Lens-Artists Challenge #46 – Delicate

“After the storm her beauty blooms… her roots deep in her southern soil.”

Nancy B. Brewer

magnolia, B&W


Here in South Carolina we are well into spring. Birds are nesting, their chicks crying aloud for the next meal. Mating alligators bellow their intentions for all the world to hear, adorable spotted fawns are being closely watched by nearby attentive does. Perhaps most impressive,  our native flowers are bursting through winter’s chill, reaching out toward the warm southern sun.

B&W Magnolia


“Fragrant o’er all the western groves; The tall magnolia towers unshaded.”

Maria Brooks

This year the many flowering magnolia trees are clustered with more blossoms than I’ve ever seen. They began early, budding at the end of April and the first of May. The blooms are large, and the creamiest of white. Surrounded by verdant green leaves and adorned with red and yellow center seedpods, they are well known for their glorious fragrance.



“Majestic flower! How purely beautiful Thou art.”

C.P. Cranch

This week I set out on my bicycle for a magnolia expedition throughout our beautiful island. (I also did manage to catch 2 sweet little fawns and some colorful roseate spoonbills but will save them for another time 😊). I’ve chosen some of my favorite images and presented them in black & white to remove any elements of distraction from the purity of the delicate blossoms. The trees are very tall so the challenge is in capturing blooms at a reasonable height, open to the light and at a peak stage of growth. 



“And while thy breeze floats o’er thee, matchless flower, I breathe the perfume, delicate and strong.”

C.P. Cranch

While putting this post together I learned that the magnolia is one of the oldest-living flowering plants. Fossilized remains go back as far as 20 million years, and possibly as far as 100 million. They pre-dated bees and are believed to have developed as beetle pollinators.  Magnolias were considered a symbol of purity in ancient China and are also used in traditional Asian medicine. Several perfume fragrances feature magnolia as a primary scent.



“Magnolia…C’est la fleur qui promèsse La perpetuité de la jeunesse.” 

Marela Stancu *

To me the purity of these stunning blossoms were a perfect match for Ann-Christine’s Delicate challenge. To see the challenge in its entirety, click here. We look forward to seeing your interpretations.To see others’ responses, be sure to visit the Lens-Artists TAG in the WordPress reader.



  •  Translation: Magnolia…it’s the flower that promises the perpetuity of youth.









Lens-Artists Challenge #45 Street Art

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

Vincent Willem van Gogh

street art, hummingbirds

“Rebirth” by Nicole Punsler

This week Patti has invited us to share some examples of street art.  I must admit I’ve been hoping for an opportunity to showcase some street murals I photographed while in California visiting friends this spring. My opening images were part of a gloriously colorful mural – one of several located in Indio, California. More well-known for its Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio is home to several of these works of art painted on concrete buildings throughout the downtown area. Click on the images for a slightly larger view. 

street art, indio

Old Indio by Bijan Masoumpanah

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

Camille Pissarro

In 1996, this relatively small town just outside of Palm Springs initiated a mural project. Business owners were asked to support artists’ murals depicting the city’s historical, artistic and cultural legacy. Online maps were created and made available for the various murals, which can be explored on foot or by car. It’s a great example of the mutual benefit to businesses and artists when the two work together in support of each other.



“If you don’t want a generation of robots, fund the arts!”
Cath Crowley


When you think about it, 20+ years is a long time for building murals to exist. Exposed to the elements day in and day out, the murals remain beautifully detailed if somewhat faded (much like the times they represent). Despite Southern California’s harsh sun along with desert wind and sudden rainstorms, they do a wonderful job of artistic storytelling for all to see.



