Category Archives: My Photography

a selection of the photographs I am most proud of taking

This state park is a hidden gem in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. It offers hiking trails of 1.5 miles and 5 miles in addition to camp site picnic areas and all located along the beautiful Edisto River which is the longest black water river in the US. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon hike there and I would highly recommend this area to anyone who loves the outdoors like we do.

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October in Charleston Images from a Sunday Afternoon

The road less travelled, Meggett, Younges Island and Edisto SC

One of my favorite things to do is to just get in the car and see where the road takes us.  Yesterday, on the way to Edisto Beach it took us through a town called Meggett, SC onto Younges Island and through Adams Run.  I had heard of these places but had not seen them.  Amazingly, they are less than an hour from where I live, maybe just 40 minutes away.  Someone told us that Meggett had little shops and things but when we drove into town, there was a post office and a doctor’s office,  we continued down the road thinking they were further ahead and a minute later we went over a bridge and were on Younges island.  Younges island, SC is the kind of place that has been yet undiscovered by out of staters, it’s a rural sea island with beautiful marshes and few houses and a lot of land for sale.  It is also one of the sea islands where the Gullah and Geechee people live.  They are the freed slaves who originally came from  the West Indies and make the famous sweet grass baskets sold in our area.  I feel certain that in another 10 years or so, it will be found and developers will arrive.  Since I moved here nearly 15 years ago, I have seen these changes first hand.  Our town of Summerville was still fairly rural back then and since has turned into a suburban paradise haha.  We have a CVS or Walgreens on every corner along with a grocery store every 3 square miles.  There were 3 grocery stores in the whole town when we moved there and 2 pharmacies.  We drove to the end of Younges Island where we found a huge shipyard which seemed out of place.  There are some pretty existing homes that are just crying out for renovation.  One that caught my eye had a name, the gate said Wave Crest and when we looked it up on Zillow the asking price was 2 million even without the renovations. It has 1.2 acres and is directly on the water (Edisto River), right at the end where it goes into the sea at Edisto Beach.   These are some of the pictures I took on Younges yesterday. 

wavecrest214younges wavecrestyounges boatinyardyounges heronmarsh14 heronmarsh214 liveoaksyounges pinkhouseyounges

 

It’s a place where time seems to have been standing still.  This old gas station/farm supply store appears to be intact and original to the last date it was used which appears to be around 1950, complete with the original tin advertising signs and silo.  Very interesting and I hope it stays exactly the way it is, I would hate to see that much history disappear.

 bellvinesyounges siloyounges dekalbsign farmequipyounges oldgasstationyounges oldgasstationyounges214 oldgastationyounges214a shellpumpyounges marshedisto

 

After that we went on to Edisto Beach, this is my favorite beach in the area because it is still so rural and undiscovered that it is rarely crowded.  It was my favorite kind of day there, slightly overcast, breezy, mild, refreshing.  It also has piles of shells.  It is located south of Charleston and Isle of Palms in the part of the coast just as it curves out and east into the ocean so I think that is why the tide deposits so many shells there as opposed to the other beaches north of the city.  There are just piles and piles of them everywhere.   You can walk seemingly forever along the water listening to the waves crashing.  We took our dog Lily with us and let her off the leash and she had a ball, running up and down the dunes, she even chased a bird for the first time in her life.

 wavesplash14 beachsky214 birdflying14 lilybeach14 lilybeach214 lilychasingbird14 pierwaves14 pierwaves14a shell214 wavecurl14 wavecurl14a wavecurl14b waves2 waves14 waves14a wavesky14

This sea gull has the right attitude, the sign may say keep off but what is life without a few risks???

 seagullkeepoff

On the way home, we drove through Adams Run, SC.  Much like Meggett, there wasn’t much there besides a post office and this little restaurant we passed and a lot of signs with land for sale on them.  It’s located just next to Ravenel, SC which is slightly larger and a bit closer to Charleston.  

 adamsrunpostoffice adamsrun adamsrun2

It was a very relaxing, rejuvenating day.  It’s easy to get caught up in your day to day life of going to work and keeping up with your home and other errands and forget to just take a day for yourself and do what you want and not worry about the ‘must do, list”.

