Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Home Front Challenges

After the year we have been through in 2018 I will never again take for granted having a good roof over my head.

Christmas this year brought great gratitude for our beautiful home being whole again after a summer disaster.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Orangeburg Book Signing a Fun Day!

On Saturday, Dec. 22, just a few days before Christmas, I was part of a book signing at Swift Books in Orangeburg. The shop, owned by Dean and Edie Swift, is located on Chestnut Street in the Five Rivers Market antique mall.

I love the antique mall!  Before leaving I returned nearly half the money I made selling books after buying some Christmas gifts for the family.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Chicago's Holiday Season Charm!

On the eve of Christmas and New Year's, Chicago was a great place to visit for several days!  Alesia was sent there on a business trip and I was able to join her after completing finals and final grading. Our younger son lives and works there now too, so this trip was much anticipated, to say the least!

This may be my favorite photograph (from among the hundreds taken) during my Chicago December visit. The sax playing, Santa hat wearing musician provided a pop of sound and color on this one day that was very foggy from dawn to dusk.
This picture is a favorite too. I took it from the stairs going to the "L" train station near our hotel.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sottile House Shines at Night!

Walking to my car Monday night after my College of Charleston class I stopped and admired the old Sottile House at 11 College St. The beautiful yellow Victorian mansion dates to 1890 but looks better than ever, especially at night.

With some processing tools from Snapseed, a free photo editing app, I created this image, which adds to the beauty of the elegant structure. Not bad for an iPhone 7 picture, right?

Nighttime Capture- love the lighting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sunday Grave Trotting in Charleston!

In my College of Charleston class, "Beyond the Grave: What Old Cemeteries Tell and Teaching the Living," I needed to call a late semester audible. A few classes were wiped out by the busy hurricane season and I needed to get in some assignments.

Class Photo at the Unique Unitarian Churchyard
So I asked the students to come out on a late Sunday morning to visit a pair of old Charleston graveyards within walking distance of campus.

Unfortunately, less than half the class showed up. For my MIAs?  They missed out on a neat experience.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Prezi Project a Pain But Results Are Good!

It has been a while since I've produced a PowerPoint-type presentation in what's called PowerPoint 2.0, aka Prezi.

I'm having my college students create a top ten or ten all-time favorites list using Prezi as the platform.  So, to demonstrate how Prezi Next works (this has replaced Prezi Classic, of which I am much more familiar and comfortable) I wanted to put together a new Prezi. With all of the Magnolia Cemetery photos I have taken over the years I thought this could be a great subject. And I narrowed it down to 10 favorite statuary cemetery art figures.

Magnolia Cemetery has lots to choose from in this area, in that it is a beautiful Victorian necropolis that dates to 1850.

Embedding a Prezi in a Blogger post like this requires a couple steps. Here is the link I used that shows how to do it.  The short tutorial includes this HTML code. All you do is paste over the red part the URL that can be generated for your particular Prezi:

Before producing the first Prezi at the top of this post, I did one incorrectly that turned out like the above. I was able to convert it to a JPEG, then shared on a Facebook site called "Charleston History Before 1945." I like how it looks, though I cannot get rid of all the red underlines.  

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Fall Backyard Bird Bounce

Cooler weather (finally!) seems to have increased my backyard bird activity this weekend. I spent some time on my back porch after seeing lots of action at my feeders while looking out the window.

I saw and photographed some returning favorites. Here they are:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler 

Young Students See Very Old Magnolia Cemetery

Monday night we caravaned the 10-minute drive from campus to Magnolia Cemetery- a short trip but a very long step back in time.

Students were able to see up close and personal many majestic, magnificent and artistic graveyard treasures going back as far as the 1850s. And back then they were all created by skilled artisans using only hammers and chisels, I remind the students.

If you've never been to Magnolia Cemetery, one of the nation's most beautiful and historic, get a taste of it by viewing my "Best of Magnolia Cemetery" video on YouTube.  

Two days before Halloween and a few costumes in this class photo!

I look forward to reading the students' blog posts. I hope they enjoyed seeing Magnolia Cemetery as much as I enjoyed showing it to them!

Now that I'm critiquing my students' posts, Anna Buko's stands out so far. I really like her "Garden of Graves" headline and her quality descriptions. Check out her post here.

Reece Hammond also did a very good post with high-quality writing and descriptions.

This post by Kevin Myhre is outstanding!

And Jack Sutton show's excellent scene setting in his story's lead. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Popular Pix Enhance Photo Fun

Facebook seeks engagement and it has certainly become more engaging to me. Why? How?
Specialty sites within Facebook have helped me find people of similar interests.

Case in point, this picture I snapped with my iPhone Monday night on Coming Street near the College of Charleston.

Not Rainbow Row but colorful still...

I froze in my tracks on the sidewalk when I saw the pair of old Charleston Single Houses ("icons of Charleston architecture," according to this link), their contrasting colors, the bright street lamp in front of the pink dwelling, and the strong moon glow pouring down from above. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

ACE Basin Basking!

Fall debuted a few weeks ago but the hot, humid and hurricane weather (thanks to Florence and Michael) continued into October.

Last weekend was significantly cooler and sunny too so on Sunday Alesia and I drove down to the Hollings National Wildlife Refuge in the Lowcountry's beautiful ACE Basin.

Since it was Sunday we had to park a ways away from the old (but restored) Grove Plantation House, which dates to the 1820s. Today it serves as the refuge's office. Check the embedded link for a timeline of the historic structure.

The house and surrounding grounds are interesting photo material by themselves.

Several of my photos, processed his the Snapseed app, follow.