“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”

Nina Simone

The murals are much, much larger than I’ve been able to include here, covering entire walls of large buildings.  You can see them in their entirety on a video posted here. Although all of the murals were terrific (including my header, which captures “Moving Toward the Future” by David Oceloti Garcia), two of my personal favorites were my opening image and the much quieter one that follows. This mural (of which I’ve included only a small piece) was the most damaged by the elements. The white spots are all areas where the paint had peeled off. Despite its aging, the mural had a lovely nostalgic feel. For me it seemed what a ride through the countryside might have looked like in times gone by – perhaps even here in South Carolina.

mural-History of the Date Industry in the Coachella Valley


“Inspiration surrounds us, the creation is our responsibility as artists.”

Lyn Crain

Special thanks to my good friend Sharon who knew how much I’d enjoy photographing the murals and took the time to explore the area for and with me. For another, very different look at a street art installation combined with performance art , visit my previous post here.

Thanks also to all who participated in our exploration of Harmony last week and to those who continue to support our challenge each week.  For more information on how to join us, click here. As always, remember to TAG your post with our Lens-Artists tag. We look forward to seeing the street art you’ve discovered – whether painted, sculpted, carved or created in ways we’ve not thought about before. 😊











Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony

“There is no true greatness in art or science without a sense of harmony.”

Albert Einstein

lilac-breasted roller


One of the most helpful ways to improve our photography skills is to study some favorite images – both our own and those of others. Examining what draws us into an image helps us understand what is important to us and why.  For me, one aspect of that study is the artist’s approach to color harmony. Colors and their relationships to one another within an image can have a definite effect on viewer reactions – often subconscious, but there just the same. 


“Art is a harmony of the spiritual being with the human being.”

Alan Maiccon

Back in the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors.  The 12 colors of his resulting wheel included primary colors red, blue and yellow, secondary colors orange, green and violet (made by combining 2 primary colors), and six tertiary colors.


Color harmony is achieved when a piece of art includes complimentary colors, typically two or three colors side-by-side on the wheel, two colors directly opposite each other on the wheel, or any color combination found in nature. It can also be used to incite different emotions in our art. Monochromatic or analogous colors (side-by-side on the wheel) create a more soothing feeling, while complementary colors (directly opposite each other on the wheel) can create drama. Allowing a single color to dominate, especially a primary color, can create a very powerful image.



“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”

Marcus Aurelius

Beyond color harmony, there is an entire field of study dedicated to color psychology – the belief that different colors drive specific emotional responses.  Interior designers and marketing companies use it extensively. If you google “color psychology”, you’ll see many exhaustive treatises on the subject.



“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” 

Pablo Picasso 

Of course there are several other types of harmony, for example, musical, spiritual and inter-personal harmonies are all commonly known and well-studied. This is your opportunity to share your favorite harmonies. Give us your best yoga pose, or your favorite musician at work, or perhaps a happy couple arm in arm – whatever floats your boat (especially if it’s on a warm yellow/orange sunset or a cool blue sunrise 😊). Whatever you choose, please link your post to this one.  Please note – we’ve had some issues with WP Pingbacks, so it’s more important than ever for you to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

green tree, high golden grass, blue sky


“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.”

Vincent Van Gogh


Last week Amy presented us with a wonderfully interesting challenge to illustrate the concept of Less is More.


  • David showed us some true minimalism in his response here
  • Laura of Poetry Pix offered several examples of Less is More here

Hope you’ll join us next week for Challenge #45 on Patti’s Pilotfish blog.



Note: My image “Complimentary Colors” is a photograph of of a painting in Sfat, Israel. The original artist was S.Ilyayev.

Less is More – Lens-Artists Challenge #43

“To say more while saying less is the secret of being simple.”

Dejan Stojanovic

lily in sunlight


Amy has challenged us to portray “less is more” in this week’s post. I’ve opened with a simple image of a beautiful lily captured during a visit to Charleston’s Magnolia Gardens earlier this month. I loved the way the light made the blossom nearly transparent, allowing the flower to stand on its own against the dark background.

turtles, alligator sunning


“Speak little. Listen more. Learn a lot.”

