Friday, February 25, 2022


Last week end I participated in the Great Backyard Birdcount.  It's something  you do on your own or with a friend and in any place you happen to even a crusty hermitress like Me can do it!  I wanted to try out the new ebird tool called Trip Report,..even tho I have been lumping all my sightings together before it became cool...anyways now its cool by their standards, so I found it very useful...

Northern Cardinals mate for life

Canada Geese probably have eggs already. 

The White Tailed deer mate in the fall so I expect some of these does will be giving birth  starting in April and up to soon I will be seeing the little spotted fawns hiding in the grass. 

I had deer visits in the field this week...

The Red-headed Woodpecker  is ready to get on with the nesting season! This one is checking out an old nesting cavity...

These birds do have some bad habits, they will destroy other birds eggs and even destroy the eggs of cavity nesting Ducks...they are extremely territorial...the Male selects the nesting site, either an old one that they are returning to, or they will build a new nest.  They work on making the nest home together, and lay 3 - 10 pure white eggs and may have 1 to 2 broods.  They incubate for 12 - 14 days and the nesting period is 24 - 31 days! 

The call is a fast repeating chattering, and they have a high pitched shrill  one note call similar to a Northern Flicker.   This one does some chatter vocalizing in the video

The birds are very striking with Royal Red Heads, all the way down to the shoulders, a black back with  broad white wing patches and a white chest.  The large white wing patches makes it pretty easy to ID as it's flying and landing on tree trunks or branches...

So nest season is upon us Depending on where you are of course....take my sisters for example are  still getting
Lil Sis,  had a remarkable sighting on her birdcount search and she graciously shared it with Me and US...she saw a little bump in a tree while driving and turned around and went back and this is what she found...


The N. Pygmy hunts by day and will take small birds even hummingbirds! When it's time for nesting they never create a nest cavity they find one already made, the Male will sit by the hole entrance and make some "Hoots" to attract a mate.  They stay together for that mating season.  They lay 2 - 7 glossy white eggs.  The are non migratory but move to lower elevations in Winter and back upslope in Spring.  

It's a small compact owl with NO ear tufts, a spotted head,  feathers come in  grey and red morph coloration...with yellow eyes and yellow beak. 

Lifer for her!!! Great find and awesome photos as well...good work Sis!  Thank you for sharing this great bird with all of us here and contributing to the blog content.

  Can't wait to see one myself!!

Spring season is a very important time of year for the continuance of  Species on Earth. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, February 18, 2022

February is half over?

My week has seemed slow but I've been busy every single day...The weather has been pretty good also....Spring has arrived here for sure.  

The grass has not greened up yet, and there is plenty of yard clean up left to do's not going anywhere my winter crops are growing...I hope to harvest some broccoli soon..

On Monday  I went to  Lake Paul Wallace, about an hrs drive away to see some ducks...

Some distant Bufflehead...

all in a line

On that particular day there was a cold wind in play and it made things a little uncomfortable for me and the ducks, most were off by the distant shores avoiding the open water to stay out of the wind.  A few sailed close by on their way to someplace else..

American Coot  

This Pied Billed Grebe is all puffed up to stay warm...

This Ruddy Duck (f) looks rather drab in winter colors, 

A Ring Billed Gull came out of the water to warm up in the sun...

There was lots of other ducks I got no good shots of but I sure enjoyed seeing them go about their life..

One day I ran into about 10,000 black birds..So fun to watch...

And a quick stop at the vernal pool I stake out sometimes, I found a Merlin, a small Raptor..(far away this is cropped heavy) so the vernal pool racked up another species...45 up to now.

FAR away...

And a  zoom...

The Red Bellied Woodpecker...was at the cemetery.

And a look at a Savannah Sparrow from the back...he was at the area I used to call the Beaverdam...since they killed the beaver most of the pond drained and now it's only a polluted mess SO SAD...


A Blue Jay came out in the open,..

This little Pine Warbler was flipping hickory nut shells over to see what he could find to eat. 

On the Plastic front...

I am trying very hard to reduce the plastic packaging I bring into my life...IT has not been easy.  Even when you buy something in a cardboard box, many times it has a Plastic inner package!  What happened to just good old wax paper?  And some products you can NOT find an alternative.  I bought powdered laundry detergent in a cardboard box.  When I opened it up there was a Plastic Scoop inside!!!

I got so angry about that...BUT I have cut my plastic bring home in half!! NOW just to work on the other half.  I found in come cases if I buy a larger quantity I can at least cut down on how many containers I bring home but in this one case, like Bird Seed, for instance. I thought I will just buy the bigger size, but bigger size means bigger bag so I didn't really make the right choice.  Im going to start emailing the companies.  I mean they are responsible for the Complete product they put out...Why should their packaging become MY PROBLEM? 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Yesterday and today...

I used to love to sing...I was never particularly good at it, but it sure did make me feel good to try.  So tonight I sang acapella, Memory, from the Broadway musical, CATS,  to my dogs...Im happy they didn't begin to  I Love Barbara Streisand's version ...I just don't hear her music much anymore.  

