Author Archive: Tom Taylor

Origami at Furman Homecoming

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Origami Shifted Pot

Origami Pot by Rebecca Geiseking

This week we have lots of Furman activities going on. This weekend I’m photographing the wedding for two Furman Alumni, and it also happens to be Furman Homecoming. So, Friday afternoon we had the rehearsal for Megan and Kyle, then Laura and I headed on up to Furman for the Friday night activities on the mall.

Former Furman Chemistry student Rebecca Geiseking was giving a talk about her amazing origami at the Roe Art Building. We managed to make it there just at the end of her talk.  Rebecca is now at Georgia Tech pursuing a Ph. D. in chemistry, but she continues to do her artwork.  She described the engineering and mathematics that go into designing the folds for her paper designs.

Rebecca Geiseking, Origamist
Origami Lecture Attendees (more…)

A Tour through Mid-Georgia – Part One

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Philomath Church

Philomath Presbyterian Church

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Houston had stayed overnight after our Ghost Tour of Woodburn Plantation the night before. He had Monday off, and since Laura was out of town, Glynda and I decided to head down to Athens with him for a road trip. Of course, this would be one of our typical rambling road trips, full of history and interesting sights.

…and, of course, we couldn’t really take interstates. We headed down Augusta Road, then cut through Belton, Antreville, and the town of Iva. Just out from Iva we spotted a sign for one of my ghost towns.

Moffetsville (more…)

A Tour through Mid-Georgia – Part Two

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Central School

Central School

Monday, October 12, 2014

On Sunday we toured several historic Georgia communities, including one with family ties. After spending some family time with Glynda and Houston at his house in Athens, we decided to head out for more exploring.

After a big breakfast we headed south on Highway 441. Just southwest of Watkinsville we came to the area’s Heritage Park. The first building you see was the old Central School, which used to be on Colham Ferry Road.

Central School (more…)

A Haunted Tour of Woodburn House

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Woodburn House Ghost Tour-013

Woodburn House

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Last weekend the Pendleton Historic Foundation offered “ghost tours” of its historic properties – Ashtabula Plantation and Woodburn House. Tours would be conducted for Ashtabula on Friday, and for Woodburn on Saturday. My brother Houston was going to be in town, so I got tickets for Houston and Glynda for the Woodburn tour.

We drove on over to the Pendleton/Clemson area warily – not because of ghosts but because of traffic from the Clemson. Turned out to be a valid concern. The game had just ended when we arrived, and we had to turn left across three lanes of game traffic on Highway 76. It took awhile. Finally we did make the turn, and arrived in time for our tour. (more…)

Pumpkintown Pumpkin Festival

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Pumpkin Festival at Pumpkintown-003

NOTE: I know this is out of date, but I’m about a week behind on blogging. It’s been a busy week, with lots of activities.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I had gotten up very early to take Laura to the airport to visit her family in Florida. Since I had the convertible and some time, I decided to head over to the Pumpkin Festival in Pumpkintown. Since I had visited Oolenoy School twice in the last month or so and had seen the banners for the festival, I though I needed to check it out.

I read somewhere that if you don’t get to the festival early, the crowds can be unmanageable. The festival was supposed to start at 9:00, but I planned to get there by 8:30 am. I had a quick breakfast at Stax and headed on up. (more…)

The Schools of Edgefield and Saluda Counties

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Fruit Hill School HDR Texture

Fruit Hill School in Edgefield County

I had finally found a practical way of uploading my list of extant schools into my GPS. Rather than upload them as favorites, I was uploading them as custom POIs. The only drawback was that they didn’t show up on the map unless I specifically selected one. Oh well. It was a start.

My maps and several online sources indicated that Edgefield and Saluda counties were full of cool old schools that were still standing. Armed with this tool I set in search of a few.

My primary goal for the day had been a stop by the Pottersville Excavation Site just north of Edgefield. I had described that stop in the last post, so in this one I’ll focus on the schools. (more…)

Archeology at Pottersville

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Pottersville Kiln Excavation-013

Potsherds at Pottersville

October is Archeology Month. As such, the Archeological Society of South Carolina has been promoting several opportunities for the public to get involved on its Facebook page. The one that caught my eye was an excavation at the Pottersville site north of Edgefield. last Friday I contacted the dig supervisor, archeologist Nicole Isenbarger, and made arrangements to visit.

November of last year Tommy Thompson and I tried to locate Pottersville. I had the coordinates, but the location didn’t look right. The directions we got from the guy at Edgefield Pottery sent us on a wild goose chase. As it turns out, my original coordinates were correct. So, early Friday morning I headed out to rendezvous at the dig site for an 8:00 am start. (more…)

Blood Moon

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Lunar Eclipse-1

I had grand plans for this morning’s “Blood Moon” eclipse. I had a place all staked out with clear views for moonset and sunrise. I was going to set up a time-lapse with my GoPro, and possibly even one with my D7000. I had my D50 ready with the 500mm lens – I was all set to go.

I knew weather might be a factor. It was raining last night, but it was supposed to clear off by morning. I set my alarm so that I could sneak on out and check weather before committing to an excursion. All the news reports had said that the eclipse started at 6:25 am, so I set the alarm for 5:00, which would give me plenty of time to gear up, head out, set up, and take some shots.

Just one problem…6:25 is when totality starts, not the eclipse itself. That actually starts much earlier. When I went out to check the weather I found that part of the moon had already been obscured. I quickly grabbed my camera and long lens and took the photo at the top of this post. It was a hand-held shot at 500mm.

Now I really had a dilemma. I wasn’t going to be able to get the extended time-lapse I wanted. By the time I got to my shooting venue it would be just about at totality and I would have missed the creeping shadow across the moon. There were other factors – while the skies were mostly clear right then, another cloud bank was coming from the west, and moonset would probably be obscured. Reluctantly, I took a few more shots and watch the moon descend into the treeline of our wooded neighborhood, then went back to bed. I’ll try to catch the next lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015.

Lunar Eclipse-2

Old Homes Tour of Laurens

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Kudzu TV

A couple of weeks ago Mary Ellen Lives from the Laurens County Museum contacted me about several old houses in Laurens that were scheduled for demolition. This list also included the Old Laurens Hospital, and Mary Ellen wanted to know if I was interested in photographing any of these before they were torn down. Of course, I said yes. We set up a time and made a plan for our visit.

In the meantime, I think I had finally sorted out my GPS POI problem. I was finally able to upload my list of possible schools as waypoints. Since we were meeting at the Museum at 2:00, I could head out earlier and see if, in fact, my points were working. (more…)

Oolenoy Schools Follow-Up

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Abandoned House

This past Saturday was Fall for Furman, a weekend for perspective students to check out the school. There was an evening home game, but Laura had duties early in the afternoon, meeting these high school seniors and their parents. I dropped her off, then headed out to follow up on a couple of items from last week.

When I visited Oolenoy School, one of the men I met mentioned that Rock School was nearby, and was in use as a private residence. I decided to find it. Plus, it was a good excuse to ride in the convertible on such a fine, fine day.

I drove up to Marietta and took 288 west. I reached Pumpkintown and continued west on 288. Since I was in Laura’s car I didn’t have my GPS. I made one wrong turn, but spotted a cool old house at the intersection of Carrick Creek Road and 288 that I’d not seen before. (more…)

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