Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Yay Hilton Head Vaca!

I have so been looking forward to our long-planned vacation in Hilton Head! It marks a transition week between the just ended school year and a summer full of home improvement, book projects and other to-do items.

I will chronicle our Hilton Head trip with photos. Lots of rain was forecast, which had us worried. We end up getting two clear and sunny days for what we really wanted to do: soak up some sun on the beach.

Five days on Hilton Head was a blast. Friday we drove the short distance to Savannah to have dinner and spend the night. Our trip culminated in a short visit to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.
Checking out the beach soon after our arrival 
Nice leading lines, beach, clouds and HDR effect

Monday, May 14, 2018

Marked Dolphin Photographed in Charleston Harbor

Look closely at this photo (click on it), which I took in March while visiting Fort Johnson, which is on James Island along the Charleston Harbor.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Leaping Lizards- Check Out These Scuffling Skinks!


What an unusual sight to see in my backyard a couple weekends ago! Be sure to watch the video below! I stepped out on the back porch and heard sounds in the pine straw. I first thought it was a squirrel, then got a little closer and saw a long thin body with a reddish head and thought it was a snake.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Jail Visit with Students- Hopefully Not the Last Time!

On April 23 it was the last regular class for my College of Charleston course "Beyond the Grave: What Old Cemeteries Tell and Teaching the Living." The activity planned for this final session was anything but regular.

My intrepid students on their way to jail! 
We visited Charleston's notorious Old City Jail, which more accurately should be called the Charleston District Jail.

It was raining as we left our classroom for the 10-minute walk to Magazine Street where the jail was constructed way back in 1802.

I was appreciative of my students not complaining about the walk in the rain. They were, in fact, pretty excited- if not a bit scared- about the "haunted" tour that awaited us. What a way to end the semester we all agreed!

The rain made the jail look even scarier 

Randall Johnson, our guide from Bulldog Tours, was excellent. I have been on these tours maybe half a dozen times with a different guide every visit.  Each guide has been very good, with different stories to go along with a few mainstays.

Johnson, a self-described "homey from West Ashley," sure looked ghost guide part in his black clothing from head to toe, including the bowler hat on his head.

The rain had eased by our 7 p.m. arrival so he was able to give us a quick overview of the jail's origins, its long history of difficult if not deplorable conditions for prisoners, and its probably long overdue closing in 1939.

"Fourteen thousand people died here," Johnson said, "so there are lots of spirits inside."

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Picture Perfect Day for an Air Show!

I read it had been seven years since the last air show at Joint Base Charleston (formerly known as the Charleston Air Force Base). The base, its personnel, and the big C-17 Globemaster cargo planes have been pretty busy with wars overseas.

So it was nice to hear that the gates would be open to the public on Saturday, April 28 for a first-rate display of American warplanes on display and others flying overhead with pinpoint precision and aerobatics.  The event was officially called the Joint Base Charleston 2018 Air & Space Expo.

B-1 Lancer bomber provided shade to dozens of air show patrons

There were an impressive number and variety of planes to see on the tarmac. Many were open for people to go aboard, with airmen and officers on hand to help them get in and out safely and talk and answer questions about what the planes do and what they do. 
B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, La., where Alesia and I lived years ago