If you're familiar with the play, Grizabella has been ostracized by the fellow cats, And she is lonely and in much sadness.  The play is actually very moving and the costumes are amazing.   I watched a DVD version of the play...If you have never seen it I recommend it.  

Lately I have been going way back in time digging up line in the song says... "When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too, and a new day will begin." Each day we are creating the past the future is only alive in our thoughts...Actually when you think about it there is only Then and now.  There is NO future!! Wow. 

We definitely had winter this year.  By northern standards it was a cake walk but nothing is colder than a damp cold, the type we had.  So I feel like I've been curled up in a blanket for nearly a month.  Time to uncurl!

First of the year Ring Necked Ducks seen on Monday in a pond by the highway...

Soon enough Im sure I will be complaining about the heat, such is life eh? 

This little White Throated Sparrow will soon be heading back to breeding grounds up north and the birds in the tropics will be moving in here to take their  place...I hope

"It's so easy to leave me all alone with my memories of my days in the sun."

Today it was nice and warm so I took a walk around I haven't been going very far these days, seems Im completely content to just be at home with my simple life.  There was a beautiful crow on the ground this morning..

Then later in the day I had to go out and so I stopped at the Sewage Ponds, one part has been restored to a natural area...So I walked one of the trails around, found this Swamp Sparrow..

Moving  by the cattails lots of Song Sparrow skittered around they don't fly far and sometimes one would perch up to see what all the disturbance is about...

These two birds look  very similar but if you look closely one has streaks and a strong dot on the chest and the other does not.  

When the Sparrows leave and the Summer Tanager and the Flycatchers arrive the heat comes with them...up from the tropics..

 I left the ponds and went by the river to see what was out, a Bald Eagle flew over headed North but too far for a photo so I concentrated on the Double Crested Cormorants swimming and diving in the water.

I'm keeping this short since I posted on Wednesday give you guys a break, and thank you all for your visits.
Have a Happy Valentine's chocolate, stop and smell the flowers, and feed the birds!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

In Honor of...

A  Special Edition if you will In order to celebrate Black History month, this post is going to focus on the early African Contribution to our town.  And then on Friday back to the normal theme of my blog. 

 By 1787 there was 1,025 slaves in Camden.  By 1830 there was in excess of 8,300 slaves in Camden.  And by the end of the Civil War there was nearly 10,000 slaves living in Camden.  Slaves were brought from Africa Barbados  and Haiti  to grow and process Indigo through the Charleston Slave Auction House. 

Not a good thing! 
Slavery is a very dark period in not just our history but world history...So I hope to highlight the "We Shall Overcome" attitude of African Americans.   
The first Black man in our town to buy his freedom was Bonds Conway.  Prior to 1820 slaves could buy their freedom or the freedom of a family member from the slave owner.  Conway was a carpenter by trade and built his own house on land he purchased by making and selling door to door  Gingerbread and Ginger beer.  He  also purchased his oldest daughter's freedom who had been born into slavery.  At the time of his passing in 1848 he owned an entire block in the city.  

This is the original house it, was moved a few blocks to the current location...and preserved by the Kershaw County Historical Society. 

African Americans were enslaved, they were mistreated, they were murdered, they were held down in every way possible.  STILL they overcame!!   In their new found freedom to vote and hold office after the Civil War ended nearly 10,000 AA's lived in Camden and they were now the Majority and could VOTE. And they helped send the first Black representative to the US House in 1870 (Joseph Rainey) 

Trinity, Methodists Since 1872 has been a place of worship for African American's 

African Americans united in the churches where they plan, organize, and preach the Gospel from the Pulpit...many ministers and reverends serve double duty as political and spiritual leaders.

It wasn't long before  the revengeful whites adopted new laws (the Black Codes) to stop AA from influencing elections and  progressing and began to restrict their activities and labor.  Blacks codes such as, written evidence of employment each January and if they left before the end of that contract they had to forfeit their entire pay for the year....If they couldn't read or write they could not vote, or the Poll taxes they passed 
where they had to pay to vote.   New district lines were drawn to weaken and  split up the AA voters, and in 1870 the KKK was established...and is still active today!! White Supremacist's groups rose up to intimidate blacks from voting and from gaining more political clout.  

Yesterday looked much like today where voter suppression and intimidation is going on just like it did during  Reconstruction!   The Conservatives have the same motives now that they had then!!

 The Price House built in 1830 was a dry goods store.  Purchased by Susan  Price an AA business woman who ran a store on the street level  with her family, and they lived upstairs. The store ran through 1954. 

Local Art

JIM CROW Equal but Separate and the Paradox

You are equal to me BUT......only if you don't drink from my water fountain you will have  your own fountain, you are equal to me if you have a separate wing in the hospital, or your own library, or your own stores to shop in and restaurants to eat in and barber shops to have your hair cut.  Jim Crow made life hard but it did not stop the spirit of the African Americans.  THEY overcame!

