Thursday, February 28, 2013

China Grove?

Bamboo Forest, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC 
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Soaring poles of bamboo grow thickly together to form a small grove, not in the panda populated forests of China, but in the semi-tropical gardens of 
Magnolia Plantation. Somewhere in the background I think I hear the music of 
the Doobie Brothers!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter Menu

Pool Side Tables, near Harrison, Ohio  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

On the menu today... fresh snow,
served soft and chilled.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Earth's Flux

Monument Rocks, Kansas  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

In the least expected places, one may find monumental sights, such as this cluster of "chalk pyramids" that rise above the tall grass prairie of Kansas. Formed 80 million years ago, these layers of limestone are full of small fossil shells from when this area was an ancient inland sea. These formations are a reminder that in the big geologic picture, our Earth is in constant flux.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Misty Monday - Pride in the Mist

The Schooner Pride, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

The Schooner Pride was constructed to replicate an old coastal tall ship, the kind that populated Charleston Harbor during the 18th century. Here it sits quietly on still waters, all evidence of the modern world veiled in a thick morning mist.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Skeletonic Ketch

Ship's Ribbing, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston, SC
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

On display at Charles Towne Landing is the skeleton of a ship's hull. A completed and working version of the ship, called the Adventure, is a floating classroom docked nearby. It resembles a 17th century coastal trader, a ketch that would have carried provisions and even livestock in its hull during the era of the early English colony of Charles Towne.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wave Dancing

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

Dancing shapes of color

 waltz on the wavy waters of Shem Creek.

Friday, February 22, 2013

An Original Olympian

Detail, Quilt of Origins Sculpture, Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Georgia
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

To honor the ancient origins of the Olympic Games, a stylized sculpture of a Greek Olympian was created for Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park. 

His arm shadow falls on one of the quilt motifs which recur throughout 
Centennial Park. The quilt was used as a symbol of harmony and union during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. During the opening ceremonies the participating nations gathered in "patches" to form a large quilt.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Tourist in My Own Town

Middleton Place Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

I visited Middleton Place Plantation last weekend on a photo shoot. I must have looked like a tourist hunting for pictures. While peeking around in the plantation stable yard, a docent noticed me and walked over. She said that if I was interested in the Charleston area she could recommend a photography website she tells everyone about. She said it was called! 

My jaw dropped. Then I told her, "hey, that's me!"

A little embarrassed, I thanked her, and told her she was awesome. I wanted to hug her, but I had to maintain at least some semblance of professional decorum.

Now, back to the photo... this old oak has a colony of green plants growing on its limbs. This is not part of the tree, but an air plant called resurrection fern. It's normally brown and curled-up, but after it rains the fronds come to life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

East Meets Deep South

Bald Cypress Trunk and Bamboo Reflections, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

It's not often one sees a Southern cypress swamp surrounded by 

tall stands of Asian bamboo. Yet this is the case at Magnolia Gardens, 
where the bamboo was introduced.
It is a botanical instance of East meets Deep South.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hands On

Handwrought Hand Prints, Auburn, Alabama  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

This handiwork of handprints made by hands 
pressed on a wall make a handsome handcrafted image to contrast with yesterday's handrail. 

(I just learned there are 174 words in the English language that begin with the word "hand". To celebrate this handy discovery, I'm going to ring my handpicked handbells while doing a handstand until the handmaidens learn how to handle the handclasps on their handbags and retrieve their handkerchieves!)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Below the Archway

Hand Rail and Gateway Arch, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial,
Saint Louis, Missouri  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

At the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, I laid down on steps below a hand rail and aimed my camera upward. To my delight I found an intersection of lines that made an abstract image worthy of monochrome treatment.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Monarch in Shadow

Detail, Matthias Church, Budapest, Hungary  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved 
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view)

A panoply of curves, arches and florals congregate while a monarch peers from the Gothic shadows of Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thou Art Lichen To a Fence

Lichen on Rail Fence, Newfound Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Click on image for larger view)

Lichen grows on a timber fence high in the Appalachian mountains... 
behind the fence, a rise of smooth granite.

