Photo Friday 13/52

Mr. McB and I haven’t had much time together lately. Thanks to a class cancellation, he was able to take off for a little road trip this weekend.

This photo was taken at Fort Frederica on Saint Simons Island. The fort was an important defense to keep colonial Georgia from falling into Spanish hands. It’s ruins and earthworks now.

We saw this dogwood tree wrapped in Spanish moss on our way out of the park. The blossoms seem to float in a sea of tangles, I love the effect.

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Photo Friday 9/52

While I was waiting for Mr. McB to come out of the baggage claim doors at GSP on Friday night, I took a photo that was supposed to be my Photo Friday. I didn’t get it posted on Friday night and Siri must have decided that the image was not ideal, because said photo is no longer in my camera roll.

Instead, I am sharing a photo taken during our adventures last Saturday. We decided to jump in the car and check out Abbeville and Greenwood, SC. It was a great day to just cruise around the back roads and enjoy time together. Between the two, I liked Abbeville more. It has the cutest little square. There will be a blog post in the future.

There was definitely an Emerald City vibe going on in this shot from Greenwood. I love this shade of green.

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Since the Photo Friday post was late, I should probably throw in a bonus. Here’s an image from our trip to Table Rock State Park. When the Lord blesses you with a warm day in early March, you get out an enjoy his creation. This delicate little flower is called a trout lily. It can take seven years for the plant to mature and this wee bloom to appear. I would say it is worth the wait.

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Photo Friday 7/52 & 8/52

I was derailed from my posts but for good reason. Last Photo Friday, I was hanging out with my sweet friends, Jen and Ash. I want to keep up with my posts but never at the expense of enjoying real life.

So tonight you’re getting a mega Photo Friday.

1604643_10151917447902233_916864272_nThis image from Valentine’s Day 2014, shows what happened when I tried to replace Mr. McB’s wiper blades. Those stubborn things just didn’t want to budge. With persistence, I managed to replace all three of his blades. Next year, I’ll just get a heart-shaped steak instead.

1604717_10151917671192233_1993584928_nThis week’s photo was taken on Sunday during our trip to Biltmore. It was a great day of exploring the grand estate with wonderful friends. It all makes a girl realize just how lucky she is.

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More Furman photos

This isn’t the first time I’ve shared photos from a trip to Furman. This really is one of the loveliest campuses that I have ever visited. I’m thankful that it is just a short drive away.

These photos were taken on various visits during the summer.

 

Soft purple grains dot these tufts of long green grasssoftpurple

 

“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
This cabin is a replica of the one Thoreau lived in while writing Walden. Seeing this helps put his work into perspective. It also explains why he spent so much time in nature as staying inside this tiny cabin would drive me mad. Perhaps he paid so much attention to those ants to avoid going home.

replica of the walden cabin
Shi Center for Sustainabilityshi center for sustainability

Turtles fighting for bits of breadfood fight

The ducks are out for a swim before darkness falls.lake at furman

In the summer, the Japanese garden is a gorgeous, lush  green.pathbylake
Sun sets on the rose garden

furman rose garden

This former Buddhist temple became part of Furman’s campus in 2008.retreat

Good night…

sunset

 

 

Brookgreen Gardens

Mr. McB and I spent Christmas at Myrtle Beach. It was the first time I have ever visited the beach in the winter but I definitely plan to do so again.
Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington statueDespite many visits to the Myrtle Beach area, this trip marked my first visit to Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. The gardens occupy land that once made up several rice plantations. The land was purchased by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1930. The southern location was good for Anna’s health and the makeup of the gardens was the perfect place to display her sculptures. As time went on the Huntington’s broadened their vision to include pieces from other artists and now the garden is the largest collection of American sculpture in the world and the largest outdoor sculpture collection in the U.S.

The pieces are varied just like the land that comprises the gardens. It’s clear that the Huntington’s put a great deal of thought into the best way to integrate the art into the landscape.

bg_aligatorI highly recommend seeing the gardens if you get the chance. The tickets are reasonable and are good for several days. If you are visiting the area in the heat of the summer, multiple visits may be your best choice for seeing everything. As it was, we walked for at least eight miles and still didn’t see every single piece.

See the photos below to get a taste of what you could see during a visit to Brookgreen.

bg_arrowThe wall divides the more manicured gardens from the natural area near the tidal river that runs through the gardens.

Black Panther statueBlack Panther

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children's garden at brookgreenThe children’s garden is full of whimsy and color.

naked woman sculpture

sculpture set amongst the treesA great example of how the sculptures fit into the landscape.

white bloomSome blooms even in December

treesCandles left from the Night of 1,000 Candles holiday display

Time and the Fates of ManTime and the Fates of Man

Don QuixoteDon Quixote – Anna Hyatt Huntington

bg_falloffranceFall of France – One of my favorites
This piece depicts France’s fate in WWII.

frog babyFrog Baby in the children’s garden

bg_inspirationPegasus

musesMuses

bg_pepperbg_redbirdCardinal bg_seahorseSeahorse (reminds me of Mooseal from the Wuzzles)

bg_songofmyselfSong of Myself – one of many quotes and verses in the gardens

bg_foxThis fox lives in the zoo that is on the property.

bg_cowSo do these cows.

