Friday, August 31, 2012

Your Face

Face Shaped Ironwork, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

I took a fancy to your face...

the beautiful curves, the strength, the inner glow...
the uniqueness of you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Old Car Door Handle, Danny's Classic Cars, Elko, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
 (Click on image for larger view)

I try to imagine all the people whose hands have grasped the handle of this old car through its long life time. If one believes in six degrees of separation, the "friend of a friend" concept where everyone is linked by six steps or fewer, then I am connected to someone who knew one of these people...

and you are connected too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cloth Hall

Cloth Hall, Old Town Krakow, Poland  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
 (Velvia slide film)

This elegant facade is the entry to Krakow's Cloth Hall. It has been the center of various trade in the old market square since the Renaissance. It is believed to be the oldest shopping mall still in use.

If only Walmart looked this good, the world would be a touch more stylish.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tideland Tale

Tidal Marsh, Edisto Island, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

As the soft light of dawn rises, high tide fills this marshland on Edisto Island.  There are many sea islands along the South Carolina coast. In the novel Prince of Tides, Lowcountry author, Pat Conroy, tells a tragic tale of the ebb and flow of the Wingo family, who live on a fictitious sea island called Melrose Island. For movie buffs, the book was made into a critically acclaimed motion picture, nominated for Best Picture (not to be confused with this picture, which is not a best picture, but a nice picture nonetheless).

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Purging of the Land

North Fork Toutle River Valley, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

Reminiscent of a Dantesque landscape, shaped by purgatorial smoke, ash and fire, what once was a densely forested river valley was dramatically 
purged by the violent eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Although it will take many lifetimes to restore this valley to its former lushness, life is slowly, persistently returning, offering hope for the return of a renewed paradise among the mountains of the Cascade Range.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship and Dolphin, Charleston Harbor, SC
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Click on image for larger view)

How often has nature been a model for human endeavor? When prehistoric peoples first watched dolphins plying the freedom of ancient seas, it no doubt inspired them to one day do the same. We have progressed far since that time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beyond the Known

Car Port Reflection, Harrison, Ohio  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Our physical world consists of myriad universes, ranging from the infinitely small to the infinitely large... from the known to the not yet known. What lies beyond the known may exceed our wildest imaginings.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flash Mob

Garden Statue Shop, Augusta, Georgia  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Following instructions given in a viral email, 
a sudden gathering of lawn ornaments pose at a local nursery.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Summer Veil

Boats and Fog, Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Click on image for larger view)

Early morning mist drapes a thin veil over Mount Desert Island, partly concealing boats moored safely in harbor. Along the coast of Maine, fog can occur with regularity, at any time of year, even on warm summer days in August. This is the view from a hilltop garden that I featured in a post earlier this month.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bridge Wednesday - Leaning Toward the Weekend

Bike Rider, Ravenel Bridge, Mount Pleasant, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

You may ask, "Why Bridge Wednesday?" Well, Wednesday marks the midpoint of the work week for many people. And a bridge works nicely as a metaphor for linking one point to another... in this case connecting the early part of the week with the later. Combine these two with a biker tilting around a turn on a bridge, and presto!, I have us collectively leaning toward the weekend.
Ha! Obscure perhaps, but surely symbolic.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simple Gifts

Horse and House, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
 (Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

A curious horse gives me an equine stare at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Realizing I have no feed bag to offer, he soon loses interest, leaving me to admire this fine limestone and clapboard house of simple construction.

Shakers represent the epitome of simple living. They are famous for plain and practical furniture design. They are also noted for music of unadorned melody, and a "shaking" style of dance, which were central to their communal way of life and faith. One of the best know Shaker hymns is "Simple Gifts". If you ever heard the tune, you would probably recognize it immediately... 
it was incorporated into Aaron Copland's ballet Appalachian Spring.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Stillness at Dawn

The Billie B, Bennett's Point, Bear Island, SC
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

A stillness at dawn,
when sky and water reflect untarnished calm,
and silence fills the untroubled air.

Life has yet to stir,
but light and color rouse the new day,
with a promise of hope and expectation.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Antebellum Mansions, Waterfront Battery, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

On this date you came ashore,
 beginning your journey in this wondrous world.
Although your ancestors came from islands afar,
from the Pearl of the Pacific,
 you have enjoyed in recent years a jewel of another sort
 here in the Lowcountry.
We wish you a day of happiness, dear friend, and many more...

Hau'oli la hanau, Kathy!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Mountain Tunnel, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
 (Click on image for larger view)

I emerged from a cocooning darkness,

into a brilliant light,
entering a new life,
a new existence...
feeling it had happened before,
and would happen again...

Friday, August 17, 2012

True Grit

Boneyard Beach, Botany Bay, Edisto Island, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

Years of beach erosion and salty ocean spray have transformed a sea island forest into a graveyard of twisted and fallen timber. What's more, this image was made on slide film, the grain of which adds to the grittiness of the seascape.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cautionary Tale

Window Display, Liquor Store, Krakow, Poland  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

I found this statue in a liquor store window, an old fellow grasping a bottle of booze, c
lothes wrinkled and torn, tottering unsteadily in a drunken stooper. Hmmm... I don't know about you, but advertising like this seems to warn rather than promote.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Let Sleeping Lions Lie

Green Lion and Gate, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Wise words to live by.