(Look Laura, a tree and a rock!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Old Grasses

Gravel Pit Mound and Grasses, near Harrison, Ohio
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Fresh snow
 provides a soft backdrop for a gathering of old grasses.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Arching Oaks

Garden Lake, Charles Towne Landing State Park, Charleston, SC
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
 (click on image for larger view)

Charles Towne Landing is the original location of the English settlement of Carolina. The present day park includes lush gardens and glassy lakes. 
Vaulting limbs of live oaks reach toward each other as they reflect in the lake's mirrored surface.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Centuries Ahead of His Time

2nd Century Roman Statue, Capitoline Hill, Rome, Italy
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

God of the River Nile

 tweeting on his smart stone.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Victorian Reflections

Historic Houses along Colonial Lake, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
 (Click on image for larger view)

Reflections of Victorian homes shimmer on Colonial Lake

 as the golden hues of evening light linger.

Monday, February 11, 2013


The Needles, Cannon Beach, Oregon Coast  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

Sharp teeth penetrate a moody sky. Rocky pinnacles, called the Needles, 

provide pointed subjects for an overcast day along Oregon's Cannon Beach.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Early Spring at Charles Towne

Red Maples and Split Rail Fence, Charles Towne Landing, Charleston, SC
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Our warm winter temperatures have brought out early spring in the Lowcountry. These red maples are sending out their catkins, soon to become little helicopter seeds which spin from their limbs to the ground.

This scene is from Charles Towne Landing State Park, the original site of the English settlement of 1670. A decade later, the frustrated settlers moved from this hot, mosquito infested inland area to the breezy peninsula where today's 

city of Charleston thrives.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Albino Alligator, South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, SC
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

If you've ever wondered what an alligator does all day, this would be the answer... lurk quietly just below the murky surface of dark water swamps, waiting patiently for its next meal.

This rare albino individual is on display at our local aquarium. Its skin is so sensitive that it must be kept indoors, away from the sun. In the wild he probably would not have survived to adulthood. He is not camouflaged
 like his pigmented brothers.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Local Wildlife

Yard Ornament and Fresh Snow, near Harrison, Ohio  
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Snowy Egret

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Bicyclist and Wingate Sandstone, Colorado National Monument, Colorado
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Dwarfed by sheer walls of desert sandstone, a lone cyclist tests his endurance by biking along a national park road which eventually snakes up the valley to the canyon rim. 

The reddish Wingate Sandstone formation is composed of ancient sand dunes dating from about 200 million years ago. It towers above the valley along a fault line to form immense cliffs throughout Colorado National Monument. 

On this particular day, we spotted a pair of Peregrine Falcons flying along the cliffs where they had made their aerie on a rocky ledge.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bridge Wednesday - No End in Sight

Wando River Bridge, Daniel Island, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Ghostly fog shrouds the concrete columns of an expressway bridge,
with no end in sight.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Ornate Gate, Ansonborough, Charleston, SC  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Scrolls embellish a gate to a colonnaded mansion in
Charleston's Historic District.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Winter Camellias

Sasanqua Camellias, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Winter camellias bloom amid a cascade of Spanish Moss in the gardens of Magnolia Plantation.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Watch

Statue, Prato della Valle, Padua, Italy  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film. Click on image for larger view.)

The statue of Antenore of Troy, the legendary founder of Padua (according to Virgil), keeps steady watch over the domes of the Monastery of Saint Justina (founded in the 5th century). Justina of Padua was martyred in 304 AD, and later became venerated as a patron saint of the city. 
She was a young lady
 regarded for her chastity.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


 Trimmed Sycamore Trees, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Plant, animal or mineral?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happy

OK Cafe Sign, Atlanta, GA  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Everything's going to be OK.

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