Under the Canopy

One of the things I was really looking forward to doing in southern USA was visiting a plantation. Maybe it’s because of my favourite novel “The Book of Negros” by Lawrence Hill. If you’re looking for a good novel I highly recommend it. It’s about a girl who is kidnapped in Africa, made to walk across the continent in a coffle (a chain of slaves), barely survives the belly of the slave ship, and then works on an indigo plantation in South Carolina. It was fascinating to learn that The Book of Negroes is a real historical document which recorded the names and descriptions of 3,000 African-American slaves who escaped to the British lines during the American Revolution and were evacuated by the British by ship to points in Nova Scotia. Great novel. But I digress.

I visited Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. It is still a working plantation but they no longer grow cotton or indigo. Instead the strawberries, tomatoes, pumpkins and other vegetables thrive here. It was kind of odd walking around imagining it was the place where the heroine from my novel was a slave.

I made this image of the Live Oak Trees, which are native to southern USA and are the largest tree east of the Rockies. They are not particularly tall trees. What is interesting about them is how their branches grow in arches and how they have best friends. Yes, they do! Their best friend is the spanish moss. It looks like part of the tree, but all the stuff hanging down from the tree is spanish moss. It doesn’t hurt the tree at all. Spanish moss just really likes Live Oak.

I’ll have more about Boone Hall Plantation later this week. As always, you can click on the image to view a larger version.

Live Oak Trees, South Carolina

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    • says

      Hi Deanna! You know I never did read Roots so I’m glad you mentioned it. I remember seeing it on TV a very long time ago. I love to read novels and recently decided that since I spend so much time reading I should read some of the classics. So I just started Huckleberry Finn! I thought I would get by on book exchanges at the campsites but you wouldn’t believe the crap that people read. Every single book exchange has had nothing but thrillers, crime dramas and harlequin romance. Gag. Where’s the literature? Anyway … thank you so much for the compliment on the photo :)

    • says

      Hi Marc, it’s grass, and yeah I know what you mean. I actually already desaturated it. Thanks for mentioning it, I think if you noticed it I need to try again to fix that. Thanks very much for your comments.

  1. Betty says

    Both this photograph and Avenue of Oaks just vibrate with a South Carolina Low Country vibe. Through your perspective I can almost feel like I’m cantering forward in a horse drawn carriage, at a snappy clip, to get back to the ole’ plantation. I imagine wearing acres of chiffon tied up with ribbons and a big bonnet and sitting beside a gentleman in a top hat, etc. I look forward to visiting all of your travel photographs now. I feel privileged to have found your work.
    P.S. I wholeheartedly agree with why aren’t people reading good literature today? I love history and will search out your book mention, The Book of Negroes. It sounds like a wonderfully informing slice of human history. Thank you for sharing that. Betty

    • says

      Hi Betty, wow, I wish I could write like you! You described that place and era perfectly. Are you a writer? Thank you very much for your kind comments. I hope you enjoy The Book of Negroes, it is one of my all time favourites.

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