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November 2009

Change of Seasons                                                     11/23/09

According to the calendar we are somewhere between fall and winter, but seasonal changes here in the Lowcountry can be quite drawn out and often impossible to detect. When the weather fails as an indicator of the season I look to the local wildlife for answers. In late fall you will see an influx of raptors in the South, especially Bald Eagles which arrive in numbers to join the few resident eagles and stay through the short winter.

Bald Eagle Calling

Also arriving as fall turns to winter are many different ducks escaping the cold of their northern breeding grounds. My favorites are the Hooded Mergansers which can be seen in the brackish ponds and marshes on our barrier islands. You can also see loons in the larger rivers and rafts of hundreds of sea ducks just off the beaches throughout the winter.

Hooded Mergansers in a Kiawah Island Pond
Hooded Mergansers on a Kiawah Island Pond

A Raft of Sea Ducks off the Beach at Sunrise
A Raft of Sea Ducks Just Off the Beach at Sunrise

If you're not great with birds you can look for our fall colors. We're not talking about October in New England, and you may have to wait for January for some of our leaves to change, but if you pay attention there are some changes to be seen.

Fall Spartina Reflecting in a creek
Fall Spartina Grass Reflection

October Sweet Grass and the Kiawah Marsh

Fall Leaves With an Early Morning Dew
Fall Leaves With an Early Morning Dew


My New Book Arrives                                                11/20/09

My fourteenth book An Egret's Day arrived a few days ago. It's always exciting to pull open the box and grab a few crispy, fresh-from-the-printer books out. They feel very different, kind of compressed and they have the fresh ink smell, akin to new car smell.

I dedicated this book to three ladies who had giant impacts on my carreer (and life), Carol Case-my first boss in the industry, Karen Bacot-friend, x-boss, mentor and my wife's business partner (Wild Hair Press) and of course my mother, Jane Yolen-the author of my fourteen books and several hundred others, and my biggest cheerleader...Thanks Ladies!!

I shot this book entirely in the Lowcountry, (except one shot from the Everglades) mostly on Kiawah Island and Magnolia Plantation's Audubon Swamp Garden. The Great Egret is one of the birds you see every day around Charleston and the Lowcountry, and you begin to take them and their beauty for granted. I was able to regain my appreciation for them with this project, and will try to keep looking at all our natural fixtures with a fresh eye every day.

The Sun Shines again                                                 11/16/09

After a long week of clouds and rain it was very nice to see the sun return for the weekend. On Sunday, I was able to get out in the boat with my daughters to enjoy the weather and do a little fishing. It was also my mission to teach them to hold any fish we caught so I could work on some fishing photos.

Redfish about to be released
Redfish ready for release

Child releasing a spotted Sea trout
Caroline releasing a trout

Monday arrived and it's still sunny and beautiful with a hint of a chill in the morning. Between shooting some houses on Kiawah I played around with the heavy dew covering all the vegatation.

Dew drops on a leaf
Dew drops on a leaf

Welcome to                  11/12/09

Welcome to CharlestonSCPhotoBlog, I'm glad you found me. I guess an introduction is in order. I'm a full-time freelance photographer specializing in nature, wildlife and architecture. On a daily basis, I split my time between shooting architecture and other commericial subjects for commercial clients such as Kiawah Development Partners and Kiawah Island Real Estate and shooting wildlife and nature on the barrier islands and waterways of the Lowcountry.

I moved to Charleston from Crested Butte, CO eight years ago with my wife and we've since fallen in love with Charleston and have found it the perfect place to raise our six year old twin daughters. I love the size, history and culture of Charleston and especially its proximity to the countless waterways and Spartina wilderness. As my father did with me, I'm making it my mission to ingrain a deep love and appreciation for the natural world with my children and hopefully pass on a little bit of that to you through my photography as well.

Well, enough talk for now, on with the photos. Here are a few from the past year or so which illustrate some of the things I love most about Charleston and the lowcountry.

Dolphins in Charleston Harbor and The Arthur Ravenal (Cooper River) Bridge
Dolphins in the Harbor and the Arthur Ravenal Bridge

Boat returning from sea through Stono River Inlet
Boat returning from sea through the Stono River Inlet

Tailing redish on a spartina grass flat
Tailing Redfish on a high tide spartina grass flat

Historic homes on the battery at sunrise as seen from Charleston Harbor
Historic homes on the battery at sunrise as seen from Charleston Harbor
will be sharing my photos of Charleston, Kiawah and The Lowcountry's natural and man-made world with you, as well as my thoughts on photography, nature and life in the Lowcountry. I hope you enjoy it and come back often. For more of my photography, please visit and

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