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Storm Cells

We are in Edenton for a house tour this weekend. So far the hot ticket has been the weather. Edenton’s docks are exposed to the south and, as luck would have it, all the weather is coming in from the south. makes for bumpy ride at the dock but that’s OK. We get interesting clouds. Yesterday’s weather theme was one of small rain cells sweeping over with sun in between. Along about noon, we got to see the full selection – a small rain cell, sun and nice clouds on the horizon. Tomorrow’s theme will be the heavy weather that has ripped up the central states and then fair weather for our tour weekend.

If photography is about communication more than recording then yesterday’s clouds were quite challenging. How to evoke the broad drama of the scene with messing things up? Straight color leaves the scene flat. Black & white comes out dramatic – too dramatic and too busy. So let’s try a digital version of an old color lab processing technique, bleach bypass which desaturates an image.

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Church Street Door

I can think of no image that speaks to the quiet elegance of Charleston’s neighborhoods more than this door wreath, one of two for this house. Nothing suggests the allure of Charleston’s streets early in the morning than the gentle light we see here. Everything comes with a price. This morning light is fleeting at best. As soon as direct light comes over the first roof top and through trees we are just about out of business – a reason to be back early tomorrow morning.

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Saturday Market

It’s always fun to see what a community’s Farmer’s Market has to offer. In American cities the markets vary widely – everything from struggling to exist to well established institutions. Charleston’s market seems to be seasonally established and a Saturday morning must for many. The crepe and omelet tents had what I would consider too long lines. One local said they were so short that she was able to get a crepe for the first time in several years.

Otherwise, this market is the usual upbeat eclectic mix of crafts, specialty foods and local produce. A neighborhood resident could do quite well shopping for vegies here. Oh yes, any market in good weather is a doggie parade. Bring your dog to say hello to other dogs. Got to be more fun than once around the same block forever.

We found that it’s still too early for Tupelo honey. However, Charleston is close enough to New Orleans for beignets – yum – a good deal, a good market, a great day.

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South of Broad

Early morning light shines kindly on Charleston’s historic and definitely pricey residential neighborhood, the entirety of Charleston south of Broad Street. Newspapers lie on doorsteps waiting for retrieval. Residents are out walking their dogs. Pickup trucks infiltrate the neighborhood as preservation craftsmen come in for their day’s work. They seem quite in context as this extended neighborhood shows off some eighty years of preservation effort all of which needs to be ongoing. We can report that Charleston, victim of almost 100 years of economic depression after the Civil War, appears to be thriving. Tourists are everywhere. Grand houses are indeed grand. For Sale signs abound. Seems to us there always are signs everywhere. If these signs are the consequence of the national real estate malaise, someone is going to need to explain the past and present price structure. Not cheap at all south of Broad.

Only tourists with cameras appear out of place. Later in the day, tourists will make this quiet neighborhood almost crowded. The morning is for the residents. This morning is perhaps the first time I have felt self-conscious photographing in public spaces. We have to bend and peer to get glimpses of the private worlds behind wrought iron fences. We have to be somewhat invasive.  For that reason we hope to be treated to that private world with a scheduled house and garden tour this afternoon.

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Not a Good Day

Not a good day for the sailboat Midori. We can wonder what they were doing way out of the channel when the tide is going out in territory that has a five foot tidal range, is well charted, well marked and known to have extensive mud flats outside of the channel. Whatever the reason it’s not yet low tide and they are in for a long wait.

We got interested in their situation awhile before we came on them. In discussing their situation with the local Coast guard, the crew of the Midori informed the Coast Guard that they could no longer monitor their radio because the cockpit was heeled over too much. This sounded odd, that is until we came upon them. A towing service arrived shortly and joined the wait for an incoming tide some 3 1/2 hours later.

All in all, not a good day for the crew of Midori. Not a scene we want to be part of. Not a scene we want to see.

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