Anthony T. Hincks

It’s not unusual to see alligators and turtles sunning at this particular ramp in the Gardens. Somehow the creatures have found a way to peacefully co-exist. On this particular day the last turtle seemed to be thinking that if the gator would just move up a few inches he’d have a bit more room to join the party!

Many white hydrangeas


“The more you are grateful for what you have the more there is to be grateful for.”

Pravin Agarwal

Back to the Garden’s flowers, to me these hydrangeas looked like giant snowballs waiting to be thrown.  In their pure whiteness (is that really a word?!) it struck me that sometimes less color means more beauty. I also thought this image would make a nice abstract but since last week was all about impressionism I’ll hold that thought for another day.



“The more we give away, the richer we become.”

Craig Groeschel

One of my favorite things about the Gardens is the birdlife. In the spring the herons, egrets and cormorants are busy nesting, giving birth, and raising their chicks. I shot this image using an aperture setting to blur the background, allowing focus to rest on the two birds and their carefully crafted nest. I further emphasized the birds by adding a bit of light to the nest area in post processing.

Magnolia Gardens swamp


“The universe doesn’t know good or bad, only less or more.”

Pat Cadigan

Although the Garden’s flowers are magnificent, so too is its simple swamp. I can imagine the landscape must have looked much like this at the beginning of time. I particularly love the cypress trees whose roots seem to reach to earth’s very core. No floral embellishments are needed to enhance the beauty of the scene.

red bridge, magnolia gardens, small child, pink flowers


“True merit is like a river – the deeper it is the less noise it makes.”

Edward Wood

At quite the opposite end of the spectrum, the image above is bursting with life and color. Full disclosure, as I was shooting the scene a young family happened to arrive at just the same time. Rather than wait for them to pass, or ask them to wait for me to finish, I asked if they’d let their young daughter add to my composition. They happily obliged and I think she adds just the right amount of “less” to the scene’s colorful “more”. 

pink and white rose


“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa

Finally, since I began with flowers I shall close with one. This image is actually from our west coast visit earlier this month. But it was too perfect in its simplicity not to include it with a post about less being more (thank you Sharon!).

Thanks to Amy for her clever challenge this week. I hope you’ll stop here next Saturday for Challenge #44.  In the meanwhile, here’s wishing you a great week ahead.


#Fuji, #Magnolia Gardens, #Charleson


Lens Artists Challenge #42 – Creativity

“Dreaming is easy. Creativity is a lot of work.”

E. Obeng-Amoako Edmonds


This week Ann-Christine has challenged us to show some creativity.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve taken an artist’s brush to my images, and a recent class reminded me of how much fun it can be.  Combining that with some captures I made during our visit last week to Hudson New York, Ann-Christine has pushed me toward my attempt at artistic creativity. All of todays images were edited using Topaz, Photoshop and French Kiss Textures.


“Genius creates from the heart.”

Elizabeth Goudge

Hudson is a fun little town in the middle of the Hudson Valley  – home of the well-known Hudson River School of 19th century landscape painters. It is filled with interesting shops and excellent restaurants and offers some great people-watching. At just over two hours from NYC it has become a popular getaway for busy Manhattanites seeking the quiet of a country weekend.

My husband and I were in Hudson for a family event but while there we took advantage of several of the restaurants. Along with delicious meals, I will also admit to having eaten some amazing chocolate croissants, which are high on my list of all-time-favorite foods. I also spent time enjoying the shops and wandering the neighborhoods with my Fuji at the ready.


“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.”

Sylvia Plath

Clearly it was a very creative person (or more likely several of them) who first thought about the town’s transition from a sleepy, one-horse stop along the rail line into a go-to destination. As the process continues to be underway, there are a number of buildings around town that appeal to photographers who, like me, are drawn those that are pre-urban renewal. 



“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

Joseph Chilton Pierce

It’s a funny thing about travel – places and things one would pass without a glance become much more compelling. In fact, many of the places that drew my focus would probably be considered eyesores were they to be found in my own neighborhood. 

restaurant, BBQ


“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”

Albert Einstein

Not so the restaurant above. How creative the owners were to include the little booth in the right corner – which of course comes from Charles Shulz’s wonderful comic strip.  How many times have you smiled at Lucy’s advice to poor Charlie Brown? I suppose as they say, we do get what we pay for 😊.

Decayed, run down, red window


“Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.”

Cecil B. DeMille

I was drawn to the contrast of the three red squares in the building shown above. Interestingly on closer inspection I found a sign that said the business (which may or may not have been permanently shuttered) was cigar-making. Inside the window I saw what appeared to be a tall pile of tobacco leaves. Now that trade with Cuba had been opened perhaps American cigar-makers are in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

Red gate, run down


“To be creative means to be in love with life.”


The red of the gates above also drew me in to the scene. While the town’s renewal is definitely under way, it’s a bit sad to think that often the character of a place is lost in the process. Happily Hudson seems, at least so far, to be preserving its character while updating its structures.

Doorknob, hearts, worn


“Creativity is the only way a man can ever experience motherhood.”

Girish Kohli

So here’s to the creative among us. Those who embrace rather than fear new ideas, those who try new things without worrying about failure, those who challenge themselves to think outside the box. Here’s to Ann-Christine for challenging us to be creative, and to all of those who will respond to her challenge. We look forward to hearing all about your efforts!

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and Happy Earth Day to us all!  Remember to check in next week when Amy bring us our next challenge. For more information about joining us, click here.  Remember to use the Lens-artists tag to have your post appear in our Reader section.










Lens-Artists Challenge #41 – Delicious

“You are what you eat. What would YOU like to be?”

Julie Murphy



Like the painter who created the wall art above, I love a good farmers’ market. It’s among my favorite activities when I travel, and it’s also a great local resource for fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve chosen to respond to Patti’s Delicious challenge by sharing some of the foods I’ve enjoyed in recent visits to local markets.

Various spices in a Jerusalem farmers market


“I don’t think I’ll ever grow old and say, “What was I thinking eating all those fruits and vegetables?”

Nancy S. Mure

The spices in the image above were on display in a Jerusalem farmers market. No matter what one decides to cook, some wonderful spices will make the dish even more delicious.

Various hummus flavors on display in farmers market


“Anyway, what is ‘beauty’ apart from the combination of the letters of ‘buy’ and ‘eat’?”

Alain Bremond-Torrent

In Tel Aviv I learned that the one or two flavors of hummus we eat here in the states are quite boring compared to those of the Israelis. Just think, Chocoboom hummus – how could THAT be bad?!

POMEGRANATE display in a farmers market


“Hunger gives flavor to the food.”

Amit Kalantri

Even if (like me) one is not a fan of pomegranates, it’s hard not to appreciate their beauty. The display above was a very tempting one but I decided to pass. Something about this fruit makes it one of the few I don’t enjoy. I’m definitely in the “Look don’t eat” category on this one.



“Enjoy food like that’s the only thing left in your world.”

Nikita Dudani

Olives, on the other hand, are one of my favorite foods.  A good olive or two adds wonderful flavor to most any dish (except perhaps dessert 😊). I’m a big fan of Kalamata and couldn’t be happier that the oft-recommended Mediterranean Diet includes them along with olive oil as a staple.



“Some people just don’t have what it takes to appreciate a cookie.”

James Patterson

Sometimes market items are a feast for the eyes rather than the palate. I offer exhibit A – these beautiful sunflowers which our local farmers market provides in abundance during season.



“Never ask a baker what went into a pie. Just eat.”

George R.R. Martin

Let me just say I am normally a very healthy eater, although I will admit to a sweet tooth which makes it impossible to resist my husband’s chocolate chip cookies. While in Israel however, I was persuaded to try Shawarma, pictured above. It’s one of the most popular Middle Eastern street foods, normally cooked on a vertical spit and shaved while rotating. I believe the version we tried was a combination of lamb and beef although I’m not really sure. I can only tell you it was amazingly delicious – and that’s from one who very rarely eats meat. I’m happy we don’t often see it here in the U.S. as it would be very hard to resist on a regular basis!

