Sunday, April 8, 2018

How In The World?

That's what I was left wondering when I saw this tire stuck in a tree about 25-30 feet high in a median along Interstate 26.

How in the world did that tire get up there?

I have seen some terrible car accidents in the three-plus years I've been commuting to my job in Orangeburg. This site is a real head-scratcher.

I first noticed the tire a few weeks ago. I jotted down the location so I could remember where to look for it.  It's on the left side of I-26 west about three miles before the intersection with I-95.

This is a pretty remote section of I-26. One day last week, I decided it was the time to pull over and take some photographs.

Traffic was light so I felt safe to pull over. Another landmark is that you can see the exit sign for St. George and Santee. Note the sign in the distance ahead from my car.

I snapped this after I took several photos.

So, after parking, I carefully crossed the interstate and
approached the tree with the tire. It is, as stated, located in the

In this image, you can see how high up in the tree the tire is lodged. Or maybe I should say parked...ha ha.

Yep, here it is, perfectly and securely stuck in the split "V" of this tree. Nice catch, right?

I could not think of a logical story of how this happened. When I shared the story and these photos with someone, he theorized that it came from a truck carrying a load of old tires. For whatever reason, this tire flew out of the back and ended up here.

Good thing it didn't hit a car!

This explanation makes sense. Anyone else with ideas, please let me know.

Just to prove I was there, I guess.

So, the tall tale of the treed tire has been told.

A few days later when there was no traffic behind me I slowed down and took slow motion video with my iPhone7.

Check it out below. The tire can be seen about three seconds into the clip.

What can I say, it's normally a very dull drive!

Three seconds in, see the tired tree, so to speak.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mystery Birds!

I took this yesterday in my backyard. Note the pink azaleas in the background. 
I took two bird photos recently that I have so far been unable to identify.  So I'm turning to my go-to site for such situations: The fellow birders who patronize this website are always very helpful, accurate and quick too.

Photographed along a street last weekend in Asheville, N.C.

I will update this post as soon as I have correct identifications.

Here's the verdict. The dark one above is a European Starling, which I suspected.
The other one is a White-throated Sparrow.

Thank you people!  I had one identification and a second confirmation. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Panoramic Views of Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery

With my iPhone 7, one of my favorite features is the "Pano" or panoramic photo setting. Every now and then I'll put down my Canon DSLR and give the iPhone's pano setting a shot, if I think a wide perspective might produce something interesting.

As many pictures that I have taken at Magnolia Cemetery (about which I have written two books filled with my color photographs), it wasn't until this past Saturday that I tried the pano approach.  Please click on the images to see them larger.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hankering to Hike? Check Out Dungannon!

The entrance is easy to miss if you drive by too quickly! 
This is a remote place not too far south of Charleston that is perfect if you hanker to hike.

This website gives a bit of information about the Dungannon Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area. It is located off Highway 162 between Rantowles and Hollywood.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

There's Just Something About Trains...

I have long had a fondness for and interest in trains. There's just something about their size, sound and speed that can captivate me.

Last week, I was stopped twice at train crossings in Ladson and North Charleston. So I whipped out my phone and took some video.  Here's the short video I produced. 

Because of my journalism background, documenting things, even rather mundane things like this, is something I do.  Getting good photos and videos are part of it too.  I threw in the selfie comment too and do a picture in picture effect in Adobe Premiere Pro  CC 2015.  And I put in some music I found on my go-to free music site 

Anyway, just a short video and short blurb about my recent train encounter. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Books Equal New Cat Perches!

It is still very exciting to me when new copies of my books are delivered to the house. Such was the case recently when boxes arrived containing "In the Arms of Angels: Magnolia Cemetery- Charleston's Treasure of History, Mystery and Artistry."

It gave our Persian cats Gigi (left) and Mocha a new place to climb, rest and watch- three things they seem to enjoy.

Gigi (left) is king (or queen) of the hill 
My book printer is 360 Digital Books, which is part of Whitlock Business Systems located near Detroit. I am proud to say "In the Arms of Angels" (2014) and "Nature-ly Fun: Bird Photography From A to Z" (2016) are printed in the United States. 

The company representatives are professional, responsive and easy to work with. I would definitely recommend 360 Digital Books for your printing needs and ambitions! 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Enhancing Phone Photos With Snapseed App

Original iPhone 7 photograph
Taking photos with a smartphone while driving a car is not the smartest thing to do. I just want to get that out of the way.

But shutterbug that I am, I often cannot resist when presented with a pretty landscape or skyscape (and the setting is safe, traffic wise). Case in point, this iPhone photo I took yesterday while driving home from work.

I do like the quality of my iPhone 7's camera. The clouds had such nice coloring as sunset approached.

Version enhanced with Snapseed's HDR tool

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Charleston Port Robins

I took the chance last weekend, while attending a College of Charleston men's basketball game with my wife Alesia, to park at the top of the city garage near the South Carolina Aquarium and one of the Port of Charleston terminals.
The garage's top outside parking deck offers panoramic views of Charleston.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter Birding!

Things have gotten back to normal around here in 2018 since the unexpected snowfall of several inches on Jan. 3. Maybe we'll get lucky and have another white stuff visit this winter!

Yellow-throated Warbler 
Bird activity continues to bustle at the backyard feeders. And we had a nice time returning to a former golf course property in the area that still hasn't been redeveloped after 10 years or so since the last golf shots were struck.

Last weekend I was thrilled to capture an image of this Yellow-throated Warbler.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Snow Storm Fuels Bird Blitz!

My previous post featured my photographs and a video I made from the rare winter snow storm that fell in the Charleston area on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

I measured four inches of snow in my driveway but there was deeper accumulation in other parts of our property I am sure.

Jan. 3- I took this out a window as the snow fell
Another effect of Winter Storm Grayson was an increase in bird activity at our backyard feeders.

From Wednesday through Sunday Alesia and I noticed pretty continuous business at our array of tubes, suet and other feeders.

It was fun during this time to see other people in the region posting their own bird photographs on Facebook sites Carolina Birders Photo Sharing Group and Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association (CNPA).

Monday, January 8, 2018

Rare Heavy Snowfall Starts New Year in Charleston Area

January 3, 2018 has gone into the history books as the Charleston area's third deepest snow accumulation. Winter Storm Grayson dropped from four to seven inches (in Summerville) of the white stuff along Coastal South Carolina that Wednesday afternoon.

I have lived in this area since 1990 and it was by far the most ever snow!

Yesterday I put together a short video (two minutes) showing my snowstorm highlights. Check it out!

I took even more photographs with my iPhone7 and Canon DSLR.  I will be adding some of my favorite snow images in the days ahead.  And here they are!