Pines in field off Ashepoo  18 X 24"

Pines in field off Ashepoo 18 X 24"

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Once again, Ashepoo landscape typifies our lowcountry landscape. Water and land. Our island culture made transportation by land arduous so we learned much about water, tides, "freshets" and wind. We learned to observe the weather and the seasons closely since travel and our agrarian existence depended heavily on these things. Creeks were extensively named even up to the smallest creek; most of them were given names of local tribes or local landowners. Every curve in the river and every shallow bank of the river was well defined, and everyone on that river understood the potential obstacles. Traffic on the rivers was extensive. Boating skills and seamanship were highly prized. Getting back and forth to town was essential. A ship can carry many wagonloads of produce on one trip ; wind and tides, if used efficiently, did all the work. Unfortunately, rivers and creeks were not straight, the wind intensity and direction unpredictable. Tides move one direction only six hours and then move the opposite direction.

If one gets up top of the McKinley Washington Bridge that spans the Dawhoo River as it leads from Adam's Run to Edisto Island ,one can clearly see how exhaustingly serpentine this river can be, sometimes with the river coiling back on itself repeatedly. Each turn required a shift in the sails and a adjustment in the rigging to follow the course of the river. "Cuts" such as the Wappoo Cut, linking the Wappoo to the Stono river, made travel much more efficient and less time consuming just as the Panama Canal did in the early 20th century.

As always,there is  a "silver lining" to every downside, and this slow travel allowed the residents of these Sea Islands ample time to witness the beauty of our lowcountry and the seasons that change it. They knew when certain trees and grass would change their color and looked forward to the change as the seasons passed.

This painting done of oil on stretched canvas is a typical scene on the Ashepoo with the green grass changing from summer green to reds, browns and yellows with Autumn. Although evergreens such as pines and cedars keep their colors, Popcorn poplars, Maples and other hardwoods would change colors then finally to shed their foliage until spring when the lowcountry bursts with green all over again.

This subject is of a field of grass with squat-like pines clumped nearly in a line. The contrast of colors at this Autumn season is quite striking. This is oil and is 18 X 24" and weighs1.25 pounds.