The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

South Carolina Vacation: Brookgreen Gardens – The Rodin Exhibit

We visited Brookgreen Gardens for the third time on Sunday, February 26.  We arrived at the gardens around 10:00 am.  We parked in the main parking lot.   I took so many pictures during our visit that they merit at least three blog posts.

Our first stop was in the Rosen Galleries. Featured in the Rosen Galleries from Jan 28, 2023 through Aril 25, 2003 is an exhibition of some of Auguste Rodin’s best-known sculptures. At the entrance to the exhibit, a docent directed us to a sign on the wall that told us about Auguste Rodin.

“At the peak of his career, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) was regarded as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. He rejected nineteenth-century academic traditions that dictated what was proper in art and instead transformed sculpture into an art that conveyed the vitality of the human spirit. His vigorous modeling emphasized his personal response to the subject, and he conveyed movement and emotion by inventing new poses and gestures. He created his own form of artistic expression. Today, it is acknowledged that Rodin’s work led sculpture into the modern era and that his studio practices led artists there, too. Because both during his lifetime and after his death his work could be seen all over the world, it is celebrated for its innovations, risks, and inventiveness. Rodin continues to influence artists as an example of one who accepted being controversial if it meant being true to his own aesthetic ideals.”

I photographed a few of the sculptures. Each sculpture was accompanied by an informational placard.

“Nude Study of Balzac”

“Balzac was renowned for his corpulence, his appetites, and the disproportion of his body (his legs were very short)….Rodin took on the task of “creating for an impatient committee of sculpturally unsophisticated writers a heroic public monument destined for the heart of the nation’s capital. The subject of this daunting effort was a short, fat, ugly man who wrote books.” … Rodin gave Balzac more physical strength than he really had, perhaps suggesting the writer’s intellect could inform his physique.”

An informatory placard was displayed on the wall next to the picture of “The Burghers of Calais”.

“The Burghers of Calais”

“The Burghers of Calais was commissioned in 1884 (1337-1453). In 1347, King Edward III of England laid siege to Calais. This siege prevented food from entering the city for 100 days. Edward offered to end it if citizens of Calais would bring him the keys to the gates; he told them that he intended to then execute these citizens (“burghers”). Nevertheless, six burghers volunteered….”

Here are four of the six sculptures of the burghers.

“Jean de Fiennes”

“Said to be the youngest of the storied six burghers, Jean de Fiennes is also the most vocal. It’s as if walking forward, he turns sideways to yell or speak about his self-inflicted fate…Jean de Fiennes carries no props; instead, his open mouth and expansive gesture provide the theatricality necessary for the occasion.”

“Pierre de Wissant”

“…Unlike the other burghers, Pierre de Wissant seems to have no predetermined front and back. Instead, the figure twists and turns, the head looks down and backwards at the lagging-behind foot that picks itself up to move toward doom…”

“Jacques de Wissant”

“…Jacques De Wissant’s raised right hand allies him with the gesture made by his brother, Pierre, but sets him apart from the other burghers. Perhaps the gesture is to shield his eyes from the scene before him. His hands, legs, and feet are somewhat larger than they should be …, as if to convey the man’s reluctance to move and the weight of the oversized key he carries.”

“Eustache de Saint Pierre”

“Eustache de St. Pierre, the only one named in the medieval Chronicles, was described as an old, civic-minded, and wealthy man; the first to volunteer for the task. The figure of Eustache steps forward on the left foot, leading the burghers from their assembly place in the Town Square. His body implies movement-in-progress…His whole body seems to bear a burden as it moves…”

I hadn’t heard of Auguste Rodin before walking through the Rosen Galleries. I believe I will recognize his name henceforth!

There is more to share about this visit to Brookgreen Gardens, so please check back soon.

South Carolina Vacation: Crepe Creation Cafe

We awakened on the morning of Saturday, February 25 to discover it had rained during the night. This was our first rain since arriving in Surfside Beach.  It would be a cooler day, too, than it has been since our arrival.  At 8:00 am it was only 56 degrees with showers.  It was much better here than at home, though.  At the same time, in Warren PA, it was 21 degrees with snow.  According to Weather Underground, two inches of snow was expected.

Our friends Marge and Neil H. stopped by our Airbnb rental. Nanny & Pops, at 11:00 am.  We visited for a while inside our cottage.  Later we went for a walk in the neighborhood.  We walked to Floral Lake and back home.   The turtles didn’t disappoint.  I counted 12 – 14 turtles that congregated below us, as we crossed over the footbridge.

Next we drove to Myrtle Beach, where we ate lunch at the Crepe Creation Cafe.  All four of us ordered both a savoury crepe and a dessert crepe.  Bob and I shared our crepes, as did Neil and Marge. 