It’s a great place and again, one that I highly recommend.

Wasted time, Amish and the Georgia Aquarium

Yes, it’s a blog post and no, it’s not Thursday. I know I need to get into a routine, especially because I have things to write about but it’s not always easy. When my husband is home, I want to spend time with him. When he’s away, I seem to find ways to fill my time whether it’s working on projects, reading, cleaning or watching TV.

Take yesterday…I planned to write a post and then I wound up watching an Amish: Out of Order marathon on NatGeo. Before you start rolling your eyes, this series isn’t the trashy. It’s an honest and often heartbreaking look at what Amish face when they decide to come to the English world. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the family I was born into and the life I have. I can’t imagine that there’s anything I could do to make my parents reject me and yet these ex-Amish men and women are literally shunned by those who are supposed to life, guide, and care for them. By time the last episode aired and poor Cephas died in that horrible car accident, I knew I wasn’t going to write.

Tonight, there is no TV or reading until blog posts are written. So please journey back to early June with me as I write about our trip to the Georgia Aquarium.

I’ll share just a few thoughts and then some photos from the trip. First, admission to the aquarium is expensive but it’s worth it. The whale sharks are just amazing. If the aquarium was nothing more than four whale sharks, it would be worth the cost of admission, just watch a feeding and you’ll agree.

Second, food in the dining area is expensive and worth it only because you can’t bring in outside food and you’ll need some kind of fuel to keep you going through the aquarium because it is a lot more than just whale sharks. I suggest getting a few sides and sharing. The food isn’t that great so you’re just looking for something to keep you going.

Here’s a random list of do’s and don’ts…some of which McB and I learned the hard way.

  • Avoid the aquarium on Saturday if possible. Arrive early if you are going on Saturday. My guess is Sunday is pretty nuts too.
  • Buy your ticket in advance.
  • Be prepared for crowds and general rudeness.
  • Know how to turn the flash off on your camera. McB wrote a nice little post about becoming a zenmaster and shooting gorgeous pictures in a crowded aquarium.
  • Get a schedule and go to a feeding in the Ocean Voyager area.
  • Experience at least one touch tank but don’t terrorize the animals. Yes, kids are always bad about this but on our visit we saw some misbehaving adults as well.
  • Don’t expect the dolphin show to be educational. It’s high production value, singing and light-up costumes but it is not educational. I was disappointed in what I saw so if you need to cut something from your schedule, cut this.
  • Bring some hand sanitizer.
  • Be sure to see the Beluga whales. They’re really neat creatures and it’s great fun to see them blow bubble rings. (not my video, not the GA aquarium) We learned that they have to put some effort into blowing these rings and seem to just do it for fun.
On the conveyor belt

Looking up from the people mover in Ocean Voyager

Diver at the Georgia Aquarium

Scrub-a-dub-dub This diver has to clean a giant “tub.”

Diver and whale shark (right) in the Ocean Voyager tank

Shark  Unlike the whale sharks, he has large teeth.

Colorful fish

More from Ocean Voyager

Photowalk – University of South Carolina

I must admit, it’s been a crazy month since I’ve started my job. I’ve fallen behind on a few things, like keeping every baseboard in my house dust-free, trying every new thing on Pinterest and blogging. I am committed to managing my time a bit better and staying on top of this blog, even if it means letting a bit of dust accumulate on the baseboards.

The photos in this post were taken at the University of South Carolina on Good Friday. Enjoy!

University of South Carolinaveterans memorialThis is adjacent to the World War Memorial on campus. When the building was constructed in the 1930s, it was believed that there would never be another World War. The building now houses University Publications.

Brick walls and palmettos

The Memorial Fountain (aka three-dish fountain) in the Caroliniana Garden was sporting garnet and black when I visited. The fountain is a memorial to South Carolina’s patriots who served in the Revolutionary War.

horseshoeThis photo looks onto The Horseshoe, the oldest part of the campus dating back to 1805. The monument seen in the distance is in memory of Rev. Maxcy, the first president of the then South Carolina College. Yeah, it’s a lot different from The Horseshoe, I’m used to talking about.

pineappleThe pineapple has long been associated with hospitality so it’s fitting that this one greets visitors at the Memorial Rose Garden.

fountainLooking toward the Thomas Cooper Library

torch bearer

The “Torchbearer” was donated to the university in 1965 by sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington.

The campus was really lovely. I enjoyed the big, shady trees and old buildings.

 

South Carolina State House

I’m such a bad blogger and traveler. I just found the SD card with photos from my exploration of Columbia, SC back on Good Friday. With Mr. McB out of town, I’ve had plenty of time to edit the photos so I can get them posted here. I covered a lot of ground during my time in Columbia so I expect to have at least another post devoted to my adventures.

My first stop, well after Starbucks, was the South Carolina State House.

