Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mystery Spring Visitor

I just photographed this pretty bird in my backyard. It’s not a familiar face so I’m excited to confirm what it is.

I suspect this is a Summer Tanager, the female version.

It came to the feeder for a minute than darted away to a  nearby branch that was particularly well lit by the setting sun so I got a nice picture of it against the dark backdrop.

Then it came down then it flew down to the birdbath and I got this nice shot of it is looking right at me!

 I’m going to turn to to try to find out for sure who this visitor is!

As always, whatbird's community bird identification forum confirmed this bird to be a female Summer Tanager. I had not just one but one or two additional verifications.

Days later, as I update this post, I haven't seen a Tanager return, much less the vibrant red male one. But I'm still so happy to have photographed this lady!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Easter Visit to Charleston's St. Michael's Churchyard

On Easter Sunday, after a fine brunch at Oak Steakhouse, Alesia and I walked around for a bit in Charleston's illustrious Historic District. One stop was the graveyard at St. Michael's Church.

The church, Anglican then Episcopal, is the oldest in the Holy City. It was first built on this spot (71 Broad St.) in the 1680s. I snapped some photos and then later put together a slideshow using the fun, free and easy Kizoa platform.

St. Michael's Churchyard

I am having students in one of my college courses create a Kizoa project like this.  I hope they have fun with it and do something creative and cool!

This was a fun find at St. Michael's Church.  This stone has the name Lee Harwood who lived from 1901-1982.  Perhaps a distant relative?  Not sure about that. Harwood is not too uncommon of a name.  So maybe Cousin Lee, maybe not.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Inside the Walls: The Coming Street Cemetery

I have driven on Coming Street for years and never really noticed this spot as I head to I-26 to go home.

Only fairly recently did I know that behind this high, foreboding and gloomy looking wall is one of the oldest and most historic cemeteries in Charleston.

It is, in fact, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the South and one of the oldest in America.

This is the Coming Street Cemetery. On April 1, with my College of Charleston “Beyond the Grave” students, I was for the first time within the dark walls.

We were met by two guides, Randi Serrins (left in this photo holding a picture) and Anita Moise Rosenberg.  They spent about an hour with us and were excellent historians about this special place.

If you are interested in setting up a tour, call 843.723.1090, contact Rosenberg at or Serrins at