One Observing

A Curious Person's Photographic Notebook

Changing of the Light

One evening, a fading flower the light illumines

Even now, still in the midst of summer, the light is changing, preparing for transition: the days ever so slightly shorter, the rising sun a few minutes delayed. Here, the last light of a warm evening illumines a fading flower.



Sometimes the simple

To pause to allow the ordinary to reveal its small beauties
is to attend,
is to meet a moment of joy.

Dancing in the Summer Sun

Botanicals Wild

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
―Susan Polis Schutz

In the tall grass prairie, wildflowers

Wee White Bourquet

Hovering Buds

Small Abundances


This forgotten house

Better days ahead, my friend (1)

This forgotten house . . .

What stories have been worn into its walls?
What memories dwell within like lonely ghosts?
What secrets will it forever keep?

This abandoned home,
Once, was it filled with love and laughter?
Or heartbreak and sorrow?

Forsaken, does this house long for its past?
Mourn its lost occupants?
Weep as it crumples?

But do not be mistaken.
This forgotten house has not failed.
It is, simply, eloquently, telling its story.
And, as you know, all stories come to an end.

Sweet Pink Peony

Peony Parfum

How I wish, dear friends, I could send you the sweet fragrance of this pink peony! It would do your heart good.

Historic Homes: Charleston Architecture, Part II

Mansion White Point Gardens

This brick mansion situated on a prime corner lot on the harbour offers a delightful view of its three-tiered piazza. Imagine, too, the history it has witnessed directly across the river from Fort Sumter where the first shots of the American Civil War rang out.

Italian Renaissance Revival Mansion

Displaying two contrasting front piazzas, curvy and square, this southern belle models a decorative flair.

Carpenter House

A handsome house built in the early 1800s by carpenter Robert Lindsay, this gem remains classic and contemporary.

A Flower-filled house

How lovely it must be to call this charmer home!

As a final note, it would be amiss not to reveal that many of the magnificent mansions in Charleston’s historic district were built by highly skilled but unacknowledged, enslaved workers.

Single Houses: Charleston Architecture, Part I

No visitor to Charleston, South Carolina can resist the charm of this historic city. Its picturesque quality owes much to the distinctive architecture, in particular, a unique style of dwelling known as the single house.

Single house

Set close to the street, the single house, as its name hints, is only one room wide with a “front” door that opens not into the home, but a veranda, which locals call the piazza.

Single house piazza

From one to three tiers, the piazza on the long side of the home creates open-air living space. It is also oriented to welcome cooling breezes from the harbour, a relief during the hot, humid summer. Often gardens and trees are planted alongside the piazzas, not only upping the beauty factor but offering shade and privacy.

Contemporary southern dwell

Given that the single house has a long-standing history in Charleston, contemporary designs borrow from these traditional tall and narrow homes, preserving the unique flavour of residential architecture.