Lions are known to sleep a lot...
they need rest from their vigorous hunting activities.
 They are also known to sleep in front of homes and public buildings...
 they make intimidating guardians.
But lions are best known for their fierce temper...
So it is best to let sleeping lions lie,
 even if they are only made of stone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dog Days of August

Rural Road, near Hollywood, South Carolina  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

A pick-up truck drives slowly along a country road early one hazy morning. Long, hot, sweltering days... these are the dog days of August here in the lowcountry.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Old Storm Door

Screen Door, Old Farm House, Village of Lewisburg, Ohio
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

A weathered screen comes loose from a storm door to reveal a second door within. Fortunately the screen has been repaired since I made this photograph, but I like this image as a glimpse of the old farm house's rough charm. This house in Ohio has been resilient over time... it is more than 150 years old... that's older than my straw hat and overalls.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Through the Ages

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

In the foreground weathered steps and columns of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina reveal the workmanship of ancient hands, while the dome of Santi Luca e Martina, and a statue on top of Il Vittoriano fill-in the background.

The Roman temple was begun in 141 AD by Emperor Antoninus Pius and dedicated to his deified wife, but converted into a Roman Catholic church in the 7th century. During the Renaissance it became the headquarters for the College of Chemists and Herbalists.

The church dedicated to Saint Martina dates from 625 AD, but in 1577 was given to a group of painters, sculptures and architects to house their academy.

The Victor Emmanuel Monument (Il Vittoriano) was completed in 1935 to honor Italy's first president. It features the statue of Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory on her chariot. Being one of the tallest buildings in Rome, the monument is also one of the most visible.

The Roman Forum is literally a timeline of human endeavor stretched out in stone for all to see and admire.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Drawbridge Catwalk

Ashley River Bridge, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

A catwalk leads to the drawbridge operator's house at twilight

 on the old Ashley River Bridge.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Antique Chandelier

Chandelier Shadow on Door, Old Farm House, Village of Lewisburg, Ohio
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

An antique chandelier casts its shadow on a farm house dining room door,
just in time for a spot of afternoon tea and crumpets.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Humming in the Rain

West Prong Little Pigeon River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

On a misty, rainy afternoon, a long fallen tree points the way to the West Prong Little Pigeon River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Rainfall in the park averages up to 85 inches per year, making it one of the wettest places in the U.S.  It is no wonder the Smokies have the greatest variety of plant species of any temperate climate! ... a significant reason for being declared
 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To take this photograph, I held an umbrella over my head with one hand while trying to steady my camera with the other. I did this as I sang Beethoven's Ode to Joy... well, sort of. Because I could not remember all the words,
 I mostly hummed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Touch of England

Thuya Garden, Seal Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Pavilions, lawns, rows of annual and perennial flowers planted in semi-formal style might indicate a garden in the English countryside. But surrounding this garden are the Maine woods of Mount Desert Island. The 140 acre paradise near Seal Harbor once belonged to a Boston landscape architect, but the land was eventually donated in trust to the residents of the island for public enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Look Up!

Lantern and Ceiling, Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved (Velvia Slide Film)

When entering the Great Market Hall in Budapest, visitors are invited to explore 
three floors of stalls selling a variety of goods... meats, pastries, caviar, deep-fried treats called langos, fish, garlic, cucumber pickles, palinka (fruit brandy) and of course hot red paprika.  The bright arrays of treats may delight the eyes, but one must look up to discover this invitingly warm and ornate ceiling. This month the market will specialize in foods from Thailand as part of its National Gastro Days program.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back Dunes

Back Dunes, Beachwalker County Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved  (Velvia slide film)

Behind sea island dunes, hardy plants and animals thrive in a hot, dry and salty environment. Inkberry, one of these plants, forms a colony rooted in the sand. Tracks of a ghost crab weave through this miniature forest toward the beach.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Trapezoidal Stairway

Stairway, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Near exhibits of cutting-edge art, a stairway provides geometry
 for abstract style photography.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Finding Little Treasures - Birthday Edition

Lamb's Ear and Rocks, Boulder, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

The velvety softness of Lamb's Ear thriving in a field of granite stones would seem improbable, but the improbable often becomes the probable when talking about Mother Nature. Finding this little treasure near our friend's house in Boulder was pure delight. The Lamb's Ear is likely a naturalized escapee from a neighborhood garden. Coincidentally, Lamb's Ears and rocks are two of my wife's favorite things. Which is why she chose this image for today's post, because today is her birthday!

Happy Birthday Becky!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Forest Realm

Tree on an Island, Crabtree Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Wood sprites and dryads,
Satyrs and water nymphs,
Fauns and elves,
Oberon and Puck...
a vision such as this conjures an imaginary realm of faeries
 who frolic among forest and falls.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Midas Touch

Portico at Night, Pantheon, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia Slide Film)

Columns of the ancient Pantheon
, the color of aging florins, adorn the Piazza della Rotonda on a golden Roman night, where everything seems transformed by the touch of Midas.

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