Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye to Charlotte and 2007

This week, we say goodbye to 2007, and we said goodbye to "Charlotte" as well. Our garden spider in the kitchen window disappeared about a day after this photo was taken. Frankly, I thought she was either very sick or deceased here since we had never seen her "frozen" in place on her back before. She did survive through Christmas, and she leaves an unknown number of children in three cocoons that she wove into the eaves.
Happy New Year for 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Little Lost Cat at Home

Remember the Little Lost Cat that was looking for food and attention? Here she is at home, peeking out from beneath a curtain. She joined two other cats already in our household, so it has taken awhile for one of the others to accept her and to complete the adjustment.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Covered by Moss

After seeing some other photo bloggers' pictures of hoarfrost, I noticed this dogwood tree in Old Live Oak Cemetery just covered in a frost-tinted Spanish Moss. It almost looks like hoarfrost...from a distance.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Bright Camellia

A pink camellia is entwined with Spanish Moss at Selma's Old Live Oak Cemetery. While the resting place is known for its spring beauty with blossoms of azalea and dogwood, it possesses a haunting grayness during the foggy, cloudy days of winter...that is, until the wanderer comes upon a camellia. This camellia bush is located near the Elodie Todd Dawson monument that was featured in an earlier post this year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

View from the Red-Brick Path

A narrow, red-brick path leads from the St. James Hotel terrace to the park benches in front of the Bridge Tender's House for a good view of the Pettus Bridge and Alabama River. The red and white stripes are part of the American flag that flies at the bed and breakfast. This photo was taken in early December when there were still a few leaves on the trees.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Pigeon Cote

Ever had pigeon for dinner? Apparently, this bird was an item a century or more ago. This old pigeon cote on the grounds of Heritage Village is an historic structure. It was built back when pigeons were raised for food. To see more pigeon cotes, some of which are centuries old, follow this link.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Doll for Christmas

I wonder how many little girls received dolls for Christmas today. When I was little, a new doll always awaited me beneath the tree. That was back when Barbies were newly popular, and while I had several beautiful dolls, a Barbie wasn't one of them, although I did have a Barbie Fashion Shop. Strange, huh? So today, what did I get? My very first Barbie doll!
Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus!
I hope that all of you who celebrate Christmas had a truly memorable one!

Monday, December 24, 2007

For Unto Us a Child is Born

"For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: 'Wonderful,' 'Counselor,' 'The Mighty God,' 'The Everlasting Father,' 'The Prince of Peace.'"

I chose this Old Testament verse from Isaiah 9:6 as an illustration of the Christmas story. The birth of Christ fulfilled numerous prophecies that were written hundreds of years before the actual event in Bethlehem.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Last Day to Shop

From this angle, the Christmas tree at City Hall looks almost as tall as the building. The municipal complex anchors the downtown shopping district, and oh my goodness! Monday is the last day to shop before Christmas! Now I wonder who is just getting started buying Christmas gifts today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Services

The arched doors of First Baptist Church at Lauderdale Street and Dallas Avenue will open for Christmas services Sunday. The Sunday before Christmas typically draws large crowds, and many families gather for Christmas dinners and reunions... as will my side of the family.

Friday, December 21, 2007

First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church is "the church under the clock" and sits at the corner of Broad Street and Dallas Avenue. It is also "Home of the Carillon," and hymns peal from its bells at designated times. The church first installed a carillon in 1948. It was dedicated in memory of the victims of World War II. The latest carillon was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2002, in memory of the victims of 9-11. The clock tower can be seen in the background of many downtown photos including the one posted yesterday.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Red and Green

Downtown Selma is filled with red and green both with real flowers (foreground) and artificial Christmas wreaths with red bows. It's a festive sight, even on a cloudy day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Downtown Lights

The Christmas lights downtown have been sparkling since late November. On this particular Friday, the parking spaces are filled with cars of restaurant patrons and a Christmas play at the Performing Arts Centre.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Cattle are Lowing

The cattle are lowing as they amble toward a tractor (not in view) that will soon deliver them a bale of hay. Supplemental feed will be a daily task until at least the middle of March when there should be enough grass to graze...that is, if this drought breaks and if the temperatures warm to normal. I like the way the setting sun gives a warm glow to the trees.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Now the Day is Over

Now the day is over.
Night is drawing nigh.
Yet the traffic still moves eastbound along U.S. Highway 80 at Marion Junction. The 18-wheelers are headed toward Selma where they will likely truck on to Montgomery or Birmingham. In the background, the sun sets on one of the shortest days of the year into a night that became the coldest of the season. We awoke this morning to a thick frost and thermometers that recorded temperatures in the low 20s.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday at the Pond

We spotted this blue heron (?) wading in a fish pond on a cold, windy Sunday near Selma. I hope some of you bird watchers can tell me exactly what bird this is. It was a little too far off to get a good closeup.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

O Christmas Tree!