The story of the State House is as rich as the history of the state itself. The “new” State House’s original architect, P.H. Hammarskold, proved to be incompetent and was relieved of his duties in 1854. He was replaced by Major John R. Niernsee. Neirnsee had to completely dismantle the work started by Hammarskold before he could begin his own structure. Construction slowed during the War Between The States Things took a bad turn for everyone (except the Yankees) on February 17, 1865 when Sherman’s troops captured the city and began campaign of destruction.

As you can see from this marker, the citizens of Columbia are still a wee bit upset by the actions of Sherman’s men. The Union soldiers completely destroyed the old State House and set fire to the unfinished “new” State House. While the structure was damaged, it was not completely destroyed. Bronze starts mark the spots where cannons and other artillery damaged the outside of the granite structure.

George also shows his battle wounds. He originally carried a long walking stuck (not a baton) but the end was broken off when Union soldiers threw bricks at the statue.

The war left South Carolina in financial ruin. When the State House was completed in 1903, the Greek Revival structure didn’t match Niernsee’s vision. Instead of a stunning tower topped with a pyramid-type structure, the State House has a dome similar to those seen in other states. The changes to Niernsee’s designs were very controversial. There were bitter debates and even a lawsuit that ended in a mistrial. The State House went through a major renovation in the 1990’s to bring it up to fire code, improve accessibility and add required earthquake protection measures.

South Carolina State House interiordissolution “Dear Union,
This isn’t working. We’re breaking up with you. Please leave us alone.
Sincerely, South Carolina.”

stained glass inside the state houseThe stained glass window is found inside the State House. It was constructed by a friend of architect Niernsee.

pink flowers state house south carolinaThe State House grounds feature several lovely garden areas and a number of monuments and memorials.

white pixie iris

strom thurmon statueThis is a photo of the base of the Senator J. Strom Thurmond statue on the State House grounds. Strom was the oldest man to serve in the Senate and is well known for his racist politics and record-breaking filibuster against the Civil Rights Act in 1957. As you can see, the statue was placed before it was revealed that Strom’s oldest child was actually Essie Mae Washington-Williams who was conceived after a liaison between a young Strom and his parent’s African American maid.

law enforcement memorialOn to a less controversial topic, this monument memorializes South Carolina law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.

South Carolina oldest monumentErected in 1858 to honor the heroism of South Carolina’s Palmetto Regiment during the Mexican War, this is the oldest monument on the State House Grounds.

confederate women's memorialErected in 1912, this monument recognizes the contributions of the women of the Confederacy. The statue has a long and beautiful inscription. Here is an excerpt:
“At clouded dawn of peace / they faced the future /undismayed by problems
and fearless of trials / in loving effort to heal / their country’s wounds
and with conviction / that from the ashes of ruin / would come resurrection
and truth / with glorious vindication…” To read all of the inscription panels, visit this page.

This monument honors South Carolinians who died during the Civil War. The Confederate Flag flies at the rear of the monument. It originally flew from the dome but was moved to this location as a compromise.

African American MonumentSouth Carolina was the first state capitol to feature a monument to African Americans. The photo above shows the monument. The low structure in the center of the walkway represents the cargo-hold of a slave ship. The panels show a timeline of African Americans in the state.

african american monument south carolina

The panels are a wonderful representation of the struggles and sacrifices of African Americans in South Carolina. The monument is well-done and quite moving.

As you can see from this post, the South Carolina State House is a place of controversies and contradictions. There are aspects that inspire pride and others that make you feel uncomfortable. I’d say it’s pretty representative of the state’s long history.  I encourage you to visit the South Carolina State House and take it all in for yourself. To plan your visit, click here.

Table Rock Photowalk

On St. Patrick’s Day, I convinced McB to go out for a little ride. He loves adventures but prefers them to be carefully planned while I’m a fan of occasionally just getting in the car and seeing where the road takes you. On this day, our road took us to Table Rock State Park in Pickens, SC.

Table Rock
The Native Americans believed that the flat mountaintop was in fact a table for a race of giants. The small mound on the right is his/her stool.

After stopping at the view point, we made our way to the lake and took off on the Carrick Creek trail. This is a 1.9 mile loop and is rated to be a “moderate” hike. I must admit that we were a bit unprepared as we had no water and I was wearing flipflops but these weren’t major problems so we took off anyway.

The first part of the trail runs along the water. There are many lovely shots for photographers and a few streams to ford. While the flipflops were a great hazard with the exposed tree branches, I enjoyed the freedom of just pulling off my shoes and crossing the water in my bare feet.

Notice the rain drops falling in the calm water.

There are a few hills on the “dry” part of the trail. Most of them are pretty minor; but, one was particularly steep and cemented the notion that we needed to buy nice hiking sticks.

As a photographer who enjoys capturing details, this plant caught my eye and my lens.

After the hike, we crossed over to the lake that is outside the main ranger station. As luck would have it, we were there for a glorious sunset.

It was the kind of day that makes my job search and all the other “new kid” craziness all worth it. I wouldn’t trade this and my life for anything.