2014-10-23 / Opinions

Photo of the Week, Part One

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By TOM POLAND
Across The Savannah

My good friend and co-author, Robert Clark, and I have long been planning to give readers a look at the Southland and its abundant beauty and fascinating stories. We came up with “Closed Wednesdays” but never got it off the ground. Too much traveling, too many book-related events, and life’s way of throwing detours in our path got in the way. We stepped back and thought things over and decided to offer readers something a bit shorter that wouldn’t demand as much traveling. Robert’s idea, “The Photo of the Week,” resulted and so far it is getting a good reception from readers.

Here’s the web address for the Photo of the Week. http://www.photooftheweek.net/ Bookmark it and pay it a visit each week from Tuesday on. We try to post a new one each Tuesday but sometimes it’s Thursday before life lets us get the new one up.

You’ll see that we cover nature, man and his creations, and more. Meanwhile, here are several that have already run. I’m including them in my next two weekly columns so you can see what you’ve missed and get an idea of what’s coming.


Sand Fence Pathway Sand Fence Pathway Who can see the wind? Neither I nor you, but when the winds pass through, beach sand does too. Winds encountering plants, however, slow and drop sand. As grains accumulate, plants grow and spread, further limiting the wind’s ability to carry sand away. When plants are scarce, sand fences like these at Folly Beach slow the wind letting sand accumulate around their base. It’s a win-wind scenario.

Walking through grassy dunes harms the growth of plants letting winds blow flakes of mica and grains of quartz and feldspar away. These Folly Beach sand fences, however, provide more than a pathway to the sea. They build dunes— barriers against storm surges. Photographed ten minutes after sunrise, Folly Beach will warm creating winds. Sands passing through the fences will drop and plants will grow.


Heirloom Brooms Heirloom Brooms In the hamlet of Boykin a sign, “Hand-Made Brooms,” adorns an old slave home. Inside, beneath axe-hewn heart pine beams impaled by ancient nails, Susan Simpson uses vintage 1800’s equipment to make heirloom brooms.

The wheat-colored straw— tough as hog bristles—comes from Laredo, Texas. Susan dyes the sweet-smelling straw the colors of the rainbow, cuts it, and binds it to handsome dark handles. Decorative but-sturdy, her hearth and large house brooms grace homes and businesses in all 50 states and 29 countries.

An ancient broom more than 100 years hangs high on a wall. “If you touch it, it will disintegrate,” warns Susan. Not her brooms. They’re solid as a rock.


The Bluebird Of Happiness The Bluebird Of Happiness One more thing. If a new broom sweeps clean, what do Susan’s vibrant brooms do? They sweep boredom from the eye.

Quite simply the bluebird is iconic. American Indians saw it as a symbol of the rising sun, a new day. Harbinger of happiness, hope, and love, the bluebird is dear to many, businesses included. Yellowschoolbus manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation uses the bluebird as its emblem. American Express uses it to symbolize a mobile app. Myriad companies use “Bluebird” as their name. Quite simply, the bluebird is iconic.

Songs and films aplenty pay homage to this member of the thrush family. “Don't fly, mister bluebird, I'm just walking down the road.” So sang the Allman Brothers. In The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland sang, "Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly."

The bluebird has its own song, a lilting, liquid, mellifluous anthem. Hear it and see a feathery flash of blue and you know you’re in for a good day.

Visit my website at www.tompoland.net

Email me at tompol@earthlink.net

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