Our savory crepe was a Cresesadilla (Chicken, Bell Peppers, Onions, Cheddar, and Mozzarella served with sides of Sour Cream and Salsa).
Our dessert crepe was an Apple Turnover (Homemade Apple Filling topped with Caramel, Powder Sugar, and Whipped Cream and a side of Vanilla Ice Cream).

As you can see, the crepes are huge!  Each crepe, sitting on two plates, equaled the serving for one person.

We returned to Nanny & Pops around 3:15 pm. Neil and Marge left straightaway, as they wanted to attend Saturday Mass.

South Carolina Vacation: Brookgreen Gardens

Later in the morning of Friday, February 24, after photographing the sunrise, we drove to Brookgreen Gardens.  This was our second visit to Brookgreen Gardens. A couple days ago we explored the Lowcountry Zoo and the Floyd Family Farm. On this day we walked the Lowcountry Trail, where we learned about rice fields and the slaves who worked and lived there. We parked across the road from the Leonard Pavilion, where we began our self-guided tour of the Lowcountry Trail.

The Lowcountry Trail is 1/4 mile in length. The trail crosses the hillside overlooking Mainfield, a Brookgreen rice field.

Brookgreen Gardens
Lowcountry Trail

Brookgreen Gardens
Overlooks of Rice Field along the Lowcountry Trail

There are four stainless steel figures along the Lowcountry Trail: the plantation owner, the overseer, an enslaved African male, and an enslaved African female. All four figures are the work of Babette Bloch.

Brookgreen Gardens
Lowcountry Trail: the Overseer
Brookgreen Gardens
Lowcountry Trail: an Enslaved African Female
Brookgreen Gardens
Lowcountry Trail: an Enslaved African Male

We did see the plantation owner figure, but I neglected to photograph it.

From the Lowcountry Trail we walked back to the Leonard Pavilion. We explored more of Brookgreen Gardens from this starting point.

The sculpture “Pledge Allegiance” by Glenna Goodacre is located in the Falk Family Garden near the Leonard Pavilion.
The sculpture “Heron, Grouse and Loon”by Elliot Offner is in front of the Leonard Pavilion.

The remaining photographs were taken, as we meandered through the gardens.

“Park Bench Statesman” by Maria J Kirby-Smith
“Gazelle Fountain: by Marshall Maynard Fredericks
“Time and the Fates of Man” by Paul Manship
“Riders of the Dawn” by Adolph Alexander Weinman
The Labyrinth is located along the north end of the Trail Beyond the Garden Wall.
It is a medieval, seven circuit Chartres style labyrinth of shell and natural grass.
The Labyrinth overlooks a tributary creek of the Waccamaw River.
There are several ponds throughout Brookgreen Gardens.
Any of the ponds can contain alligator(s).
Do you see the alligator in this pond?
Look to the right of the sign, between high grass and short grass.

Here is a close-up picture of the alligator!

Brookgreen Gardens alligator
Brookgreen Gardens flowers
“Don Quixote” by Anna Hyatt Huntington
“Sancho Panza” by Carl Paul Jennewein

There are many more sculptures at Brookgreen Gardens, and I am not done sharing some of those sculptures. Stay tuned for one other day during our vacation, when we returned to Brookgreen Gardens.

South Carolina Vacation: Sunrise

On the morning of Friday, February 24, we watched the sun rise from Surfside Beach. 

We first walked to the public beach access at the end of 1st Ave S.  I took a picture of the Surfside Beach Fishing Pier, under construction, before the sun had risen.

The dawning of a new day

We walked north a short distance to the next public beach access, next to River City Cafe, so that we could take sunrise pictures with an unobstructed view.  The sunrise did not disappoint!

Here comes the sun!
Such a beautiful sunrise!
Bob and I enjoyed watching the sun rise.

As we walked back to our Airbnb rental “Nanny & Pops”, we stopped briefly to take a picture of a Surfside Beach art mural.

Surfside Beach SC mural
Close-up picture of me in front of the Surfside Beach SC mural

This day’s activities continue in my next blog post.

South Carolina Vacation: Birthday Celebration

My birthday was on Thursday, February 23.

Bob made breakfast.

Bob made a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, brown n serve sausage and fried potatoes with onions. This breakfast got my birthday off to a good start!

We spent a few hours late morning and afternoon with our friends, Marge and Neil H, at their Garden City Beach rental oceanfront condo. 

Marge and Neil’s condo is located at One Ocean Place.

We chatted with Marge and Neil for a while on their 10th floor balcony, enjoying each other’s company as well as the view of the beach and ocean at our feet.  A short time later we ate lunch, prepared by their grandson Lex.  Lex and his parents, Michael and Andrea, were visiting with Marge and Neil for a few days. Lunch was a salad with a sweet and spicy dressing and a rice, spam and seaweed dish as a main entree.  The seaweed held together the rice and spam.  It was my first experience eating seaweed.  Lex did a great job with lunch … really tasty!  It was great seeing Lex again.  We last saw him several years ago, when he was a young boy.  He is 14 years old now.  We enjoyed also seeing and chatting with Lex’s parents.

