Lake Blalock Paddlefest

Lake Blalock

This past Saturday Spartanburg Water held their first annual Paddlefest on Lake Blalock. In addition to highlighting paddlesport opportunities on the lake, the event was designed to promote water quality and watershed awareness. The Western Carolina Kayaking group announced the event, so I decided to sign up and check it out.

Lake Blalock is located in northern Spartanburg County. It is fed by the Pacolet River, which it shares with its upstream neighbor, Lake Bowen, and by Buck Creek. The lake is a small lake with limited boat motor size, and a watershed buffer zone around the lake between landowners and the lake’s edge. That makes it ideal for paddling. Continue reading “Lake Blalock Paddlefest”

Guidestones and Bridges

Georgia Guidestones

Glynda had asked me to go pick up our brother, Houston’s truck. I had mistakenly thought the truck was in Prosperity. Turns out it was at his house near Watkinsville, GA. So, Sunday I was in for a long drive that I hadn’t really counted on. No matter – I hadn’t been to my brother’s house in awhile, even though he had been up our way lots of times. Also, with a new camera, I didn’t mind another excuse for a ramble.

We decided to avoid the interstate and take the back roads down through Abbeville, Elberton, and across to Watkinsville. After all, you can’t see sights like this from I-85, much less stop and photograph them…

Vulture HouseVulture House Continue reading “Guidestones and Bridges”

Furman Photo Walk

Furman Belltower Walkway

Despite the earlier disappointment with the new camera, the D7000 had a chance to redeem itself. I had signed up for a photo walk at Furman with the Upstate Photography Walks Meetup. I managed to make it home from North Carolina in time to catch a quick nap and meet the group at the Furman Bookstore at 6:00 pm for an evening walk.

I’ve participated in the Greenville Canoe and Kayak Meetup, but not the photography group. I didn’t know any of the participants, but was willing to give it a shot. I was joined by seven other photographers for a walk around campus.

Furman Photo Walk Continue reading “Furman Photo Walk”

Smiley’s Flea Market

Smiley's Flea Market

On my recent trip to North Carolina I stopped by Smiley’s Flea Market. I had wanted to visit, but for one reason or another had never gotten here early enough, or when I wasn’t in a rush to get somewhere else. So on Saturday I added another flea market to my list.

Smiley’s actually has three locations – this one on Fletcher, one in Macon, Georgia, and one in Micanopy, Florida (where ever the heck that is.) This one seemed fairly large, but not as big as the Anderson Jockey Lot or the Pickens Flea Market. It’s about the same size at the Augusta Road market.

As mentioned in my last post, i didn’t take the big camera in. I did, however, take the LX-5 and one other tool. I had my iPhone set to take one shot every 5 seconds as I walked around with it on my belt. I would see what I would capture. Continue reading “Smiley’s Flea Market”

North Carolina with the New Camera

Madison County Courthouse

Laura is out of town for awhile traveling with her mother. Saturday morning I dropped her off at GSP for an early flight, then headed out to try out the new camera. My plan was to head up into the North Carolina mountains for a bit and see what I could see. I have to confess, it was quite a bit of a learning curve.

Friday night I charged up the batteries and got familiar with the menu and controls. The temptation is to start with an absolutely perfect shot – something worthy of such a fine instrument. Didn’t happen. I shot one of the cats, and shot him poorly. So much for breaking the ice.

When the time came the next morning I felt ready for a cursory outing. From the airport I drove north on Highway 14, pausing in Landrum to get some shots of the sunrise through the fog. Here’s the shot I was after…

Landrum Sunrise 2 Continue reading “North Carolina with the New Camera”


I’ve had my trusty Nikon D50 for a number of years now. I had been trying to avoid “Upgrade Fever,” so, I hung onto it for a long time, while many of my photographer friends had long since upgraded their systems. It’s 6.1 megapixel sensor had long been surpassed, and even my phone now has … Continue reading New DSLR

A Dark Night

Dark Knight Rises

It started as an absolute geekfest. Earlier in the week Chip told me that our local theater was holding a Dark Knight marathon Thursday evening. Starting at 6:30 they would show Batman Begins, followed by The Dark Knight, and at midnight they would premier the new movie in the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. I had planned to see the movie anyway, and since I didn’t have to work Friday, I decided to go for it.

When I arrived at the theater at 5:15, it was already filling up. Borderland Comics had a table set up and was giving away free comics. The whole thing had a feeling of an episode of the Big Bang Theory. Chip arrived and we found our seats.

The first movie started with no previews. Likewise the second movie. There was just a brief intermission between the two – enough time for me to get, totally spill, then refill a large tub of popcorn. Seeing both of these back-to-back not only highlighted the continuity between the two, but the differences, such as have two different actresses play Rachel Dawes. Continue reading “A Dark Night”

Beethoven’s Ninth Video

Videographer Valdas Katovas recorded our spring concert, a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and Greenville Chorale. This video is the entire fourth movement. You can occasionally see me on the front row of the Chorale, next to the tympani and behind the trombones. Beethoven No 9 from Valdas Kotovas on … Continue reading Beethoven’s Ninth Video

Goodbye, Oregon Storm Watcher

Monday we learned that Laura’s uncle, Larry Plews, had lost his battle with kidney cancer. Uncle Larry was an aerospace engineer, having worked at NASA during the 1960’s, and eventually working at Edwards Air Force Base as a civilian contractor. Larry authored several books on aerospace design and testing. Upon retiring from Edwards AFB, Uncle … Continue reading Goodbye, Oregon Storm Watcher