Saturday, June 30, 2007

Welcome to Selma and 100th Post!

Welcome to Selma and my 100th Selma, Alabama, Daily Photo Blog post! I thought it would be appropriate to post a photo of one of Selma's city limits welcome signs. This sign is at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on U.S. Highway 80. The city limits begin on the bridge across the Alabama River. At the top is the city seal, signifying our town's civil rights and civil war history and acknowledging the "beyond." The butterfly represents our designation as the Butterfly Capital of Alabama. The other seals represent some of the active civic clubs. Thanks to all of you who have visited this blog and especially for your kind comments.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Summer Shower

Yes! There is rain!
Three days in a row...
There are tomatoes...
See the crape myrtle, sagging beneath the weight of great big raindrops.
Summer has arrived!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kate the Persuasive Horse

Hey there! It's me...Kate...the horse. C'mon over here! See that latch. It's on the gate. Just undo it, and I'll walk out. I won't rear up or kick my heels or anything. There's a big pasture over there, and it just rained, and I need to check it out, splash in a few puddles maybe.
Don't mind the bearded guy over in that truck. He's just looking at the cows, and I know he won't care if I get out for a few minutes. Besides, he'll never know. I promise not to follow him around.

Hey, where are you going? I thought you were my friend! C'mon back and talk to me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Where's the Range Cubes?

"We want a handout, and that's no bull!"

These Red Simmental bulls stopped lounging in the shade and immediately headed toward the truck. They wanted a handout...range cubes to substitute for the lack of grass. This is the second consecutive summer that supplemental feed has been necessary.

Though a good two inches of rain fell the past couple of days, the drought will be around a long while...unless a tropical storm heads our way. That's about the only way a 15-inch thirst can be quenched.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Running of the Cows

Cows race across a pasture in Dallas County, Alabama, shortly after a rain shower. Invigorated after weeks and weeks of drought, the cows took off toward the cedar-tree horizon, frolicking and mooing "Thank You!" to the great Rainmaker in the Sky.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hunkering Down

These cattle are "hunkering down" as the first big rain shower in months pours a good half inch or more of H2O on some parched pasture near Selma. The area received a lot more rain Sunday when the chance was 20 percent than it did last week when the chance was 80 percent. But did it rain at my house and on my garden? NO! Maybe today!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Little Yellow House

I've been trying to figure out what this big green bush might be! At first I thought it was a fig, but the leaves are shaped differently. Now, I think it could be a confederate rose. Any other ideas? Besides the beautiful bush, the yellow house caught my eye. Selma has lots of these small, narrow dwellings. I like the yellow paint on this one as well as the shingles and trim. They add a lot to a cozy little abode.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pink Crape Myrtle

It finally rained! Not much...but enough to cause the crape myrtle branches to droop a bit. These medium-pink blossoms are nearing full bloom. The deep pink blossoms on our other bush will bloom in July.
Have a good weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Baskets

A splash of color adds so much to background shrubbery. These pretty pink hanging baskets are enjoyed by residents and visitors of Cedar Hill Assisted Living Facility.

Oh! It looks as if Flopsy and Mopsy are running on home without Peter! Now what could that rascally rabbit be up to?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Ghost of John Parkman

Let's go indoors on this first day of summer...inside where the ceilings are tall and the air conditioning is cool.

We have arrived back at Sturdivant Hall, the antebellum mansion that is Selma's showplace. This room is one of the parlors and features Victorian furniture and an Oriental rug...very typical for the time as many furnishings were imported from Europe.

Hmmm, I wonder if the
Ghost of John Parkman could be seated in the chair at the corner table or perhaps watching from the entrance hall. Shortly after we arrived, the great double front doors opened by themselves, and a breeze blew by...only our tour guide reminded us there was no breeze outside, just thick humidity that was as still as the angel statue over by the water garden. She greeted the moving air as if it was alive, even welcomed it!

Then she told us how the home's owner, bank president John Parkman, had been arrested during Reconstruction, something to do with speculating in cotton futures and losing the assets. He was taken to Cahaba Federal Prison and locked up as if he was a common criminal or heaven forbid, a ***Yankee! His young wife was left to manage the property and raise their two children. Their good name was tarnished. But friends worked out a plan. They would rescue Parkman by boat in the Alabama River, if he could just escape those walls and run for it!

He did escape! He did run for it! But he never made it to the boat. A guard shot toward him, and some say he died from the gunshot. Others say he just drowned in the river... so close, but just a few feet too far from freedom.

Now, a century and a half later, the ghost of John Parkman haunts Sturdivant Hall. But he holds no thoughts of evil. He just wanders the mansion looking for his long-lost family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Alabama River in June

It was hazy outside the day I took this picture of the Alabama River at the foot of Church Street. The water surface was smooth, and as you can see in the bottom right, the kudzu was flourishing. Occasionally in the summer, alligators can be observed sunning along the banks, but finding them for a photo isn't too easy. The gators make their way north via the Mobile Bay and bayous, up the Mobile River and into the Alabama. Perhaps one day I will get lucky!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Drought Along U.S. Highway 80

Though there were rain clouds ahead, this photo of U.S. Highway 80 west of Selma is a good representation of the current severe drought. Patches of green appear here and there, but notice the fields on both sides of the road. They are yellow/brown when they should be green. This picture was taken Sunday through the windshield of our truck just east of Marion Junction.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Morning Glories for Monday

What easier way to begin a Monday than with cheerful morning glories! I found these trumpet-like beauties meandering in the dirt along a city street. Apparently, they are prolific wanderers, crawling across and climbing anything they can find.

