Friday, November 30, 2007

December Theme Day (Bridges)

Today is the City Daily Photo December Theme Day, and the subject is BRIDGES. Nothing better would do for this theme from Selma, Alabama, USA than a picture of the Edmund Pettus Bridge that crosses the Alabama River. Opened in 1940, this bridge became famous during the Civil Rights Movement. I took this photograph from Songs of Selma Park. A similar photo taken last summer can be found here.
Please visit all the other bridges around the world.
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End of Autumn

Here's another end-of-autumn tree. I am assuming it's a red maple. We don't have many of those, but this one is really brilliant. This photo is taken outside the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kingston's Ginkgo Tree

Hope y'all don't mind one more ginkgo tree! This one is the most beautiful that I've seen yet, and it stands majestically in front of this post-Civil War, Italianate home. So, I just had to stop and take its picture! The home, Kingston, once was owned by former Confederate Capt. Joseph F. Johnston, who later became governor of Alabama and a U.S. senator. Later, it was owned by a prominent Selma physician. This showplace was featured a few years ago on HGTV's "If Walls Could Talk." Now, HGTV will soon be returning to Selma and is actively seeking homes with interesting histories and artifacts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pecan Harvest

Got pecans? You can get them cracked at Holley's Farm and Garden Center in downtown Selma. Here is my batch...loaded in cardboard boxes and an onion sack. The pecans weighed 76 pounds minus a bit for box weight. I paid 25 cents per pound for the cracking and could have sold them to the store for 30 cents per pound. The machines they use crack a pound of pecans per minute.
During these days of the pecan harvest, the place is crowded with folks bringing in and taking out these tasty nuts, which I will finish shelling with the help of my family and freeze for future pecan pies, orange pecan pralines, toasted nuts and as ingredients in sweet potato cake and brownies. Some just might become Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Zaxby's is Selma's newest fast-food restaurant, scheduled to open Dec. 3. The chain has been around the Southeast about 15 years and specializes in fried chicken tenders, wings, sandwiches and salads. I already like the looks of this place...neat, appealing and minus wild color combinations.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Must be Mistletoe

"From the centre of the ceiling of this kitchen, old Wardle had just suspended with his own hands a huge branch of mistletoe, and this same branch of mistletoe instantaneously gave rise to a scene of general and most delightful struggling and confusion; in the midst of which, Mr. Pickwick, with a gallantry that would have done honour to a descendant of Lady Tollimglower herself, took the old lady by the hand, led her beneath the mystic branch, and saluted her in all courtesy and decorum."
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
After the leaves fell from our maple tree, a clump was left near the top. I have decided it must be mistletoe.

Mistletoe, a parasitic plant that is toxic to humans but provides nutrition for birds, butterflies and some mammals, is traditionally used at Christmas above a doorway so that anyone caught standing under it might get kissed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Going, Going, Almost Gone

The ginkgo leaves are going, going...almost gone! Rain tonight could finish their fall.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Iron Bowl

This is Iron Bowl Day in Alabama when the Auburn University Tigers meet the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in the annual college football rivalry. The winner claims "braggin' rights" for the next year, and Auburn has claimed 'em for the past five years. Selma is a traditional stronghold for Auburn fans since the late Coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan was a Selma native. The town also has agricultural roots, and AU was founded as a land-grant institution. Alabama has the law school. Both of our state's major universities are about 90 minute drives from Selma.
So which school do I think will win the game tonight?

Well, I predict that A.......... is gonna beat A............!

Oh, the game is known as "the Iron Bowl" because for years it was played on "neutral turf" in Birmingham where a statue of Vulcan stands and where the iron and steel industry caused the town to grow like magic, hence "the Magic City."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fall Highlights

The trees in our backyard are about as colorful now as they will get. Here is a dogwood with the yellow ginkgo leaves in front. Our ginkgo tree kind of had two autumns this year with half the leaves turning a while ago and falling and the rest turning now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thankgiving in the USA when we celebrate the feast held by the Pilgrims and Indians in 1621. We finished our feast with this pumpkin cake, topped with pumpkin frosting and craisins. My sister-in-law brought it and added real leaves and cedar around the base for embellishment.

On that first Thanksgiving, historians tell us that Chief Massasoit and his braves brought five dressed deer and more than a dozen wild turkey. They probably also had smoked fish. The colonists of Patuxet made a pudding out of cornmeal and maple syrup and learned how to roast popcorn . The Indians had shown them how to dry fruit, so they might have eaten blueberry and apple pies. For three days, they feasted and competed in shooting contests with guns and bows. They had foot races and drills, and the festivities all began with a prayer of thanksgiving offered by William Brewster, thanking God especially for their friendship with the Indians who literally had saved their lives by showing them how to survive in the new land.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fall in Fairoaks Square

Some of the best variety of autumn color around Selma can be found in Fairoaks Square. The combination of maples and dogwoods really spins the color wheel. While many of our leaves around Selma are gold, green or brown, Fairoaks really ups the beauty of fall. Fairoaks Square is a neighborhood of renovated Victorian homes that were built between 1870 and 1920. A dozen homes, most in disrepair, were purchased by a local industry in the 1980s and returned to elegance.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tree of Gold

Seems I just can't get enough of autumn colors this year! It's supposed to rain (hurray!) Wednesday and Thursday, then turn cold, so I'd better catch these oranges and golds while they are still around. That blue sky just sets a perfect background.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lapsley Street: Live and in Color!

