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, but the others, well, they just 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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

“Gravetrotting” With My Charleston Students

Hurricane Florence caused the cancellation in September of two of my Monday night College of Charleston classes. Since 2015 I have taught a unique course called “Beyond the Grave: What Old Cemeteries Tell and Teach the Living.” Charleston, especially its Historic District that the CofC campus is part of, makes a great place for such a topic of study and exploration.

I had some fun with the class photo below. Go to the end of this post to see what I did with the picture in the fun (and free!) Kizoa video/slideshow platform.
So, last Monday with Hurricane Florence no longer a threat we had class again and had a lot to do to get back on track.
We took a walk to a pair of nearby old churches, each with small but interesting graveyards. In the above photos, we are at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, an Episcopal church on Coming Street. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Magnolia Cemetery Birds and Graves

A visit today to Charleston’s historic Magnolia Cemetery lead to a plethora of plentiful photography, as it usually does for me.

I did photograph a few birds, including the Black-crowned Night Heron seen above. I had not seen one of these in a while  so I was excited!

The smaller birds I’m not sure about. I’m going to for some help. Sue enough, as always’s bird identification forum members came to my rescue. The small shore birds in the above photos are Solitary Sandpipers. This, I believe, is the first time seeing or photographing this type, making it a lifer bird for me. Cool!

Monday, September 17, 2018

My "Hurricane Florence Beard Challenge"

Day 1- Flo Beard Challenge
I had a lot of unexpected time at home with Hurricane Florence threatening the Southeast coast. At school Monday, Sept. 10 we learned from South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster that state agencies in half of the state’s counties closest to the coast would be closed indefinitely starting the next morning.

Florence at that time was a Category 4 hurricane and would at times increase to Category 5 in the following days. So it was certainly a wise decision by the governor. Better safe than sorry!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Florence: Tense and Intense!

Today is Wednesday and in just a few days Hurricane Florence will pay Charleston and the Lowcountry region a most unwelcome visit.

I will be posting about our “Flo Blow” when and if (!) I can. With school canceled until further notice I got in tennis this morning, thinking it may be the last chance to play in a week or more.

After tennis, I stopped by the College of Charleston to run an errand. The campus was very quiet. I took these photos of historic Randolph Hall and Towell Library, both in the Cistern Yard. The buildings date to the 1820s and 1850s, respectively, and are still a vital part of the school. They are buttoned up for the hurricane.

Be kind Florence. Let’s hope and pray your bark is worse than your bite.

Randolph Hall, still the main administration building 
Towell Library, now CofC’s Office of Admissions