Category Archives: Charleston

A Church Grave Yard, Charleston

Charleston is called ‘The Holy City’ because of the large number of churches in town, every denomination you can think of, and then some.

Because they are old each church typically has their own grave yard for members of the congregation. Today few have any open plots and a walk through them is a history lesson of the original colonies, US founders, and Civil War secessionists.

A Church Grave Yard, Charleston
A Church Grave Yard, Charleston

The headstone above caught my eye in one of the oldest grave yards in town. To shoot the photograph I had to lean through an old wrought iron fence pushing my lens through. Ten steps to the left was an open gate, but at the time…

A Church Grave Yard, Charleston
A Church Grave Yard, Charleston

I wanted to shoot these stones because they are great examples of New England stone carvings. The imagery, shapes, and style all are a type not available in the south.

Until the 1800’s grave stones were imported from the north. The rock quarries were there and the craftsmen too.

A Church Grave Yard, Charleston
A Church Grave Yard, Charleston

At some point the craftsmen recognized the wealth of the Charleston planters and either moved here or open trade offices. Even famous designers like Tiffany Co. serviced the homes and business in town.

A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron

Rain, wind, and cooling temperatures has slowed construction down around here. There are multiple nests, some look complete but Great Blues are not master builders so it’s hard to tell. Single birds are sitting around which could mean eggs. No food delivery from a mate though.

A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron
A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron

This pair is one of the few still active. The nest, hard to believe, looks finished.

A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron
A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron

However above is confusing. The bird on the left is giving out a mating call.  If so, just who is that standing there?

A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron
A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron

The ignored Heron on the right didn’t seem concerned. He just preened and shook his feathers back in order.

Maybe he’s comfortable in his mating ability, or just a room mate. The dynamics here are hard to follow.

A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron
A Slow Go At A Rookery, Heron

 

 

Old Grand House, Charleston

A different look at an old southern grand house. The Russel House built in 1809.

Old Grand House, Charleston
Old Grand House, Charleston
Old Grand House, Charleston
Old Grand House, Charleston

When we visit, and shoot these old homes there are many restrictions. No external lighting, tripods, or even where we can walk/stand. That said bring a few memory cards, different lens, and you can build a complete library of photographs.

 

 

 

Confederate Lt. Col, Died In Cuba, A Mystery

Andrew F. Browning, a memorial not grave site since he died in Cuba just days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

Confederate Lt. Col, Died In Cuba, A Mystery
Confederate Lt. Col, Died In Cuba, A Mystery

He was assigned to Charleston security, but not there when it fell to Sherman. A year later he was a passenger on a ‘blockade’ runner headed for Cuba. Where he passed away soon after arriving.

The question is why was he there at all? He did have a political run in with a superior officer (who had killed another officer in a duel). But that was finished before his trip. Before the war he was a successful merchant.

Confederate Lt. Col, Died In Cuba, A Mystery
Confederate Lt. Col, Died In Cuba, A Mystery

No records have been found for his leaving the army and war. It could have been any number of reasons, still a mystery.

He was well thought of, enough so that this expensive monument and family grave sites was built in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston.

 

The Boudoir – Monochrome

I believe this was for the lady of the house, 1809.

The Boudoir - Monochrome
The Boudoir – Monochrome
The Boudoir - Monochrome
The Boudoir – Monochrome

I used various settings shooting here having no clue what would actually work.

The room was tall, and narrow making a wide shot difficult.

The Boudoir - Monochrome
The Boudoir – Monochrome

This room was shot using 18mm and 24mm lens.

Russel House, Charleston

Like many of the older Charleston homes the Nathaniel Russel House sits behind a high wall, hedges, and other buildings. Getting a full frontal image is usually not possible.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

Once inside the gate here you can finally get a good view.

This is a tall building, and unique since it was built in 1809.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

One of the important things about Charleston architecture is the small details. Plantations, and unfortunately the slave trade made people extremely wealthy. Each of the old homes in this town were as much art work as houses. World famous artisans worked here, the residents spent fortunes. Until the US Civil War, that changed everything.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

These houses have almost all had heavy renovations, canon balls make big holes.

Russel House, Charleston
Russel House, Charleston

Only a fraction of the original homes remain now. After the war this town was empty and destroyed. Only the big buildings at the end of the peninsula were untouched, they were out of range of the ships guns.

Charleston was spared a complete burn, even though it had been ordered. Being the scene of the first state to secede and the first battle of the Civil War it was not a popular place with the Union military.  The battles turned inland and rather than destroy the town it was occupied.

 

Ibis Where I Least Expected Him

Walking on a back trail through a swamp I saw nothing, not even a small bird in brush. I was all alone.

Which meant the further I went the less attention I paid.

Ibis Where I Least Expected Him
Ibis Where I Least Expected Him

A bit of movement over my head and there he was. Looking as interested as I was.

I paid a little more attention after this. Didn’t see anything, but paid attention.