Q I'm looking at two pictures on Page 3B in Thursday's paper. Both are from the Miss South Carolina pageant in Spartanburg. One is an unappealing picture of an African American woman, Miss Greenville County. The other is an appealing picture of a caucasian woman, Miss Lexington. Please help me understand why those were chosen.

A Those pictures puzzled me, too. Miss Lexington, Anna Perry, won in the lifestyle and fitness swimsuit preliminary competition. She was shown in a swimsuit. Miss Greenville County, Brittany Sweeney, was wearing a gray wig, glasses and matronly dress as part of her talent performance.

I would have been more comfortable with the photo if the caption had explained what she was doing as her talent. Unfortunately, the information that appeared with the two photos was all that the newspaper received from the Associated Press, and it was not enough.

AP made two other photos available — another of a contestant in a swimsuit and one of a contestant playing the piano. Both of those contestants were white. Those photos were published Friday.

It was a good choice to show the diversity of the pageant by picturing a black and a white contestant, but because these were not fully explained, readers were understandably uncomfortable.


Q Thanks to a recent Almanac in Sunday's Home & Garden section, I had no problem figuring out what had put four of my bird feeders on the ground after a calm night. Margo, St. George.

A The photo was submitted by Margi Maucher and showed a deer eating from a birdfeeder while on hind legs.