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Lunchtime on Daufuskie Island

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is all about lunch this week. The challenge is to photograph any aspect of your lunchtime experience with a phone. One post, from Wind Against Current,  features two of my favorite bloggers having lunch on and off their kayaks in a variety of locations, and it got me thinking. Often, the quick snacks we have while in the middle of exploring new places involve the spontaneous use of whatever is at hand – sometimes resulting in a McGyver approach to lunch.

We were vacationing on the Carolina coast and decided to visit Daufuskie Island. One of the Sea Islands, it has no bridge, and that has protected it from the rampant growth of neighbors like Hilton Head Island. It’s a beautiful place where remnants of the old Gullah culture – an African culture that escaped assimilation because of the isolation of these islands – might still be seen, if you know where to look.  (Nearby,  St. Helena Island has kept Gullah culture alive at the Penn Center, a school opened in 1862 to educate freed slaves and made a National Historic Landmark in 1974.)

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That mid-July day was sunny and the beach was steaming hot.  A starfish seemed to mock our discomfort with a nonchalant wave:

We saw a message in the sand – I guess someone found that  perfect conch shell, but they didn’t want to lug it around in the heat.

A Willet eyed us and posed nicely.

We decided to take shelter behind the dunes under some scrubby cabbage palms. Scrounging through our backpacks, we found an apple, a small can of tuna & crackers, a little container of peanut butter I pocketed from the hotel breakfast bar, a bag of chips, and water. We wanted to share the apple but had no knife, so that tuna can lid made a good apple cutter. The shade sure felt good.

Refreshed, we walked back down the beach, then turned inland to walk sandy roads back to the dock. We had a boat to catch.

Near a tiny stream leading out to the beach, I found an old, neglected cemetery.

It was one of the old Gullah cemeteries, overgrown and beginning to wash away.

For Gullahs, burial near the water draws one closer to Africa, across the ocean;

graves may be lost to erosion over time,

but perhaps the loss more ours, for the history, than theirs

…perhaps the final wash into the sea cleanses and unites every being.

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The old oaks hold many secrets on Daufuskie.

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If you have a minute, take a look at some resources on this magical region of the U.S. Better yet – go there!

Daufuskie Island

its history

the graveyards

Gullah Culture, and more

and find more Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge submissions here.

Unique AND Universal: Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo challenge is to express the concept, “Unique”.   I was struck by the thought that many of the images below, of people engaged in what must have felt like unique situations, at the same time express universal themes: play and self-expression, love, work, journeys, death.

A toddler throws pebbles into a lake, fascinated by each splash and  ripple, his own creation. Standing on tiptoes to kiss a statue, a young woman expresses the unique possibilities of love.  A man belts out tunes on a  piano, singing his own song, for love and money.

In pouring rain on a warm summer evening another man’s handstand expresses the sheer joy in shared experience.  A neighborhood eccentric leans across his porch to tell you a personal, intricate story about his house.  What unique stories the contents of a Marine’s rucksack, fresh from an Afghanistan deployment, must hold. And finally, graves in a rural cemetery bear flower and pottery offerings – visitors’  unique, yet universal expressions of honor and commitment.

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More images expressing the idea of “unique” are here:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/photo-challenge-unique/

Weekly Photo Challenge: GREEN

If there’s one subject that appears over and over in my work, it’s plants. And leaves. And green. So I thought I would depart from that and see what I can find in my files that’s green but not a plant. It was surprisingly difficult – it seems that the world is full of green but it’s mostly flora. I did find some interesting green things though. Isn’t she lovely?

She was in a store window in Goldsboro, North Carolina not too long ago.

I bet she’s still there.

Elsewhere in the south I found this green toy truck placed on a gravestone in a rural cemetery in Lee County, Florida.

The grave is inscribed with the dates March 20, 1901 – November 13, 1906.

A five and half year old boy, dead for over a hundred years, and still toys are left on his grave.

Life and death are full of wonderful mysteries.

Here’s a Walking Stick in a public garden on Staten Island, in New York City. He’s being eyed from both sides but doesn’t seem to be worried about it. His translucent green color and skinny shape made him hard to spot, hence the big grin.

A bright green sign announces Trees for sale, only $5 each. This truck was parked on the side of a busy road in Ellensburg, Washington. The retired farmer who made it said he digs up unwanted trees in vacant lots, bags them and sells them out of his truck. Passes the time.

And behind him was a bus, parked hard by a shed full of hay bales and probably serving as a home for someone. On the side and back it says, “Ravinwolf.com”  –  turns out that’s an “Acoustic Mountain Blues”  band. I found the story of the 1972 diesel bus, which the band was planning to convert to bio diesel fuel, on their website:  http://www.ravinwolf.com/Press___Reviews.html

Finally, this is easily the most interesting green photo, and I didn’t take it – my son did, with a camera phone while stationed in southern Afghanistan (Marines). He knew I would love the juxtaposition of the green door, the green field and the girl with the green dress.

Green flora does creep in to several of these pictures, so I missed my goal of posting green photographs without plants.

Maybe I’ll do another Green Challenge with just leaves…

The challenge calls for bloggers to post a gallery of photos, using the WordPress gallery format. I had trouble with the formatting so these are posted in the usual one-after-the-other style. Here’s the challenge:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/weekly-photo-challenge-green/