Thanks to Patti for her delicious challenge. Now excuse me while I go fetch a snack – this post has made me hungry! Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s Something Different challenge. We look forward to seeing your ideas about what you find delicious.  Be sure to tag your responses with the Lens-Artists tag to help us all find them.  If you’d like more information about our challenge and how to join us, click here.









Lens-Artists Challenge #40 – Something Different

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.”

A.A. Milne

group of cacti


Those who saw my post last week know that I was on the west coast, enjoying the super blooms of Arizona and California along with friends and family. Beyond the amazing flowers, I really enjoyed the differences between the Kiawah scenery and the desert landscapes .  As I thought about it, it seemed only natural that this week’s challenge should be “Something Different”.

2 living cholla cacti vs 1 dead cactus


“Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

The landscapes looked completely different depending on the time of day. The famous deep purple Arizona sunset cast a golden glow, while the blue sky of daylight provided a colorful contrast to the greens of the hillside sentinels.

cactus with pink flowers


“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”

Freya Stark

The chances of seeing desert blossoms and cacti are less than zero here on Kiawah 😊. While I might prefer our ocean and beach landscapes if forced to make a choice, it’s always nice to have a new and different experience.  Somehow travel seems to awaken our senses and cause us to absorb our surroundings in a new way.

red cacti flowers


“Be daring. Be first. Be different.”

Anita Roddick

Clearly we have no cacti here on Kiawah, nor do we have the hills and mountains which are so much fun to hike. Our flowers are different due to the change in climate, as are our birds and bugs.  Although I love our beautiful home surroundings, life often gets in the way.  When traveling I tend to use my lens a bit more often, especially when presented with new and different opportunities.

2 cholla cacti vs 1 dying cactus


“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”

Coco Chanel

In the image above we see two different species of cacti. On the left, two cholla cacti are alive and well, while on the right the cactus, now unidentifiable, has died.  Interestingly a tree or plant has taken root and is growing out of its skeleton – yet another of nature’s small miracles.

Red blooms on cacti


“We have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.”

Kofi Annan

I’ve done my best to cull the images from our western adventure, but there was so much to see and shoot! The super bloom flowers were incredible, but even without them, the cacti were a great subject. I was surprised by the many varieties and how very different they were from each other – as many as 127 genera according to Wikipedia.

two small cacti growing on one large cactus


“The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.”

Mahatma Ghandi

I enjoyed shooting both the flowers and the cacti.  The differences between the various elements of the desert were astounding, as was the difference versus our home landscape. That said, I’m closing with one of my favorites of the trip, which features neither flowers nor cacti. Unlike the Fuji X-T2 images above, this one was captured using my iPhone 8+ as we drove by. I loved the feeling of the painted desert created by the clouds, the shadows and the hills spotted with tiny dots of cacti.

desert mountain in shadows


“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”

Martin Luther King

So lets see something out of the norm in your world.  Show us something different, something unusual, something we wouldn’t normally expect from you.  We look forward to your entries and as always, remind you to tag them “Lens-Artists” so that we can all find them.

Speaking of entries, we enjoyed and appreciate all of your responses to Amy’s fun Hello April challenge last week.


o             RXFrazier went for originality and a smile with an April Fools joke here

o            Gina from Photography in Pearls shared an amazing Lady Bank shrub in full bloom. Check it out on the link.


Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge? For instructions and more information click here. We’d love to have you. 😊







Lens-Artists Challenge #39 – Hello April; Desert Super Bloom

If you spend enough time in the desert, you will hear it speak.”