Byrd Elementary School is almost hidden behind a wall of color. These brilliant hues can be seen all along this section of Lapsley Street.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Autumn Red

Autumn colors are peaking in Selma this week, and here is the brightest red I found. An inch of rain and a couple of frosts really seem to have brought fall in with gusto just before Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Autumn is still alive and well at this little Victorian cottage in Selma's Old Town district. The display of yellow mums and pumpkins just seem to say, "Happy Fall, Y'all!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thanksgiving First!

Christmas may already be in the stores, but it isn't in the air or on the doors...yet! I found this "berry delightful" autumn wreath on a door in Selma's Old Town neighborhood. Our town does itself proud during Thanksgiving. There will be a community-wide Thanksgiving service Sunday night at First Presbyterian Church, and while Christmas decorations are up downtown, the lights won't be turned on til after next Thursday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reformed Presbyterian Church

The Reformed Presbyterian Church was built in 1878 and is one of Selma's oldest churches. Its Carpenter Gothic architecture is elegant, and the structure is slated to be on tour during the 2008 Spring Pilgrimage.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Cocoon

This photo is grainy, I know, but it is the best I could get of the Garden Spider in My Kitchen Window finishing a cocoon way up in the eave. She's the same spider that we "claimed" as a Halloween decoration on the window screen. Yep, she's still around, and I am about ready to get the broom and sweep her away before Thanksgiving, but she just keeps amazing us with her handiwork! She obviously picked the perfect habitat...away from the wind and the rain and right where the bugs get caught in her web.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No Excuses!

There is simply no excuse for Selmians not to be physically fit! You don't have to join a health club to walk the track at Bloch Park or to use the exercise stations. It's all free, courtesy the City of Selma and Vaughan Community Health. There is even a station for wheelchair users who can try an upper body workout.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Honoring our Veterans

Selma and Dallas County veterans are honored with a series of monuments at Memorial Stadium. The center monument (with the gas flame) honors the World War I and World War II veterans who gave their lives. Nearby are the Vietnam and Korea memorials. Another one honors Commander Howard Gilmore who commanded the Growler submarine in WWII. The Growler sunk a Japanese freighter and damaged another. Later, Gilmore died in a 1943 attack. Selma also honors veterans with ceremonies here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Brownstone Manor

The afternoon sun spotlights this Neo-Classic mansion that is both a home and reception hall. The first floor includes a bandstand and banquet hall, and long-ago guests included F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. (Fitzgerald authored "The Great Gatsby" among other American classics.) Today's guests are wedding parties and those who come to celebrate their birthdays and reunions. Outdoor courtyards add to the elegance. The home has been featured on Selma's Pilgrimage for a special night tour, because it was built for its outside appearance. The "mirrored house" has inside chandeliers that are in line with the large windows, so that its exterior really sparkles after dark.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

First Frost

I notice that Selma, Alabama, and Nashville, Tennessee, both had their first frost this past week. Here is the frost on our dogwood tree. The temperature fell into the upper 20s before daylight.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Little Lost Cat

Trick or Treat? This little black and orange calico has been wandering our neighborhood since before Halloween, peeping in windows and patiently waiting at doors hoping to be fed or let inside. She arrived on our back steps one night as I called my cats. Until last week, we thought she belonged to one of the neighbors; after all, she's wearing a collar, and practically everybody has pets around here. Then, when she kept getting skinnier and acting more desperate and we started asking around, nobody claimed her. Meanwhile, dogs have chased her, and other cats have swatted her. So, we put an ad in the Lost and Found section of the newspaper, posted her photo at the vets' offices and checked with the animal shelter to see if anyone had reported her missing. So far...nothing. We hope she's just lost and didn't get put out by people who think others will just take her in. Anyhow, I thought she deserved a decent portrait for all the trouble she's been through!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Walk Through the Woods

The path from the main highway to Kenan's Mill winds through the trees, but the walk isn't too far. This is what I call a perfect fall day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Swinging Bridge

Part of the old-time atmosphere at Kenan's Mill is this swinging bridge across Valley Creek. The bridge leads to the charcoal kiln that I posted yesterday. Now, you can't see any water in the creek, because the long-term drought has caused it to drop about as low as I have ever seen it. There wasn't even any water spilling over the dam.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Got a clue?

This historic, round brick structure in the woods near Selma seems like a good one for guesses. Got a clue as to what this building might have been used for?

(Thanks for your answers! This is a beehive charcoal kiln. Wood was used in its production, and historically, charcoal was an ingredient of gunpowder, although I don't know the specific use of the charcoal that was made here.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bluegrass fans

These two gentlemen were among a crowd of people who sat on hay bales or in folding chairs to listen to bluegrass music Saturday at Kenan's Mill.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kenan's Mill Bluegrass Day

Kenan's Mill and surrounding grounds were alive with people Saturday at its annual bluegrass festival. The mill was open and cornmeal ground. A bluegrass band and cloggers provided music and dance while onlookers sat on hay bales nearby. A barn was raised the old-fashioned way, and children took rides down the shady lane in a wagon pulled by a tractor. Others braved the swinging bridge across Valley Creek. Kenan's Mill, once owned by the Kenan family, is now a project of the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cat Cuddle

Who says cats don't get along? These two Selma a senior citizen and the other a kitten...just love to cuddle. What could be sweeter?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Something Blue - City of Selma Seal

November Theme Day is "Something Blue," and Selma's city seal has blue sky and blue water in its background. The water represents the Alabama River, and the antebellum Sturdivant Hall represents the Civil War era. The Pettus Bridge is noted for the Civil Rights era. The butterfly is included since Selma is the Butterfly Capital of Alabama. This seal is rather weathered as it stands at the Alabama River entrance
into town.

Blue is photographed by the following City Daily Photo Blogs. Please visit their sites.

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