Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Big, Blue Boat

It's summertime, and the livin' is easy, especially when the big, blue boat is waitin' to take you on a cruise down the Alabama River.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts for the photo!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peach Pickin' Time

It's peach pickin' time in Central Alabama, and the aroma of these ripe fruits left me no choice but to buy a couple of cartons at the local Farmers' Market.

I shared a few with friends for a peach and blueberry fruit bowl, and the rest will go into homemade ice cream. I'll even share the family recipe!

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

6-8 ripe peaches
3 cups sweet milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 large can evaporated milk
3 cups sugar (I use a little less.)
1 12 ounce can apricot nectar

Combine peaches with small amount of milk in blender until well blended. Combine remaining ingredients and pour into a one-gallon freezer. Add peach mixture. Mix. Freeze according to directions. Yield: 15-20 servings

Monday, June 28, 2010


Even lawns as green as this one get extra thirsty in Selma summers. With temperatures mostly in the mid- to upper 90s through June so far, even frequent afternoon showers aren't enough to keep grass and plants growing.

Notice the large planters in the yard. They are very popular in Selma, especially in the yards of antebellum and Victorian homes.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

All the Colorful Fish (Camera Critters)

I didn't have to go to the bottom of the sea for this photo, just to Holley's Farm & Garden Center.

Holley's sells fish and aquariums and has a nice selection of birds, hamsters and guinea pigs too.

See more Camera Critters HERE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Early Bunch

Garden-grown corn, tomatoes, peaches, okra, peas, blackberries and watermelon are all it takes to get Selmians up early on Saturday mornings.

The Dallas County Farmers' Market had a brisk business today around 8 a.m., and folks who want a good choice of homegrown goodness for supper have to get there fast.

The market is open from 6 a.m. til 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday under the shed at Bloch Park.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Skywatch Friday (Sun-kissed Clouds)

It's Skywatch Friday, and the sun kissed these clouds to deliver a magnificent sky for all skywatchers.

Thanks to Christine Weerts for the photo!

See more skies at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Advice from a River

Selma is a river town, and the Selma Children's Museum offers this "Advice from a River" that appears to be taken from a poem by the same name at the Your True Nature website and written by Ilan Shamir.

Another longer version of the poem can be found HERE.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Gamble House

The Gamble House sits across Lauderdale Street from the St. Paul's Episcopal Church sanctuary. Used for Little Friends Preschool and Sunday School, this structure is mentioned in Selma's Windshield Tour, is older than the 1870's church building and may be antebellum.

Monday, June 21, 2010

From Trash to Future Landscape

Selma Art Camp kids designed a landscape of the future from trash salvaged by their instructor, Charlie "Tin Man" Lucas.

Double click the photo, and look closely. There are houses of the future designed from paper dispensers, roads and walkways from old siding, fencing from former bathroom tile, cornerstones from molding, and even people and an American flag.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers' Day

Sending all you wonderful fathers out there a daylily from Selma!

This beauty was grown in the garden of Carol Henry, one of our local master gardeners.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Shower

Here is your typical Selma summer: boughs of crepe myrtle, vines of green beans and afternoon rain!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Whites

When the crepe myrtles bloom, you know summer is here, whether the calendar says so or not!

Thanks to Christine Weerts for the photo.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh, the Things We Weave!

This young Selma Arts Camp participant wove a shoulder bag last week. Weaving is among the popular crafts at the city-sponsored program and is taught by a local weaver who furnishes her own looms.

The second art camp at Dallas Academy will be held in July.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Climbing Roses

Old-fashioned roses climb across a rail fence in the garden of Selma resident Carol Henry.

I used a focal black-and-white effect to spotlight the foliage, and in the background you can see Carol's greenhouse.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Flower that Tells Time

Is it 4 o'clock yet?

Check the four o'clock flower, and if the blooms are open, then it's at least late in the afternoon.

The four o'clock not only knows what time to open, it's fragrance is rich! My grandmother had one of these plants, and every summer afternoon, we'd run to the four o'clocks to see if they were open so we could smell the flowers.

However, it seems time has little to do with its blossoming. The late evening drop in temperature actually causes these little gems to open. Oh well! Another thing I didn't know, the little black seeds that we used to decorate mud pies with are extremely poisonous! But if you want to attract humminghbirds and butterflies, then here's a great addition to your garden.

Thanks to Christine Weerts for contributing this photo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Hands-On Experience

Kids can discover dinosaur bones and about a hundred other things at the Selma Children's Museum.

