate Ceiling, Dushanbe Tea House, Boulder, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Tajik artists hand-painted and hand-carved Persian themed motifs on various parts of a tea house, then shipped the pieces in 200 crates from Dushanbe, Tajikistan to Boulder, Colorado for assembly. The result, after years of construction, was the Dushanbe Tea House.

 Lavish designs decorate this popular restaurant and provide an authentic Eastern atmosphere to dine or drink from its menu of over 100 types of teas. The concept of the tea house is to serve as a gathering place for friends and family to socialize over cups of tea... which is what we did with our good friends in Boulder.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Go West XXVIII - Coke Ovens

Coke Ovens, Colorado National Monument, Colorado
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Nature's marvelous talent for sculpture is put on full display in western Colorado. In Colorado National Monument, water, wind and frost erosion combined with varying degrees of rock hardness have created an unforgettable formation known as the Coke Ovens.

 This row of domed shaped monoliths took millions of years to form and resemble old fashion ovens used to burn coal to make coke. Not the soft drink of course, but one of the base materials used for making iron and steel.

Just beyond the Coke Ovens are the Squaw Fingers. I also see a toaster, flapjacks and a tall multilayered rum cake.
Hmmm, I have suddenly worked up an appetite.
Time to eat.
 I just hope I don't break a tooth.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Go West XXVII - Summer Vacation

Twin Garden Chairs, Houston, Texas  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Summer vacation is the perfect time to relax.
Read a book...
enjoy a cookout...
eat ice cream...
get a suntan...
run through a sprinkler...
sip lemonade... or mint juleps...
or go to a Tex-Mex Restaurant with the owners of these chairs...
(which is what we chose to do!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Go West XXVI - Hollywood Dreams

Fence and Meadow, San Juan Mountains, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

A long wooden fence boarders this montane meadow near Mt. Sneffels Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains. This scene shows a distinctive Colorado character, with its timber wood fence, green aspen groves, dark subalpine forests, white rocky peaks, and cinematic blue sky.

Not far from here are the towns of Telluride and Ridgway. These two towns were originally settled in support of mining operations... for gold, but also zinc, lead and copper. Oddly enough they both also have a Hollywood connection.

In Telluride in 1889, Butch Cassidy (of the infamous Wild Bunch gang of outlaws) robbed his first bank. You may remember his character being glamorized by the dashing actor Paul Newman in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

In Ridgway and the surrounding area, John Wayne's classic western movie True Grit was filmed, with eye-patch and all. Dennis Weaver made his home in Ridgway. This award winning actor played a roll in the long-running western TV series Gunsmoke.

So it is not surprising I made my attempt here at Hollywood stardom by showing off my horse riding skills, my lassoing skills, 
my whooping and hollering skills, my walking bow-legged-with-spurs-on skills, and my talking like a cowboy skills. But alas, Becky gave me a sharp poke in the ribs, waking me up from my daydreaming skills.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Go West XXV - The Old West

Twisted Deadwood, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Becky and I found Palo Duro Canyon a fascinating setting. It is the second largest canyon in the U.S., after the Grand Canyon, and has a similar likeness in geology, some of the formations dating back 300 million years. Hiking along the trails through the canyon, we were struck by its rugged arid beauty, its starkly beautiful terrain of towering mesas, and oddly shaped hoodoos. The American landscape artist Georgia O'Keeffe, who once lived nearby in Amarillo, said of Palo Duro, "It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color."

Palo Duro was the home of prehistoric peoples who hunted giant bison and mammoth. The first Europeans are thought to have passed through on Coronado's expedition to find the "Seven Cities of Gold" in 1541. Palo Duro was also the homeland of pre-horse Apache. It was a major camping ground of Comanches, Kiowas, and Cheyennes, who were eventually driven out by the U.S. Calvary. In 1876 Charles Goodnight drove a herd of cattle in to begin the first commercial ranching operation in the Texas panhandle.

Not far from Lighthouse Rock Trail, I found the twisted remains of an old juniper tree lying on the desert floor. It made an interesting organic foreground for the pyramid-shaped rocks in the background. The scene seemed symbolic of this ancient land which is rich in the geology and history of the Old West. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Go West XXIV - Aspens Astir

Quaking Aspens, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Mountain breezes stir the leaves of aspen trees.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Go West XXIII - Alberta Falls

Alberta Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

May the cold mountain waters of Alberta Falls
 cascade into your room and
cool off your hot summer weekend.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Go West XXII - Alamosa Lamp Shade

Lamp Shade, Motel Room, Alamosa, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

In a motel room in Alamosa, I made a test shot of this lamp shade after cleaning my camera and lens, to make sure they worked properly.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Go West XXI - Texas Fireworks

Field of Wildflowers, Hill Country, Texas  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Today, I offer you the holiday version of Doug's Photo Blog

 with a slightly different look. Hope you enjoy.

In the Hill Country outside of Austin, endless fields of fiery hued wildflowers burst with bloom, presenting a dazzling display.
Happy Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Go West XX - Doughnut Hole

Clouds Above the Alpine Tundra, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

If you read science or science fiction, you are probably familiar with black holes (which swallow-up everything near it) and wormholes (which transport you to other places and times). While ambling aimlessly on the alpine tundra one day, some 12,000 feet above sea level, I happened to spot this cloud formation that reminded me of a doughnut hole. 

Just at that moment, I was mentally transported to a brightly colored doughnut shop where I swallowed-up half a dozen freshly baked doughnuts! It was delicious! It was delightful! I was delirious!

 When I snapped-out of my daydream, I thought to myself sadly, "Oh, if only my dream was true! But, alas, there are no doughnut shops on the tundra."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Go West XIX - Protean Element

Boulder and Reflection, Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Like Proteus the shape-shifting sea god of Greek mythology, water is an ever changing element. This life-sustaining source can be tumultuous like a tsunami, soft and vaporous like a cloud, or tranquil like a perfectly polished mirror.

 Tranquility is the case in this vignette from Rocky Mountain National Park... a distant mountain peak and forested slope are reflected in the clear blue waters which take the shape of Bear Lake.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Go West XVIII - Lily Lake

Lily Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

May your Sunday be restful and relaxing.

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