Sunday Drive near the Edisto River, SC Gallery

Once again, I felt lucky to live where I do, it’s such a beautiful place!  I was really surprised and honored to see the graves of these civil war veterans way out in the country.

I dreamed of Antietam

When I was in my mid 20’s I had a very vivid dream.  Let me clarify by saying I have pretty vivid dreams all the time, they are almost like movies, I even know how to “Lucid dream” where you can control what happens in a dream, I can rewind and start over, do things differently and end up with many different  outcomes.  But I digress, lucid dreaming can and will be a post all on it’s own.  The dream I am going to tell you about I had 20 some odd years ago was so detailed and vivid that I never forgot it, I even wrote down the details in a journal because I didn’t understand at the time what it meant or what it was about.  It was not a recurrent dream, I only had it the one time.

In this dream, I was running down a beautiful lush green hill, I felt I was running for my life.  My heart was racing and I felt an extreme rush of adrenaline.  I seemed to be in a small group of men, there were just a scattered few of us running down this hill and I could see them running too in front and on the sides of me.  The thing I remembered most of all was how amazingly GREEN the trees and grass were, I even had that thought as I was running even though I was terrified.  “My god, everything is so green!” At one point, I looked over my shoulder and saw a group of men in dark blue uniforms coming after me/us.   Just after I turned my head to the front again,  I felt an extremely hot feeling in my upper right shoulder-blade.  All of the sudden I had the realization, I had been shot.  I remember thinking first “oh my god I’ve been shot” and then “this really doesn’t hurt that much, it’s just really hot, I thought it would hurt more than this” and that is the last thing I remember, I woke up. 

At that point in my life, I really didn’t know much about history at all, it was a subject I cared little for in school and became interested in much later on.  It may have even been this dream that started my interest.  I am ashamed to admit that at that age I couldn’t have even told you what years the civil war occurred during and I believed it was only about slavery.  I found out years later that it was originally about taxation and then slavery.  Fast forward some years, I kept thinking about this dream off and on and had even told friends about it mainly because it was so realistic and with such vivid detail.  One day, I was reading something about the civil war and read that the uniform colors were dark blue for the union (known at the time as the Federals) and grey for the confederacy.  So this made me think the dream had to do with the civil war since the men chasing me down the hill were wearing union colors.  Some more years later, I was doing some internet searching about civil war and saw some pictures online of Antietam.  What I recognized in the pictures were the lush green hills leading down to a bridge.  That green again, just like my dream.  I started reading about the battle.  The more I read the more fascinated and drawn to this story I became.  I learned that the Battle of Antietam, which is named for the creek that crosses the 8 + mile battlefield area, is really in Sharpsburg, MD and took place 9-17-1862.  It was and still is to this very day the deadliest day in US history with more American deaths than even 9-11-2001 or D-day in 1941.  There were a total of 3,654 men killed that day with another 19,063 wounded, captured or missing between both sides. Source:   http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/antietam.html?tab=facts

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg.  With a friend I know actor James Eadline with whom I was visiting for the weekend which I had done before and he graciously drove me to the battlefield park so I could finally see it in person . When I arrived there I had a feeling in my chest that was heavy and made it hard to breathe.  Driving along the modern road that takes visitors through the park I was awestruck at the beauty of the area.  There I saw the rolling verdant green hills and trees from my dream.  The main thing I wanted to see in this park was Burnside’s Bridge and the area around it.  As I got closer to that particular area, I felt much calmer.  I decided I would just walk wherever I felt guided to.  I began on the hill above the bridge. 