Founder LaFawnda Watson transformed a few upstairs rooms at Dallas Academy into a colorful, educational and delightful escape for children.

They can sit in a raft and learn about the Alabama River, bake a pretend pizza and learn about fractions, figure out the time in Australia from a set of clock posters and customize their own puzzles.

The museum also plans to sponsor a kids' movie marathon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Seeing Red! (Camera Critters)

Until a few days ago, I had never seen a bug like this!

It flies, it buzzes, it digs in the bark, and it's very, very big! It's probably a beetle, but I avoided the critter as if it was a mad, mad hornet. If you know this bug, please let me know!

(This photo was taken with a zoom lens at a safe distance, then heavily cropped.)

See more radical or not-so radical Camera Critters HERE.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fresh Fruit!

It was almost noon, and the heat was unmerciful when I noticed a truck full of fresh peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon parked along Broad Street. So, I stopped, got out, took a picture and purchased a cantaloupe.

Robert Strong brought these delectable summer treats down from a Birmingham market. The peaches were grown in nearby Chilton County.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Art Camp Creations

Participants in the first session of Art Camp 2010 show some of their creations, which they get to take home today.

The camp is sponsored by the City of Selma Ceramic Art Program and held at the old Dallas Academy building. Campers learned techniques ranging from ceramics, weaving, wire art sculptures, woodworking, watercolor painting and drawing, sewing and photo tinting.

The next Art Camp begins July 12.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fossilized Shells

Double click the photo for a larger view to easily see the fossilized shells in the stone. The stone was brought from Wilcox County for use in a local garden. The Black Belt area of Alabama once was covered by shallow water, and fossils of marine life are fairly easy to find.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Does this flower strike a resemblance to nestled doves?

The Columbine flower is named for the Latin columba, which refers to doves. Apparently, the people who chose the name think the flower appears to look like five doves nestled together. The scientific name, Aquilegia, is derived for the Latin word for eagle, since the appendages looks like its outstretched talons. Others think it looks like a jester's cap. To me, it's as exotic as an orchid.

This purple columbine resides in the garden of Selma Master Gardener Carol Henry.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fresh-Cut Hay

Unless you have hay fever, nothing smells much sweeter than fresh-cut hay.

It's hay cutting time in Central Alabama, and this week should be a lot drier than last, so maybe the new hay won't get wet!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Community Garden

Fresh tomatoes, squash and peppers plus will soon be ready for the Old Town neighbors who planted and worked this community garden. They planted the garden on a vacant lot, and recent heavy rains are keeping it growing.

Community gardens not only reduce household food budgets and provide healthy vegetables, they beautify neighborhoods, encourage social interaction, recreation and exercise.

Thanks to Old town guest photographer Christine Weerts the picture.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

(Camera Critters) Plodding Along

I caught this turtle plodding along in the backyard one day last week. Nearby, a cat circled him or her but decided it was best to leave the turtle alone. Good choice!

See more critters from other exotic locations HERE.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pet Cemetery

Who among dog and cat owners wouldn't like a peaceful resting place nearby for their deceased furry family members?

I visited this backyard pet cemetery yesterday, sheltered beneath shade trees and filled with flowers and greenery. The boy-and-his-dog statue just set the mood for remembering loyal companions that have passed on.

Note the large sandstone tombstones. They are foundation stones recovered from old homesteads.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Blue-Violet Vitex Tree

Local Master Gardener Carol Henry kindly allowed me to traipse through her garden this morning, and when I first saw these long, finger-like blossoms, I thought this was a butterfly bush. But, it's a small Vitex (or Chaste) tree.

The Chaste berries have quite a history as a folk remedy for treating a variety of medical conditions, including regulation of hormones in women.

Double click the picture for a larger view, and look for more beautiful flowers from Carol's garden right here this summer!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kathryn Windham!

Happy Birthday to Selma's most famous tale teller!

Kathryn Tucker Windham is 92 today.

I took this picture of her two years ago when the whole town celebrated her 90th at the library. Kathryn started her writing career as a reporter and later became famous for her ghost stories. She's authored many other books about Selma and the South, as well as publishing beautiful photographs and delectable recipes. But she may be best known as a nationally acclaimed tale teller. And at 92, she still writes and speaks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blue Hydrangea

Does anyone know what kind of hydrangea this is?

Rather than the petals forming round balls, they grow in flat clusters.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts for sending this picture!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


What could be prettier on the first day of June than daylilies, brilliant orange, almost red daylilies? They really pop amid the green foliage and white picket fence.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts.