Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Azaleas!

It should be an uplifting time of the year here in South Carolina’s Lowcountry with winter giving way to spring this week. But there’s a certain bleakness to life today as America shuts down in unprecedented ways so coronavirus won’t claim lives on an epic scale.

So the beauty in our yard right now provides a bright and colorful contrast to the daily drab and troubling news of this worldwide pandemic.

The only bad thing about azaleas is that their blooms do not last long. So we all must enjoy them while we can!

Southern Living magazine calls azaleas "the number one must-have plant in the South." Well, we've got a bunch of them in different colors so that makes me happy and proud.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Music To My Ears!

Asheville, N.C.- As the nation and world cancel major events amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, rock music throbbed through a thousand fans at the Orange Peel.

Alesia and I saw one of our favorite bands during my Spring Break this week. Silversun Pickups was as good as hoped (even better!) March 11 at this venerable venue.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Hello Cedar Waxwings!

I don’t often see the interesting masked Cedar Waxwing, but have twice the last two weeks, once in my backyard and then in my front yard. They like the berries on our holly shrubs- and the water in the birdbath. American Robins have been accompanying the Waxwings. The two birds seem to be partners in crime!

This first photo shows the Waxwing’s yellow-tipped tail and red-tipped wings.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Visions of Portugal: Liking Lisbon!

Thanks (many!) to my wife Alesia I had the golden opportunity to visit Lisbon, Portugal where Alesia was on a two-week business trip. My trip, from last Thursday to Tuesday (Jan. 30-Feb. 4), was a wonderfully enriching experience.

We stayed at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa, which is centrally located in the city. Our room on the 25th floor had a great view of Lisbon, the Tagus River, the red 25 de April Bridge and the majestic Christo Rei (Christ the King) monument (seen at the top of this first photograph).

My one-word impressions of Lisbon and Portugal, in no order: ports (as in wine), tiles, mosaics, friendly (as in the Portuguese people, many of whom speak English), historic, cod (fish), discoveries, fishing, navigation, churches, monuments, and steep (streets).
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To follow are my visions of this ancient city, one of Europe’s oldest and most historically influential.


Friday, January 24, 2020

January Bird Bounty

The new year and the recent cold spell have created a busy time at my bird feeders. I had been noticing the increased activity.

Finally, on Martin Luther King Day I spent some time seeing if I could get some nice camera captures.

This photo shows several Chipping Sparrows (a "tournament" is the collective name- who knew?) and an Eastern Bluebird on my rather elaborate bird buffet.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Cost of Slavery- the Hutchinsons of St. Bartholomew's Parish (Colleton County, S.C.)

Hercules- $750. Hector- $700. Marlborough- $350. Molly- $600. Mary- $300. Betsy- $50.

These "Negroes" were slaves belonging to planter and lawyer Leger Hutchinson, Esq. And these were the values placed on each of them. A document like this truly brings slavery to life and light.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Remote ACE Basin Cemetery Revisited

Such a remote part of the Lowcountry. But people did live and die there. This week we drove about 40 miles south of Charleston to the ACE Basin, to the Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, to the Boynton Trail within the vast nature preserve. Its address is barely on the map (or internet) too: Green Pond, S.C.

After more effort than I thought it would take, we found what we were looking to find. A very old cemetery that may have burials going back to the 1700s. There are five visible grave markers here.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Ravenel Bridge Walk A Christmas Gift Itself!

A Christmas afternoon walk on the Ravenel Bridge was a treat in many ways. The Holy Day was a great day to check out the Holy City and the Cooper River from this perspective. The weather was beautiful, a sunny day with temperatures in the low 60s. Many people had the same idea in mind but it was not too crowded along the bridge's walking lane.

We took our cameras and monopods, including Alesia’s new monopod that was wrapped under the tree for her.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

December Virginia Trip Photos

We drove to Virginia last week to see my parents at their beautiful home on the Chesapeake Bay. Here is a collection of photographs I took from the road and around the Northern Neck of the Old Dominion.

“The Leaning Tower of Pedro” at South of the Border, Dillon, South Carolina 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Gorgeous Skies!

A simple walk back to the car after a workout at the gym can produce a photography moment. You have to love the ease and access of smartphones and their ever-improving cameras.

I did do some enhancements in the Snapseed app, bringing out the colors using the HDR tool. The Charleston paper has a weekly photo contest. This week’s topic, with winning entries shown in tomorrow’s paper, is twilight. I entered this first image. Fingers crossed... Update: see below- my photo won!!!


This one is pretty cool too. 


This last image I made with my iPhone’s panorama feature. 


What a thrill this morning to open the paper and see that my twilight photo was one of three selected as winning entries!  I'm planning to enter this week's contest. The subject is clouds. And, man, have I taken some cloud photos in recent years.