28 March 2017

Annette of the skies

Citadel campus, Charleston, SC     
I have a couple of friends named Annette so I always grab a shot of this neatly cared for F 4 Phantom under the oak trees on the campus of the Citadel when I go by. She certainly is the stand-out show stopper on this site of urban ghost planes.
Bearing the name Annette, the F4-C Phantom II wears the green and brown camouflage scheme commonly seen on US Air Force Phantoms during the Vietnam War. At a time when the last remnants of the active US Phantom force – converted to QF-4 drones – are being shot down as target practice for more modern jets, it’s good to see one so well looked after.

27 March 2017

Creative mailbox

Decorative mailbox, SC
It almost makes you want to write these folks a letter just to know they would reach into that cool mailbox to get it. In fact, if I can enlarge the shot enough to grab an address I might do that. I'll say, "Thanks for having such a cool mailbox. It's tempted me to stop and take a picture for years and I finally did it."

26 March 2017

Swamp Walking - Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation & Garden, Charleston, SC 
I believe everyone in South Carolina has been inside on this lovely afternoon happily watching basketball. I think I can hear cheering from Columbia all the way in Charleston :).

The recent cold spell damaged the usual dramatic azalea show but something is always blooming at Magnolia Plantation. I walked through with friends this morning and for the first time took the nature boat ride through the old rice paddies. Years ago we used to canoe through that thick gator soup. Yikes.

We walked the floral garden and did a quick stroll through the Audubon swamp walk where the rookery is coming to life and the tree branches are turning into over populated egret and heron nesting apartment complexes full of happy chaos.

My friend Rosie's weekend guest was on break from nursing in a maternity hospital in Uganda joined us and I had a great time listening to all of her stories. My companions were both religious Sisters so I believe I can safely skip church again this week. Heheh.

We capped off the morning by making it to Angel Oak restaurant for a late brunch and polished off hot beignets as an appetizer. It's a tiny place but I have enjoyed every meal I've had there.

25 March 2017

Walk for Water - Charleston 2017

RSF River Rats Team, Walk for Water 2017, Charleston, SC 
I have a special interest in the work of Water Missions International because who can't get behind the idea of clean drinking water? We can prevent so many diseases if we have pure water to drink and although we take it for granted it is a daily struggle in so many parts of the world. Years ago the hospital I work with sponsored a water purification system for a small hospital and community in Kenya and I was able to go to photograph the commissioning ceremony and see first hand the difference it made.

Each year I try to support the Walk for Water here in Charleston. Symbolically water buckets are provided which are filled with water halfway through the walk. Many thanks to Lauren Smith for leading our team efforts for Roper St. Francis Healthcare and to all of our teammates who walked this morning. They said over 5,000 people participated and the traffic fiasco led me to believe that was true! Well done folks!

24 March 2017

Don't go down the stairs!

North Charleston, SC 
Happy weekend, kids! I felt like yesterday was Friday so this feels like a bonus pre-weekend night. I am sharing one last shot from the old Navy base before we leave the location. It is such a grand hodge-podge of buildings from modern, historic, industrial and disrepair that I was able to stockpile blog shots for the week.

This scene was from the back of the abandoned hospital building in what may have been the psychiatric ward. That is certainly what the graffiti content wants to imply. Boo! Don't let them take you down the stairs!

Have a great weekend. I am off to the Walk for Water in the morning so if you pass me as you carry your bucket of water say hello. 

22 March 2017

The Dead House

Dead House, North Charleston, SC  
Anything named the Dead House has to be mysterious, right? I can't find any real reason it is called that but the small brick structure on the old Navy base in North Charleston may be it's most historic structure. I sure do wish they would take off the No Trespassing sign since so many of us show up to take photos. Sheesh.