Nnedi Okorafor



This week Amy invites us to welcome the new month with her Hello April post- which here in the US means the beginning of spring. I was excited to be ushering in the season out west this year, spending time with friends and family . Apparently, this past winter in the desert was chillier and wetter than normal so there is an amazing preponderance of glorious flowers to see and enjoy.



“You came into my life like the rain to the parched desert.”

Avijeet Das

Much of the news during our visit was about the “super bloom” – a rare occurrence during which there are literally blankets of wildflowers covering the hills and roadsides around much of California and Arizona. Yellow and red poppies were surrounded by blue and purple lupines and pink fairydusters among other species too numerous to name. Reports of towns being overwhelmed by tourists and photographers were heard daily, although we were fortunate to be with locals who knew the best times and places to avoid the crowds. Sadly, not everyone affords nature the respect she deserves, and officials have had to post warnings under #dontdoomthebloom to ask people not to trample or pick the flowers. How sad.


“The desert is a natural extension of the inner silence of the body.”

Jean Baudrillard

In addition to the glorious floral carpets, the scenes were enhanced by the ever-present cacti – standing guard like soldiers with their prickly exteriors. Arms outstretched toward the desert sun, they seemed a bit battered and bruised by the harsh conditions and yet still they stood, ever vigilant.



“The empire of desert, water is king and shadow is queen.”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Beyond the beauty of the flowering desert, we were blessed with clear blue skies and perfect temperatures for hiking. The far-drier desert air is a bit challenging for those of us who live at sea level, but I personally found it less difficult than the change of time zone.  As easy as it is to adapt when traveling west, the return to eastern time is definitely not for the faint of heart.



“I will fill myself with the desert and the sky.”

Kiersten White

Now that we’ve returned home, I’m happy Amy has given me an opportunity to share some of the desert’s magic with her challenge. Hopefully you are enjoying similarly beautiful weather wherever this post finds you.



“You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold.”


We look forward to sharing April with you  in your part of the world. Remember to Tag your post Lens-Artists so that we can all find you in our reader section. We’ll be back next week and hope you’ll join us here on Travels and Trifles for Challenge # 40.



#superbloom, #fuji x-T2, #dontdoomthebloom





Lens-Artists Challenge #38 – Weathered or Worn

“Sometimes when you are falling down, you grow wings to fly.”

Debasish Mridha



Ann-Christine challenges us this week with her worn or weathered theme. Unfortunately this one is made easier by the number of dilapidated, unattended houses we often see in our travels. The scene captured in my opening image, for example, is from a beautiful golf course my husband and I played in rural upstate New York. I found myself wondering why it was left standing there but forgot to ask as we finished playing. It didn’t help my game that I spent time with the camera during the round but it did add even more interest to a beautiful day 😊.



“You may delay, but time will not.”

Benjamin Franklin

Time passes, there’s simply no way around it. We can try to fight it, or we can embrace it and accept the changes that it brings. Along with wrinkles we develop (hopefully) a better understanding of the world around us and our place within it. We may not be as fast as we once were but we become better at finding the best route – both physically and metaphorically. We have a clear idea of the things that are most important to us and we have more  free time to focus on them. 



“My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr. Seuss

I read something interesting recently in Scientific American about the concept of time growing shorter as we age. It begins to feel as if the days/weeks/months/years are flying by. Actually it’s our brain’s perception of time that is changing.  Scientists believe there are several influencers, but one in particular got my attention –  “the amount of time passed relative to one’s age varies”.  For example to a 5-year-old, one year is 20% of their life.  For a 50-year-old it is more like 2%. This “ratio theory” suggests we compare time to the total amount of time we’ve already lived. Huh, who knew?! (You can read the full article here.)



“Time does not pass, it continues.”

Marty Rubin

My favorite part of the article was its closing thought. The authors suggested we appease ourselves with the knowledge that “time is not literally going faster as we age”. So the next time you feel like it is, take a moment to slow down, notice your surroundings, calm yourself and enjoy the peace and quiet. We DEFINITELY get more of that as we age, right?



