Photography

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NOTE: I know this is out of date, but I’m about a week behind on blogging.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…)

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…)

October Weekday Rambles – Part Two

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Whitmire Bras-002

So far on my rambles I had visited a few locations in Greenville County, and the next day had ventured to the community of Cross Anchor. I still had lots of daylight left, and lots more to see and do.

Leaving the Cross Anchor/Cross Keys area I continued on Highway 49 toward Union. It had been a VERY long time since I had approached the town from this direction. Just before reaching town on Fairforest Creek there is an incredible mansion. I vaguely remembered seeing the house off in the distance when I was younger, and wondering what it was like. I tried to get a better view this time, but I only got a glimpse – no photos. (more…)

October Weekday Rambles – Part One

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Little Texas Grocery

Little Texas Grocery near Travelers Rest

I was able to get out for a couple of photographic rambles this week. I saw some cool things, and took some interesting photos. Apart from what I’ve already written about those trips, for whatever reason I haven’t felt inspired to blog about those trips. I don’t want to neglect them, though, so I’ll just do a brief summary.

(UPDATE: OK, I got carried away and found I had seen more than would fit into a single blog post. I’m breaking it into multiple parts.)

On Tuesday I headed east. I got a little ways down I-85, roughly on my way to the Clifton area, when my plans changed. I wound up joining my sister, Susan, for lunch. In route to her house I passed by the District Five offices. It was the first time I’d been by there since my retirement, and it felt…weird. I noticed lots of cars in the parking lot, and remembered that Tuesdays were principal meeting days. I kept going. (more…)

Mystery Cemetery

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O'Neal Cemetery

I was out and about on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon trying to hunt down the perfect photo. I also had a box or so of old electronic gear in the back of my Subaru. I figured in my ramblings I’d probably pass one of the county’s many “convenience centers,” and would be able to recycle it.

My rambles took me to the community of O’Neal, north of Lake Cunningham on Highway 101. Just off of O’Neal Road, I saw a sign for a convenience center on Camp Road, just around the corner. As I pulled into the center I spotted a chain link fence and a row of strange headstones.

O'Neal Cemetery

The way these were lined up, and since they were right at a disposal center, I wondered if it might be a K9 cemetery. I dropped off my electronics and drove back around. (more…)

Park at Taylors Mill

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Taylors Mill and Park-6

Taylors Mill

Monday was National Coffee Day, a day, I’m sure was created by coffee marketers who think that not quite enough of their product is consumed. Even so, I celebrated by heading to Due South Coffee in Taylors Mill.

Pour over coffee

I spent a bit of time sipping java and sponging off of their free wifi. Apparently the pseudo-holiday was a popular one, because others had the same idea.

Due South Coffee (more…)

Pumpkintown Area Schools

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Oolenoy School

Oolenoy Community House

I had just finished up with the Nature Conservancy Hawk Watch up on Caesers Head, but I still had some time to explore. I had several locations marked from the Greenville Survey, as well as some others I wanted to check out. I found more than schools. I found a story of destruction, determination, and rebuilding.

My first, and most productive stop was Oolenoy Community House, located in the old Oolenoy School. This school is the classic early 20th century design with a central bell tower. At first glance the design looks just like the old Wolf Creek School just outside of Pickens.

Oolenoy School-011 (more…)

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