This information is from the Navy Yard Blog:
The Navy called it the Dead House, and that name “Dead House” appears on an 1895 survey of the area done prior to the design of the Chicora Park on the site by Olmsted Brothers. So the building pre-dates the Navy and Chicora Park. Before that the land was a plantation. Navy Architect Randy Guy’s research identified 15 different landowners from the first land grant in 1672 through 1895. There are many periods of local history when storing powder around the fringe of Charleston would have been called for, but no specific information has yet been found. Of the land owners, one stands out. His name was Sir Edgerton Leigh. He owned the property from 1767-1771. He was the first customs officer and the first postmaster for Charleston. In his customs capacity, it is thought that he assessed a tax on gunpowder carried by arriving ships. How this possible gunpowder connection may tie into the building on the Base is unclear thus far. Graduate student Chris Ohm from the College of Charleston has been researching a number of leads about the building and time will hopefully tell us more of the story.
Mr Hugh’s own theory on the Dead House name is that it stems from the use of the old powder magazine as a temporary place to put bodies until burial was arranged. On the old plantation grounds, this building would have been the coolest place.

20 March 2017

Blooming bottle brush tree

Bottle Brush/Callistemon
The bright colors of the blooming bottle brush tree caught my eye as we wandered the old Navy base this weekend. The bush is thriving next to the historic restored Quarters H-I mansion.

19 March 2017

Old Naval Hospital - North Charleston

Old Navy Hospital, North Charleston, SC    
I've brought you to the abandoned Naval Hospital in North Charleston before but this time I walked around the entire property and realized how large the facility was. It's a beautiful old Spanish style building and it is sad to see it falling into disrepair. Many people have memories of working or being inside the building when it was a lively and bustling healthcare facility. Now the lower windows are boarded and the outside is marked with graffiti.
The Charleston Naval Hospital Historic District is nationally significant as an example of the United States effort to mobilize medical support for the Navy during World Wars I and II and the Navy's ability to create a permanent and professional medical service for Navy personnel and their dependents. These healthcare facilities were placed at the Charleston Navy Base and planned in a manner consistent with military protocol to organize medical treatment, support services, and residential units. The district is also architecturally significant for buildings and structures that reflect the time periods in which they were constructed corresponding to large building periods at the Charleston Navy Base during the First and Second World Wars. The majority of buildings have a unifying architectural language which incorporates both Spanish Colonial and Mission style forms with Modern details and materials. Two residential buildings and support structures date from the First World War and exhibit Craftsmen Bungalow features. The Charleston Naval Hospital Historic District is an intact collection of thirty-two buildings located in the northwest corner of the former Charleston Navy Base. There are three groups of buildings that comprise the District: treatment facilities centered on the main hospital complex, service related buildings located to the east of the main hospital, and residential buildings largely located to the west and south of the hospital. The earliest extant structures in the district date from 1917 during construction of hospital facilities to serve an increased labor force at the base during World War I. 
Postcard - U.S. Naval Hospital, Charleston
It appears they left a few patients inside when it closed.

18 March 2017

North Charleston Riverfront Park Sculpture Exhibition

Outdoor sculptures, North Charleston Riverfront Park, North Charleston, SC   
I love wandering the old Navy base area in North Charleston and catching up on the latest sculptures added to the exhibition area at the Riverfront Park. We don't have too much modern sculpture in Charleston and this is a treat. I met a few friends this morning for fish and chips at the CODfather on Reynolds Ave. and then enjoyed the park. 

More details on the artists and their award winning work here. You too can submit a piece of art and win prizes! 
Sculptors from across the nation are welcome to submit an application for participation in the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Up to 14 sculptures are juried into the exhibit and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $19,750. The deadline to apply for the 2017/18 exhibition has passed (February 25, 2017). Call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 for more information, or to be added to the application mailing list for 2018/19.
This one is actually the performance stage

17 March 2017

Leprechaun rounds

Charleston's own leprechaun, Charleston, SC  
Every year I anticipate a call from my Leprechaun as he promises to show up if I have a basket of candy ready. The week before St. Patrick's day everyone at the hospital asks if the Leprechaun is coming. He missed last year after his wife passed away but he met me this morning and made his rounds. He is frailer now but he was a good sport giving out candy and hugs and posing for pictures as I walked him all over the hospital. 

