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

bg_brownlady

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.

Pearl Fryar’s Garden

pfg6

On our way to spend Christmas at the beach, we made a side trip to Bishopville, SC where we toured the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden. This destination has been on my list since seeing the documentary “A Man Named Pearl” several years ago.

pfg9The film tells the story about how Pearl’s quest to win the local gardening club’s “yard of the month” award turned into the stunning garden that attracts about 20,000 visitors each year.

More importantly, the film tells the story of a determined and patient man who has a way of coaxing the potential out of the plants he encounters. Many of the plants in Pearl’s garden were rescued from the compost pile of local nurseries. Not having formal horticultural training, Pearl wasn’t afraid to take a chance on these specimens. He studies them to determine their pfg13strengths and then patiently molds them into stunning creations, often using innovative techniques that defy what should work in gardening.

Pearl’s ability to see potential and nurture new creations applies to the people he encounters too. In addition to giving young people the opportunity to work in the garden, Pearl also has a scholarship fund that offers opportunities to average students who might fall through the cracks without a little help. Just like his plants, these students blossom with a little attention and encouragement.

Visiting Pearl’s garden was a wonderful and uplifting experience. While walking through this lovely garden I could feel the love and care that Pearl showers on the garden. Since Pearl does not try to make specific shapes, visitors can use their own creativity when looking at the garden. It’s a bit like finding characters in the clouds. There is such sense of joy and whimsy.

pfg2The highlight of the visit was meeting Pearl and listening to him talk about the garden, his techniques and life in general. If he ever decides to hang up the trimmers, Pearl could make his living as a career counselor of philosopher.  He said if you want to get noticed, you have to do something that no one else is doing. He also advised that if you are the smartest person in your group of friends, it’s time to make some new friends. While the garden was gorgeous (see more images below), it was Pearl’s words that were the highlight of the trip for me.

If you have the opportunity to visit Pearl’s little garden in Bishopville, you really should. There is something magical and inspiring there.

pfg_1pfg12pfg10pfg8pfg7pfg4pfg3

Cafe at Williams Hardware

DSC_0376Back in October, we decided to go for a little drive and wound up in Travelers Rest for lunch at the Cafe at Williams Hardware (13 Main Street).

Located right along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the cafe was hopping on this gorgeous autumn day. The line was long when we arrived but there was a greeter handing out menus and the ordering systems seemed to be both fast and organized. I opted for the chicken salad sandwich with potato salad while Mr. McB ordered the grilled cheese BLT sans “T.”

Unable to secure a spot on either of the porches, we took a high-top table inside the cafe. We enjoyed chatting and people watching.

A mother and her teenage daughters soon sat near us. They were our first indication that the ordering system (you place the order at the register and get a number to take to your table) might not be so efficient since they made it to their table without a number. They flagged down a server and after trying to find the order, she took it again. It was when these ladies got their food that we really noticed that we had been waiting for more than 30 minutes on our sandwiches. We asked our server about it. She set off to find our order and said that she would get us a free dessert to make up for the wait.

DSC_0351Within five minutes our sandwiches made it to the table. My chicken salad was really very delicious. It was prepared with a mix of herbs that made it light and delicious. The chicken chunks were plump and juicy. The bread was good and the tomato and lettuce were both very fresh. The potato salad (made with redskin potatoes) had a nice flavor but the potatoes didn’t seem to be cooked thoroughly. I like the potato to retain a little of it’s bulk but I don’t want to encounter a bite of potato that borders on raw.

DSC_0348McB’s grilled cheese BLT came with the “T” despite his request and assurances that this was no problem. It was an easy remedy since the tomato was simply added to the top after the sandwich was prepared. It was still a little disappointing that after waiting all this time the simple request wasn’t fulfilled. They were very generous with the bacon which had a smoky flavor that I enjoyed but that he didn’t find as appealing.

DSC_0352We selected a piece of chocolate cake for our dessert. It was very moist and nice.

We decided that the cafe was a nice spot if you were out for a walk or ride on the trail but that it didn’t merit a special trip.

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.

Greenville Zoo

elephants Greenville ZooAfter moving from Columbus, home to one of the nation’s best and largest zoos, I didn’t have high hopes for the Greenville Zoo. At just 14 acres, it’s tiny but it’s also home to a nice collection of animals including elephants, giraffes, primates, leopards, and lions.

Just a few of the primates at the Greenville Zoo…

This legless lizard lives in the reptile house. Yes, it’s a legless lizard and not a snake.

The rhinoceros iguana lives there too.rhino iguana

Visitors can throw feeding biscuits to the giraffes. It requires good aim.

The toucan is one of many birds found at the zoo.toucan
There are also several flamingos. The wind caused this one to have a bad feather day.FlamingoThe gators are a popular attraction.gatorsOur friend is feeding the goats using special crackers purchased at the zoo. The small barnyard area allows visitors to feed and pet several animals including goats, a pig, ducks, and chickens.
goat feeding

If I were to use one word to describe the Greenville Zoo, it would be comfortable. It’s easy to navigate and never seems too crowded. We were zoo members in Columbus and would often target just a few areas of the zoo for each visit due to the size of both the zoo and the crowds. Even then, it was easy to get tired and a bit crabby. Greenville is small enough that you don’t have that experience.

In addition, the animal enclosures are well-kept and make viewing the animals very easy. The gentle hills of the walking paths allow visitors to enjoy a bit of exercise while enjoying the animals. The typical zoo visitor can plan to spend 60-90 minutes. Those who want to extend the visit, can bring lunch and enjoy the picnic area or get lunch at the reasonably priced snack bar.

The zoo also offers a good number of educational programs at a reasonable rate. It would be nice to see more adult events but I understand that childless couples really aren’t the zoo’s target audience.

It might not be the biggest or the best but there’s something very appealing about the Greenville Zoo. With a planned expansion, the zoo is growing and I’m one member who can’t wait to see what happens.