Before leaving, Bob and I went for a walk on the beach with Marge and Neil.

The tall building in the background is One Ocean Place.
There were lots of golf carts on the beach that day.
I love these colorful beach cottages.
Neil, Marge, Bob and I on the beach

Spending time with our friends was a great way to celebrate my birthday!

That evening, after dinner (leftovers from the previous night), Bob and I went for a walk in our neighborhood.  We walked to Floral Lake, as we did the previous night.

This picturesque entrance near our rental caught my eye.

At Floral Lake we walked across the footbridge. As happened the previous night, turtles began to multiply beneath the footbridge.

There are lots of turtles in Floral Lake!

From Floral Lake we returned to “Nanny & Pops”’ our Airbnb rental.

South Carolina Vacation: Back at Surfside Beach

From Brookgreen Gardens we returned to our Airbnb rental “Nanny & Pops” and ate a light lunch.  Bob ate our leftovers from the previous night’s dinner and added a few grapes.  I ate a tuna salad snack set, a banana and grapes.  I prepared Suddenly Salad pasta salad for this evening’s dinner.  I needed 1/2 cup of mayonnaise for the salad.  I forgot to add mayonnaise to our shopping list, so Bob picked up a small jar at the nearby Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

During the previous day’s beach walk, we came across a small “river” that crossed the length of the beach.  A man told us there is a lake about 4 blocks from us, and the lake is where the water flows from.  We drove to the lake this afternoon.  We did a lot of walking at Brookgreen Gardens earlier in the day, which caused my arthritic knee to ache. We could have walked to the lake, but Bob thought it best that I not overdo it.  We found the small lake, Floral Lake, easily. There was a bocce game being played, when we arrived, at Martin Park.  From Martin Park we walked across a bridge over Floral Lake. 

A footbridge crosses over Floral Lake.
This was the view, looking left, from the footbridge.

Six turtles congregated underneath us, while we were on the footbridge. 

There is a sign at Floral Lake to not feed the ducks or other wildlife.
It appeared that the turtles were accustomed to being fed!

Tonight’s dinner was at “Nanny & Pops”. Dinner included sloppy joes, baked beans, Suddenly Salad pasta salad and, for dessert, cheesecake.

After dinner we went for a walk on “our beach”, just down from the Surfside Pier.  It was windy and cooler than it was late morning/early afternoon.  The change in weather was so refreshing!

This is the channel from which Floral Lake drains into the ocean.

This blog post concludes our activities on Wednesday, February 22.

South Carolina Vacation: Brookgreen Gardens – Lowcountry Zoo and Floyd Family Farm

On Wednesday, February 22, we ate breakfast at our rental Airbnb, “Nanny & Pops”.  We each had a bowl of oatmeal.  I added diced peaches to my oatmeal.

At 8:00 am we picked up groceries at Walmart that I had ordered online last night.  When we returned to our rental, I put away the groceries.  

Later in the morning Bob and I went to Brookgreen Gardens.  Brookgreen Gardens was created in 1931 by Anne and Archer Huntington. The Gardens is registered as a National Historic Landmark and contains native flora, fauna, and American sculpture. We purchased tickets, good for 7 days, at a cost of $18.00 each (senior rate).  Brookgreen Gardens offers three distinct areas to explore: Botanical Gardens, a large collection of American Sculpture and the Lowcountry Zoo.  We chose to explore the Lowcountry Zoo today.  All the animals at the zoo are native to Lowcountry South Carolina.

Some of the native species that we saw in the zoo included an alligator, a bald eagle, hawks, owls, river otters, ducks, herons, egrets and ibis.

This wildlife column by Anna Hyatt Huntington greeted us, as we entered the Lowcountry Zoo. This bronze sculpture is embellished with wildlife native to the Southeast.
Black-crowned Night Herons
White Ibis
Sun-bathing turtles
The Eagle’s Egg by Ralph Hamilton Humes.
American Bald Eagle
Great Horned Owl
I believe that this is a Red-Tailed Hawk.
An Alligator and a Sandhill Crane
Male Wood Duck
Ruddy Duck
Two Male Wood Ducks and One Female Wood Duck
Whistling Ducks

We visited the animals at the Floyd Family Farm too. The animals at the Floyd Family Farm are considered historic rare breeds and are much more like animals of the 1800s than the hybrid descendants of today.

Red Devon Cow
Spanish Goats

We saw two Marsh Tacky horses at the Floyd Family Farm. The Marsh Tacky horses were brought over the Atlantic Ocean by Spanish explorers and settlers in the 1500s.

Marsh Tacky Horse
Marsh Tacky Horse

Stay tuned for another blog post about the rest of our day on February 22, coming soon!

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