Thanks for the smiles!

16 March 2017

In the belly of the tree

Sago Palm Tree, Charleston, SC 
What the heck? I've taken pictures of the inside of a sago palm before but I've never seen it looking like this. Oddness abounds, my friends. In fact the one next to it looked nothing like this.

I am so enjoying the lighter evenings and being able to walk later. Thank you daylight savings time. This little mini library is close to my house and I see it as an optical illusion in this shot. It appears to be floating in mid-air. In truth it rests right on the ground under the oak tree. I'll have to look closer next time and see if they are children's books in easy reach.

Bed time, kids!

12 March 2017

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Yemessee, SC  
We were to get a bright and sunny Saturday and a dreary rainy Sunday for the weekend and my friend Sharon had offered to do a road trip to the Old Sheldon Church ruins so we hit the road on Saturday morning. I've brought you here before but never tire of this beautiful spot. It was a lovely day and the dogwood trees were in full bloom.

Sadly grave markers from this historic spot have recently been stolen. It's hard to understand.

We followed our visit to the church with lunch in Beaufort and the ritual praline stop at the Chocolate Tree on the way out of town. It makes for a perfect day trip.
Old Sheldon Church RuinsSheldon Church has lain in ruin for more than 120 years. Its gable roof, pediment, windows, and interior have disappeared, but the classic simplicity of its design still remains. One of the first Greek-Revival structures built in the United States, Prince William's Parish Church, erected 1745-55, was once one of the most impressive churches in the Province. During the Revolution, the Patriots are believed to have stored gun powder in it. In 1779, when the British General Augustine Prevost invaded the Lowcountry, the church was burned by a detachment which according to tradition, was commanded by the flamboyant local Tory, Andrew Deveaux. Rebuilt in 1826, the church was again burned by Sherman's men in 1865. The ruins are nevertheless a picturesque site from which the visitor can visualize the grandeur of the pre-Revolutionary church.

11 March 2017

Spring in Charleston

Avenue of oaks, Charleston, SC 
I woke startled from a dream where a tree cutting machine went down my street with a long blade out and cut down every tree on both sides of the street. Oddly, as dreams are, the logs were neatly stacked in all of our yards. A gentleman was running behind the vehicles yelling back at us saying, "I'm gonna take care of it, I'm gonna take care of it!"

So there. Maybe that is what motivated me to leap out of bed and get a picture of this avenue of oaks with the azaleas in bloom before the glaring morning sun hit it.

Have a good weekend kids!

07 March 2017

Boat landing with style

Riverland Terrace boat landing, James Island, SC 
The surprising location of the little wooden windmill makes the Riverland Terrace boat landing one of the most unique boat landings around. Sunday was bright and sunny and even if they didn't catch much fish my nephew enjoyed a beautiful last day in Charleston out on the water. Thanks Ian!

06 March 2017

A week in Charleston

Testing, testing! I put my nephew's visits into the Tripadvisor slide show program. 

04 March 2017

Johns Island afternoon

Johns Island, SC
It is always a special treat to be invited to spend an afternoon at this beautiful spot on Johns Island. We enjoyed a picnic in the snug little cabin with a warm wood fire and then sat in the sun while my nephew tried his hand at creek fishing. He didn't catch a bite and it didn't spoil the day a bit.

03 March 2017

Gator soup

Audubon Swamp Garden, Charleston, SC  
What a treat to sneak an extra day off during the week to spend with my nephew. Today was bright and sunny and we walked the Audubon Swamp walk at Magnolia Plantation. You always hope to spot a gator or two but this was a gator soup. We spotted so many little fellas relaxing in the sun on the side of that path as well as some big rascals in the water.