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Cotton Dock holiday market features Cacky Rivers' photography book

By Charleston Mercury Staff

Roseate spoonbill coming in for a landing. Photos by Cacky Rivers.

Quail Forever's Boone Hall Cotton Dock Holiday Market will commence November 22 at 3 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. The market will feature unique artisans and products of the Lowcountry, among them Travis Folk from New World Cartography selling his handsome maps.

With hospitality galore, Quail Forever and Charleston Mercury hosts will feature a new book of photography from Cacky Rivers, Grounded in Flight. This is her first collection of photography and will include more than three dozen species that nest in and migrate to and from the Lowcountry, bound in leather with gold leaf line art from Lese Corrigan and featuring hand-drawn maps from Travis Folk. Cacky's passion is not only photographing these birds but also raising awareness of their habitat needs.

Books are available for preorder on with the option to ship directly or pick up on November 22 at the Cotton Dock. Books will be shipped in time for Christmas. A special reduced price on all preorders is available through September 8.

Below are an excerpt and a selection of one-of-a-kind photos from Grounded in Flight.

The elusive painted bunting.

From the introduction:

What I am doing with my bird photography not only brings people joy but also gives them the knowledge of birds they may not have had previously. One of my favorite saying is “knowledge is power.” My photographs connect people with this knowledge — which is interesting because I shoot birds mostly alone. Out of this solitary pursuit, I have made the most incredible connections with people I never would have known.


Red-shouldered hawk.

On the Red-Shouldered Hawk:

The best part about my journey with photography is when people call me with a “find.” My bird nerd friend Claire called to let me know there was a red-shouldered hawk nest in her neighborhood. This small raptor makes its presence known, and I never understood why they make so much noise when they are hunting; I would think they would scare away their prey. When I went to investigate, I found three babies in the nest. This is not very common, according to Jim Elliot with Birds of Prey. He said the third one “could very well make it … the sibs are usually the problem.” That whole survival-of-the-fittest thing is hard to watch when one sibling is picked on or even killed. Nature can be cruel. Well, this third baby fledged with the others and I hope and pray he or she continues to thrive in the wild.

As I was observing the nest several days a week, a great many people stopped to ask me what I was doing. I got another opportunity to talk with people about wildlife. Most people (including myself) would have never known there was a nest there if they had not looked up to see it high in the pine tree. My sister Elise and niece Maddie, who also live in the neighborhood, even stopped to watch the nest with me for about an hour and got to see how much I love photographing wildlife. Moments like that are incredibly precious to me.


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