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 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Beach Treat: Edisto Island!

Our Plan B gets a grade of A+ on Saturday! Kiawah Island’s county park was the original destination but the traffic off the Highway 17 turn looked bumper-to-bumper and the prospect of an hour plus in that mess lead to us instead driving a little farther in light traffic to the beach at Edisto Island.
Edisto was not too crowded and we were able to park (free!) close to where we would set up our chairs. 
The weather was ideal for catching some rays and the water temperature was perfect for swimming. For photography the clouds were quite picturesque. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Book Cover Design to Final Version!

In 2016 I drew my idea for the cover of my new book. I’m no artist like my brother Matthew Harwood but I like how close this rough draft would be to the final product, what has recently come out in print.

Birmingham, Alabama Quick Visit

It was a sad occasion that brought my family together in Birmingham, Ala. in August. On that Sunday, before beginning our long drive back to Charleston, Alesia, Joseph and I did a quick tour of three Birmingham sites.  I was resistant at first, with such a long car drive ahead, but am glad we did this. Birmingham has a lot to offer, as I would learn. Hope to get back again and spend more time!  
This is Birmingham skyline taken from the Vulcan Park and Museum
The Vulcan Park was recommended by a few family members. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Mourning the Loss of My Brother

My birthday on August 11 was secondary this year to a solemn family gathering near Birmingham, Ala. to mourn the loss (but also to celebrate the life) of Tom Harwood.

It was a sad truth and irony that Tom, the youngest of us seven children, would be the first to pass.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New Book is Delivered!

I am so excited to share that my latest book has been completed, printed and delivered to my house!

This is an expanded version of my 2016 first issue. The title is the same: "Nature-ly Fun: Bird Photography From A to Z" but this new one has a hardcover.  This is something I really wanted because the hardcover looks so much better than the soft one, and the physical condition quality of the book is much better and longer lasting. 

The book's central themes remain the same: that birding and nature photography is fun, interesting, wholesome and healthy. This is truly a hobby that can be picked up at any stage of life and can last a lifetime. 

I used the alphabet's 26 letters to extoll an array of attributes of a hobby I enjoy so much. "A" is for Adventure, "B" is for Beauty- you get the idea.  A short essay supports each descriptive letter accompanied by several of my photographs that further illustrate each letter.

The book also includes what I call "Best of the Rest." These are other types of photographs I enjoy taking, such as sunrises and sunsets, lighthouses, cemeteries, churches, reflections and shadows, as well as animals other than birds.

I love this owl photo so much that I took a few years ago in the Hollings National Wildlife Refuge south of Charleston that I kept it on the cover. 

This second edition is 100 pages versus the first version's 85.
I even added a few types of birds not included in the earlier book, bringing the bird variety number to 90 from 85. 

Click on this image of the book's back cover to get more details on what's inside. 

I have just added this book to my three previous ones on my Amazon authors site.  Click here to see it. 

The book can be purchased through Amazon or from me directly, which I will happily sign. My email address is

I will add Charleston area store locations where the book is sold as they become available. 

Many thanks to Whitlock Business Systems and its 360 Digital Books division for another fine collaboration.  This is the third book I've done with this company located near Detroit and I'm pleased again with the quality, service and pricing. 

Please contact me if you have questions or comments about this book or my previous ones. Thank you! 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Jekyll Island Joy!

This month we enjoyed a family vacation on the Georgia gem Jekyll Island. We stayed four nights at the Westin resort and could not be happier with the experience.  The hotel is beachfront, our rooms had ocean views and the weather was very good for relaxing and catching rays on the beach.

To follow are a bunch of my favorite photos. For a smallish 10 miles long island there was much to see and do.  Jekyll has nothing to hide (ha- get it?) with many public beaches plus some very interesting history and historic sites I was unaware of before this visit.

This picture was taken from a second floor patio at the Westin. The image is idyllic in the sense of summertime at the beach, I feel.