Sometimes an idea comes together perfectly. Such was the case this past weekend, with the first snowfall of 2017. I had a brainstorm for an image, and the conditions were just right to make it happen. Continue reading “Snow Globes”
It’s time once again for the RandomConnections Calendar. This is the tenth year that I’ve been creating calendars for friends and family using photos I’ve taken from the previous year (and beyond.) As usual, I like to recap the photos included on the calendar and give a bit of the background behind each one. Continue reading “RandomConnections 2017 Calendar”
Just because it’s December doesn’t mean that we stop paddling. Heck, for this particular trip we even went swimming, but that’s getting ahead of things a bit. Fellow explorer, and now fellow paddler Mark Elbrecht proposed a trip out to Andersonville Island to see if we could spot the ruins that everyone says are there. Bennie Waddell had just gotten a new kayak, and I lacked only 6 miles to push me over the 200 mark for the year. Of course, agreed to come along. Turned out to be a great trip with unexpected finds and unexpected excitement. But, I guess the word “unexpected” is redundant. Regardless… Continue reading “Return to Andersonville Island”
This has been a difficult Thanksgiving weekend, but not without things for which I’ve been thankful. One of those has been the ability to escape, even if just for a bit. The pattern has been for me to get in a bit of paddling either at sunrise or in the morning. Either Laura or Amy would head over to Atlantic Healthcare by 9:00 to get their mom up for the day, and I would join them there later (with a banjo on my knee, to quote the old song.) I had to limit these escapes, though. A couple of times I would get some distance from the house, check in with Laura to find her in the midst of dealing with a crisis, then find myself paddling pretty quickly straight back to come assist where I can. In those situations I found myself hitting a zen state, where I become one with the kayak, paddling as quickly and efficiently as possibly to get to my destination.. Continue reading “The Zen of Paddling”
Ever since we first discovered it nearly 30 years ago, Laura and I have enjoying coming to Jack Island. Jack Island State Park and Preserve is a 340 acre island on the Indian River side of North Hutchinson Island. Trails circle the island and cross it. There is a birding tower on the river side of the island. This was the first place I discovered the thrill of “hunting” birds with a long telephoto lens, and that capturing them in this fashion was just as satisfying (even more satisfying) thank actually shooting something. We try to come back to the island as often as we can when we’re down this way.
Jack Island isn’t very far from Amy’s house. However, I’d never been there by boat. I think I might have paddled past it on one of my extended trips, but I’m not sure. This time I had a goal. I was going to paddle until I found the birding tower. That way I could truly say that I had paddled to Jack Island. Continue reading “Paddling to Jack Island”
This week Google was making news with the release of a new app. PhotoScan is designed to capture old photos from photo albums, with algorithms to enhance the photo and minimize glare. I have tons of old photo albums from Laura’s family and from my own family, and I’ve been trying to find the most efficient way to digitize these images with the best possible quality. I figured I needed to give PhotoScan a shot.
Here are my first impressions… Continue reading “Working with Google PhotoScan”
I was in serious need of some hydrotherapy. I’d been in a funk ever since the election. To make matters worse, wildfires in the mountains of North and South Carolina had cast a pall of hazy smoke over everything. I told someone that I guess it was appropriate that the world looks like Mordor now that Trump has been elected. Add to that all of the other anxieties in our family life right now, and it was time to hit the water. I was able to find some solace, but it came at a price. Continue reading “Paddling through Mordor”
Back in September Dwight Moffitt and I had taken a tour of the historic Elmwood Cemetery in Columbia. The tour was interesting, but since it was at night you couldn’t really see any of the headstones or features. The tour focused on the people, and not on the features of the cemetery. Dwight and I decided that we needed to return during daylight. So, we made plans for another visit, and also planned to throw in a tour of several other historic cemeteries while we were at it. This past Friday was the date we’d set, so I headed on down to Columbia to rendezvous with Dwight. I picked him up at his house, then headed downtown where we had several stops planned. Continue reading “Cemetery Tour of Columbia”
I had been trying to track down a place I’d seen on an old map. The Temple of Health was the name of a community and a post office, but it originally applied to an old inn on a stage coach route. The Stage Coach Inn was purchased and renamed for mineral springs on the property that supposedly had medicinal properties. After my initial research I had tried to visit the location of the Temple of Health near Antreville, but I hadn’t found anything. I had discovered that the original inn had been moved to a resort near Toccoa, Georgia. It was time to actually visit the Temple of Health. Continue reading “The Temple of Health: Trembly Bald”
So, I was intrigued by this random name on a map. I had to find out more about it, so I had done some initial research. Now it was time to see if there was anything left of the old Temple of Health.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Antreville and the Temple of Health are small communities. I knew it wouldn’t take long to cover those areas, so I added a few more targets to my list to justify the trek down to Abbeville County. My plan was to head down to drive pretty much straight down to Antreville, check out a few sites I had tagged, then meander back through Anderson County by way of Lowndesville and a few other spots north of there. As usual, there would be discoveries along the way. Continue reading “The Temple of Health: Ground-Truthing in Antreville”