Hobcaw Barony is a non-profit wildlife refuge, aka Belle Baruch Foundation. Made as a royal land grant in 1718, it was eventually subdivided into 14 individual plantations. It became the winter residence of Wall Street millionaire and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch. Mr. Baruch's daughter, Belle, purchased all of the barony over a period of several years and at her death a foundation was created to use the land for the "purposes of teaching and/or research in forestry, marine biology, and the care and propagation of wildlife, flora and fauna" in the state of South Carolina. The property , composed of low country pine and maritime forest, and tidal marshlands, juts out into and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and Winyah Bay. Access to the Barony's 17500 acres is by guided tour only, and I have visited it several times to kayak and bird-watch. I wish the Foundation would sponsor a plein air painters or photographers day; they don't, but I do have several great photos I've taken on the tours I have attended.
( Below photo of fire lookout tower)
Given its immense acreage, and its geographical isolation, the marshlands here have a surreal quality about them. The sky is huge and other than the handful of people in my party there is almost no evidence of human. I always feel small. It feels comforting to be reminded that nature has her own agenda and in many ways it is much more sublime than the plans of man. I tried to capture that emotion this week with a couple of paintings of the marsh at Hobcaw. I included a human element in both just to give perspective to the scene, but in both cases, I tried to emphasize the grandeur of the place with its immense skies and endless empty horizons.
Below: Boat landing