notice the shades of green

notice the shades of green

hill

I walked the length of the hill and kept looking over my shoulder, it was just what I felt drawn to do.  Suddenly, there was a view behind me that looked familiar.  I know this sounds crazy even to me but I felt that I recognized that view so at that point I started down the hill toward the road and the bridge.  It was an extremely hot day that day in July but I felt compelled to walk that distance down the hill.  There was a particular area that stopped me in my tracks.  At that spot I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness and I don’t know why.  This is a picture of that area:

this is the sadness spot

this is the sadness spot

Then I continued down the hill to the bridge.  It was amazingly beautiful and green  exactly like my dream.  I walked all around and over the bridge, I took a bunch of pictures of the hill above it,

the hill above the bridge, the Union side

the hill above the bridge, the Union side


the hill as seen from the confederate side of the bridge

the hill as seen from the confederate side of the bridge


Burnside's Bridge

Burnside’s Bridge

This was where the Federals (Union) were, the confederates were on the other side of it.  Later I read that there were 5 attempts made at crossing that bridge by the Union Army, 4 times, the 400 or so soldiers of the Georgia 2nd and 20th regiments fought them off, and there were thousands of them, finally on the 5th try the 51st of NY and PA made it across and took the bridge.  The Georgians had finally been beaten and had to start walking away toward the next battle location.  I can’t explain my feelings about this area or why I would have had a dream about a war I knew nothing about.  It’s interesting enough to me to keep researching.  I am currently reading (almost finished with) a great book called Burnside’s Bridge; the climactic struggle of the 2nd and 20th Georgia at Antietam by Phillip Thomas Tucker, (it can be found here:  http://www.amazon.com/Burnsides-Bridge-Climactic-Struggle-Antietam/dp/0811728161 )  it’s the only book I have found that focuses on the southern perspective of that war.  Most of the information out there is severely skewed toward the Union, I am a born Yankee but can appreciate that there were definitely 2 sides of that story and they both deserve to be told.  I have more to say but I am going to break this up into installments and hope that there are some history buffs like me out there. 

As always thanks for reading and if anyone has any thoughts or information about this please share!

Cautionary Beach Tale; Beware of the rocks!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love the beach, I love everything about it, the breeze, the waves, the shells.  Here in the south I love that the water is in the high 80’s at this point in the summer so is lovely to swim in, I almost never want to get out just like when I was 5.  We spent a beautiful day at Edisto Beach yesterday.  The weather and water were perfect.  The dolphins were jumping just like at Sea World, there were flocks of pelicans flying in formation and diving into the waves for a mouthful of fish.  The warm breeze was rustling perfectly through the palms and across the dunes and in my hair.

 pelicanline21 dolphin2 dune pelican pelicanline13

 

I was enjoying swimming through the waves when suddenly there were a couple of especially large waves.  They took me by surprise and pushed me toward a line of large rocks covered in barnacles.  After the first one hit me, I stood back up only to have an even bigger one push me down again, this time I slid all down my right side on hidden underwater rocks, scraping the entire right side of me.  I tried to grasp onto one of these rocks to keep from falling under again and ended up scraping my palms all to shreds. 

scrape2 rocks rockwaves

I actually didn’t know I had hurt myself as badly as I have until this morning.  When I got out of the water, I realized that my heel was cut pretty badly as I was leaving a blood trail up the beach.  Some shell-seeking little old ladies helpfully pointed this out to me as I made my way back to my beach chair.  Of course after I sat back down I saw this sign:

keepoffrocks

Very helpful location I thought as if I was trying to swim on the rocks!