The newly renovated lobby of the St. James Hotel on Water Avenue is ready for Christmas. I left the ceiling and chandelier in the photo since they are decorative as well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Angel in Waiting

"Angel in Waiting" is among the works of art that are for sale at the frame shop featured in yesterday's post. The artist, Teresa Cammack, is the same one who took the first-place photo for the Riverfront Market Day photography contest.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Art, Ornaments and Frames

These Christmas sun catchers are attractively displayed on a window frame in a Water Avenue frame shop. The shop makes room for all kinds of artistic work from the area's creative talents and sells it on consignment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sturdivant Hall's Christmas Open House

Sturdivant Hall's Christmas Open House is Thursday and Friday. That's when you can tour this antebellum mansion and museum free and enjoy the holiday decorations. If you attend the reception between 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday, you'll also get to enjoy musical entertainment.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas in the Courtyard

It's Christmas in the courtyard at the St. James Hotel. Poinsettias fill the urns, and wreaths with red ribbons decorate the inner balconies. I read in today's newspaper that a local Master Gardener did the decorations. To see the outside decorations, scroll down to the December 10 post.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The St James at Christmas

The St. James Hotel is decked out in Christmas wreaths, and the fountain out front is filled with poinsettias. The hotel on Water Avenue has recently undergone renovation, and its restaurant is expected to reopen just before Christmas. The hotel, originally built in the 1800s, was gutted and rebuilt and reopened in 1997. For a view last May, link here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cruisin' Upriver in December

December isn't a usual month to see boats on the river, but the weather has been so balmy recently. Right now, our air conditioning is on...first time I ever remember needing it so close to Christmas. More near record temperatures are expected the next few days, with the thermometer close to 80 degrees F.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Community of Light

The Community of Light, a drive-through display of lights, choirs and a live nativity, brings hundreds of Selmians to Vaughan Place for one evening each December. Luminaries purchased in honor or in memory of loved ones line the lanes. It is sponsored by the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce along with Vaughan Regional Medical Center and the Vaughan Auxiliary.

Friday, December 7, 2007

First Christian Church

Selma's former First Christian Church was organized in the 1850s, but this building was built in 1906. Today, the structure is the New Beginnings Center, which I assume is a church or religious mission.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Walnut

These jumbo walnuts got recycled into whimsical Rudolph Christmas ornaments and are for sale at Holiday House. It's fun to browse a whole building full of crafts that local folks have made. I enjoy their creativity!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday House

Holiday House at the Performing Arts Center is among the merriest places in Selma during the Christmas season. Its halls and walls are decked with ribbons and wreaths, ornaments, toys, jams and jellies, tons of baby things, aprons, birdhouses, nativity sets and just about anything your friends and family can wish for! Many of the items are homemade by area artists and craftsmen, and all are for sale. I found stuffed toy puppies that really breathe, angel ornaments made from magnolia cones, monogrammed checkbook covers, drink holders, and keychains; all kinds of prepared mixes for that holiday cheeseball or salsa, jewelry galore, kudzu jelly and fabric totes. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Old Depot Museum.
Oh! Don't miss the bake sale. There's one each day by a different caterer or civic organization!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wreaths, Bows and Garlands

Wreaths, red bows and garlands are going up all over Selma, and these are on the side door of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. Reflected in the door's window panes is the former First Christian Church.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Who was Edmund Pettus?

Here's another view of the Edmund Pettus Bridge looking toward downtown. Who was Edmund Pettus anyway?
While this bridge today is well known for its Civil Rights history, it's not as well known for its Civil War history. No, the bridge wasn't around during that war, but it is named for one of Selma's most prominent citizens of the Civil War era. "Borrowing" from an article written by my eldest son, Pettus practiced law in nearby Cahawba, Alabama's first capital. When the war began, he organized the 20th Alabama Infantry Regiment and was elected major. During the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863, his commander called him "fearless and chivalrous" and praised his attempt to save one company that was cut off during the retreat. He was promoted to colonel, and after the fall of Vicksburg was promoted to brigadier general. He commanded his brigade at Lookout Mountain, Rocky Face Ridge and Resaca, and after the war, returned to Selma and later was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served with fellow Selmian John Tyler Morgan. When Pettus died in 1907, he was the last Confederate brigadier general to hold a seat in the Senate.
The other bridge across the river on the bypass is named for Selma's other Confederate general and U.S. senator, John Tyler Morgan.