Having been denied the use of white businesses, blacks set out to  build their own businesses and not  to be depending on whites for their livelihoods.  They organized and built churches, schools, businesses and they did very well....MANY of the stores in our downtown district were AA owned. They were cobblers, they were barbers, they were blacksmiths, the trades passed from generations of  slaves now being done as a business owners. 

Double Standards 

In front of Bethesda Presbyterian a German Hero is laid to rest in a tomb...but in back is 2 staircases to remind of us of  the way life used to be here in Camden.  One stair case was for the chorus and the other staircase was for Black worshipers to enter the balcony where they were "allowed" to  sit. 

This is the  Black owned store of E H Dibble.  1891, it was a Grocery and Crockery store.  

There is a normally a sign on the building I think it's being painted

 Black owned businesses  flourished up until the 1960's and after segregation ended some of the businesses could not compete and closed.   I lived in the time of segregation.  There was like 2 towns one above Rutledge St. for the whites, and one below it known as South Broad where black businesses lined both sides of the street for about 3 blocks.  

<----Broad St-------> South Broad St 

Another Historically Black owned and  operated business in our town is
Collins Funeral Home. 

 Purchased in 1889  by Elizabeth Collins and in 1914 her son Amon R Collins Sr opened Collins Brothers Undertakers for Colored People. His oldest son George who was a graduate of the Mather Academy kept the business going after the death of his father.  The Funeral home passed down through the family and at the time of George's death it passed to his  wife Willie Mae Collins, was my history teacher! She ran the Funeral home from 1975 to 1999. 

Since 1914 

In our town there was a Private Boarding school for AA was called Boylan Haven-Mather Academy. (1887-1983) A 23 acre allotment that had been the Lang Plantation was purchased in 1867 and the old Planation Mansion became the dorm for the students. 

 It Originally was the Browning School for Young Girls but eventually became the Mather Academy and taught both girls and boys K-12, the first school to have a 12th grade in our county...and one of the only 3 Class A schools in the state. The county was the only one in the state to have a Library for Blacks.  Graduates went on to colleges and became Lawyers, Doctors, Professors, Educators, Scientists, Politicians and Business Professionals. 

Unfortunately our town did not preserve this piece of history.  It was torn down and in it's place is a drug store an apartment complex, and some tennis courts.  This area is now called the  Campbell Street District. 
The remaining buildings of Mather were torn down in 1993.

Alma Mater of: 
Jim Clyburn US House of Representatives 1992- Present 
Larry Doby  1998 Baseball Hall of Fame
Coach Eddie McGirt 1969 CIAA Coach of the Year
Jon R Harper II Enrolled in college at age 15, Civil Rights Attorney 
Fredia Mitchell 1996 John D  Rockefeller III Public Service Award 

The African American Prince Hall  Masonic Lodge was founded in 1919 and this building built in 1948. The Hadoth Lodge. 
OUT of segregation grew a strong and independent population of wonderful capable people who built this country, who fought for this country, and who are the backbone of the progress  of this country.  If not for the demands of equality coming from black citizens we would not have the13, 14, & 15th Amendments, which is freedom from slavery, equal protection of the law, and the right to vote no matter what race you are, we would not have the Civil Rights Act, we would not have the Voting Rights act,  The Fair Housing Act, and maybe one day the Equal Rights Act will be signed  into law...  We would  not have a system that is open to be used by all if not for the influence of African Americans. 

Dr J Horace an AA Doctor owned, lived, and ran his medical practice in 1911,  out of this dwelling, The Thomas House c-1848

Many of these professionals businesses, and shop owners and their generations to follow are buried here in the Cedars Cemetery.  

 Thanks to the AA leadership and demands our Nation has made strides, and up until recently I thought we were about to reach the top of this mountain of racial injustice...but then 2016 happened.  ONLY together can we fight this fight AGAIN and it's sad that we  have to.  I know one thing with a strong force of African American  support we will  Overcome Again!!

The Williams House another AA Business owner lived here.  Mr John Williams had a successful grocery business on the corner of Broad and Rutledge. The Williams family resided here until 1968.

 I for one just want to say thank you to African Americans who dug us all out of slavery,   AA citizens who fought for the rights to be a human, to be recognized not just under the law but in the eyes of all, who helped lead us into a future where equality is what we are born with, not Equal but Separate, but just EQUAL.  If not for those who got knocked back down each time they stood up we would be lesser of a country.

Im  happy to be sharing a community, a vision and a place we all call our

Map of Camden 

OK my History posts have come to an end for now...I will insert little bits here and there Im sure.  Hope you have a better understanding of the roots from which this town grew.  Of course Im not from here originally my family history is via 
Plymouth Colony 1624  which I have mentioned in past posts. 

I hope some of you will share the history of the area you live in I think its fascinating to see how and why we are who we are. 

Every day is a new Adventure.