“The only things you can ever really do to time is enjoy it, or waste it.”

A.J. Compton

My husband and I are visiting with family and friends on the west coast this week – an excellent way to pass some very memorable time! Enjoy the moments and we’ll hope to see you next week when Amy brings us Challenge #39.









Lens-Artists Challenge #37 – History

“Whoever won the war, would revise the history.”

Toba Beta



This week Patti has challenged us to share our perspective on a moment in history (read her challenge here). Having recently seen the WWI movie “They Shall Not Grow Old” by Peter Jackson, I thought I might focus a bit on something in the same vein which has had immense importance here in the south, the American Civil War.  The war, which lasted four years (1861-1865), resulted in over a million casualties – 3% of the total population at the time. The numbers include soldiers who were killed in battle and the many more who died due to disease (smallpox, yellow fever, dysentery and malaria were rampant in the camps) as well as over 50,000 civilians. The US National Park Service puts the number closer to 2,000,000, as the official record did not count as killed those who were seriously wounded and sent home only to die shortly afterwards.  Whatever the actual number, even the lowest estimates account for more American deaths than all other US wars combined.



“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Albert Einstein

Until the horrors of WWI, the American Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Because injuries to limbs most often resulted in gangrene, amputation was the treatment of choice. Many of the field medical personnel were untrained and were completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of wounded at any given time. The injured were sometimes left lying in the field of battle for several days or up to a week before being treated. Many of the combatants were friends or even relatives who fought for different sides – sometimes young teens posing as having reached the mandatory age of 18 and sometimes young girls disguised as young men.

Magnolia Cemetery, located just outside of Charleston, is a final resting place for many Civil War veterans, including hundreds of Confederate soldiers and 5 of their generals. It is incredibly rich with local history dating back to its foundation in 1850. Many of the graves of those long-ago soldiers are still carefully tended, often decorated with Confederate flags and flowers. While we may disagree with their cause, recognition of their courage and commitment is surely their due.



“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”


Lieutenant George Dixon, whose grave is pictured above, is quite famous in both local and naval circles as the captain of the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine ever to sink a ship in warfare. The submarine successfully torpedoed and destroyed the Union’s USS Housatonic, but it then sank with all of its crew members aboard. Following years of searching, the sub was found intact at the bottom of Charleston Harbor in 1995 by a team led by adventurer/author Clive Cussler. Archaeologists raised the sub 5 years later, taking it to a special facility where it has been extensively researched.  Scientists speculate that the crew (whose remains were found on board) may have died of pulmonary hemorrhage (ie. ruptured lungs) from the shock waves of their successful torpedo’s explosion.

Interestingly, Lt. Dixon’s watch (found on board) stopped at exactly 8:23, the approximate time of the Hunley attack.  In addition, there had long been a southern legend that Lt. Dixon’s fiancé gave him a lucky gold piece when he left for the war, and that it had stopped a bullet to save his life when he was shot in the Battle of Shiloh. During excavation a gold coin was found on Lt. Dixon’s hip bone. It was warped by the impact of a bullet and inscribed “Shiloh, April 6, 1862, My life preserver, GED”. How cool is that? 😊



“All wars are civil wars because all men are brothers.”

Francois Fenelon

I will close with a recommendation that if you haven’t see the Jackson WWI movie you absolutely should. For a photographer, it is fascinating to see how he has transformed the original footage from WWI battles into a present-day technology movie – going so far as to hire lip readers to translate the soldiers’ conversations and coloring the uniforms exactly as they would have appeared. The movie can sometimes be difficult to watch in light of the fact that the images are real-life films that often portray the horrors of war.  But I honestly believe anyone who does see it will feel even more deeply the cruelty, inhumanity and senselessness that is war. 

Thanks to Patti for giving us an opportunity to highlight historic moments both large and small. Hope to see you next week when Ann-Christine hosts Challenge #38.