Unwilling to let this mishap end the day as soon as it began, we continued our day on the beach until late afternoon.  I noticed that the loggerhead turtle nests were cordoned off and signs installed so that the eggs remain undisturbed until they hatch during the next full moon in September when the baby turtles emerge from the sand and follow the moonlight to the ocean. 

turtlenest loggerheadnest loggerheadnest2

All in all it was a lovely day but I was reminded quite startlingly how quickly everything can change, life can be as scary as it is wonderful and it’s the contrast between the 2 that shows us how lucky we really are!

waves wavesandpattern feet foam shellsand

Container Garden Progress and Yard Art Finds

I had a very busy and productive Memorial day weekend.  I actually feel like I need a vacation but it was all worth it, I finally got the container garden moved to it’s permanent location on the back patio from the from the front porch where we get the most sun.  I started them out on the front porch at the end of February because it’s under a roof and they would be protected from the cold and heavy rain that could have drowned them when they were seedlings.  Last week, the restaurant next door to work was demolishing it’s outdoor bar area and they had a big pile of wood they were going to throw away, I noticed a 3-4inch thick, very large, wooden bar-top right away and asked one of the workers if I could have it.  He looked at me like I was nuts but called his boss and it was ok so he loaded it into my car.  I knew the size was perfect for a platform for the container garden.  The patio is concrete so it gets way too hot in the summer to put plant pots directly on it, it cooks their roots.  There was an extra 2×4 attached to it.  We flipped the bar upside down since there was a support piece that ran the length of it so we attached the extra 2×4 vertically right in the center.  We bought a $6 piece of 8ft wooden lattice that we cut in half and I spray clear coated to preserve it from water damage and attached it on both sides to the center vertical piece.  I love the way it came out.  When the season is over I am planning to paint it so it looks a little prettier but for right now it’s serving it’s function. 

containergarden2 containergarden

It is currently being supported off the ground by 4 paint cans but for a permanent solution we have some industrial steel casters in the garage I found at the habitat for humanity store years ago that we are planning to install so it can be easily moved around.  There was room on the ends for the other pots that have plants that don’t require support so everything but the tomato plants fit on this platform I think it’s about 4x8ft in size.  The hardest part was separating the squash and cuke plants, they really should have been moved weeks ago so they were all intertwined and had tendrils wrapped around each other.  It took some doing but I gently separated them and placed each one on the trellis and so far they look like they get the idea of growing up instead of across the ground and I think the wood will be strong enough to hold them once they bear fruit although they are still appearing a little bit spindly.  As of right now they have all flowered and still have more flower buds on them so I can’t wait to see what my yield will be.  I already regret not planting more types of veggies but this is only the first year so if this goes well, and with what I have learned from this, next year will be more varied and I definitely want some zucchinis.  I have harvested all of the lettuces and spinach and now that it is too hot to grow them outside I plan to plant another crop indoors, I just need to find a stand for them and I think they will grow in my dining room in front of the sliding glass door so we shall see, they were so delicious and I loved the convenience of harvesting them as needed so they were the freshest.  All I can say is this process has been very interesting and fun I don’t know why it’s been so many years since I tried to garden.  Does anyone else have any tips or ideas for container vegetable gardening?  If so, please feel free to share. 

On Mother’s day weekend, we went for a long hike along the Ashley River and I found a piece of art leaning against a retaining tarp on the road construction site onthe side of Rosebrock Park.  Something about it called to me and I felt like it was meant for me to find so here it is where I hung it on my ecclectic art fence and also below that where it was originally found.  I hang all sorts of things on the fence as you can see in the picture, you can also see the birdbath base that I found in the woods this past weekend where it lives now, I think it fits right in there.  I am going to look for a plastic birdbath top and use it as a planter stand since having a birdbath attracting birds to our yard with our killer cat in it is a bad idea.  I can’t decide whether to paint it or leave it in it’s naturally found state any thoughts from you readers?

artfence birdbath

just as I found it

just as I found it

Here are a couple more interesting pictures I took during that walk.  These were taken in Rosebrock Park in Summerville, the trails follow the Ashley River and there are even some Cypress trees and other flora, it is mine and Liliian’s new favorite hiking spot!

River reflection

River reflection

ashleyriverview2

cypress "knees"

cypress “knees”

cypressview

a red mushroom!

a red mushroom!

wildflower