In eras past and perhaps even now, they were used for culinary, medicinal and hallucinogenic purposes. Today, they are used as ornamentals.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Gone Fishin'

Gone fishing for Father's Day.
Hope all you fathers had a
grand, relaxing day!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Clear Creek Nature Trail

Clear Creek Nature Trail at Cahawba Archaeological Park offers the hiker a view of numerous native trees and plants that people depended upon, especially during the Civil War when supplies were scarce.

Roots were used to dye threads and cloth: pine=garnet; pine and sweetgum=Confederate gray; hickory bark and alum=green; sumac berries and walnut hulls=brown.

Wine was made from scuppernongs, sewing needles from cedar and white oak, and tea from huckleberry, black raspberry, blackberry and holly.

Dogwood berries contained a substitute for quinine. Prickly pear leaves were boiled with tallow to make candles, and hides were tanned with an oak bark solution. In "Memories of Old Cahaba," a book by Anna Gayle Fry, who lived in Cahaba during the Civil War, she writes:
"We took advantage of every resource...We not only fed and clothed the people of our county, but aided and helped to feed the people of the entire South, civil as well as military; and we felt proud of our independence and fortitude, especially when we remembered how utterly unprepared we were when Alabama seceded and the war began and how little we knew of manufacturing anything, and the wonder of how we ever learned to do what we did."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Berry House

Known as the Berry House, this historic structure features wrought-iron grillwork that was made in Selma's Foundry. Reminds me of New Orleans.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Downtown Facades

Sometimes, it's nice to stroll downtown just to enjoy the atmosphere.
Heritage colors on these facades give Broad Street a unique flair.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Federal Courthouse, Selma

What goes on inside a U.S. courthouse?

This 1909 structure has housed offices of U.S. congressmen, the IRS, FBI, U.S. Department of Agriculture and of course, federal district court. All those offices aren't necessarily still there, but the courtrooms see use upon occasion. Its scales of justice have weighed evidence in drug trials, voting and mail fraud cases, voting district changes and the city's fight for the return of Craig Air Force Base land.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The arch honors Selma's two U.S. senators, John Tyler Morgan and Edmund Winston Pettus, who both served Alabama at the same time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cahawba's "New" Cemetery

What was it like to live in a flood-prone, antebellum southern river town?

Tombstones tell part of the story. While Cahawba and Dallas County were affluent prior to the War Between the States, its economy as a river port brought diversity and disease. Many inhabitants died of yellow fever.

This gravestone in Cahawba's "New" Cemetery marks the resting place of a young child. Although vandals broke many monuments, the artistry of the town's two stone carvers can still be seen. This cemetery dates to the 1850s.

Other cemeteries here include one that was used for slaves and later freedmen.
Still another burial ground memorializes Union prisoners who died at Cahawba Federal Prison. Their bodies were later moved, but names and regiments are listed on the markers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Alabama's First Capital

Alabama's first permanent capital was at Cahawba, a town on the Alabama River about 10 miles downstream from Selma. The photo is of a poster inside the visitor center of Cahawba Archaeological Park, managed by the Alabama Historical Commission. Now a ghost town, Cahawba was devastated by repeated floods and other calamities. Its demise after the Civil War contributed to the rise of Selma. The poster shows our state's original capitol. The cupola on top was salvaged and today sits atop a church in Lowndesboro.
The park offers exploration of ruins, hiking and picnicking,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

E911 Tower

The E911 tower rises to meet the first promise of rain in weeks.

Selma finally received a shower Friday afternoon, and we enjoyed an even better one on Saturday.

The tower, which serves emergency responders in Selma and Dallas County, is located next to the courthouse annex.

This photo was taken from the courthouse parking lot. A decorative lantern and white crape myrtle provide the foreground.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Dallas County Courthouse Architecture

A sprawling oak tree surrounded by lush ground cover forms the foreground for a salvaged section of the 1910 Dallas County Courthouse. The architecture featured columns and arched windows. A view of the original structure can be found at the Selma Historic Postcards link here. The clock tower collapsed in 1957, and most of the exterior was remodeled with synthetic marble. Most recently, stucco was added, and the building changed colors from green to cream.
Historically, the courthouse was the scene of voter registration drives and marches during the 1960's Voting Rights Movement.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Summer Flowers at WCCS

These sunshine-yellow daylilies practically wave a welcome to passersby and students at the entrances of Wallace Community College-Selma.
They would certainly brighten my day if I had to take an exam!

(A special thanks to Abraham Lincoln of Brookville, Ohio, Daily Photo
for his help with improving my photo presentations).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

School of Discovery

School is out for summer, but the grounds of the School of Discovery are like an oasis downtown. I love the courtyard atmosphere and how the building is framed by the trees. Enclosed on the left is the butterfly garden, and enclosed on the right are picnic tables and benches. The school is also the site of the Pickard Auditorium, which provides a stage and seating for large community events such as Tale-Telling Festival and Junior Miss.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Lest We Forget

Sixty-three years ago, Allied forces began the invasion of Normandy in what is known as D Day.

This monument memorializes troops from Dallas County who died in both world wars but also gives special recognition to the campaign for Normandy and France. Both my father and father-in-law participated in this historic father in Britain who readied and repaired planes for the U.S. Army Air Corps (forerunner of the U.S. Air Force), and my father-in-law on bloody Omaha Beach, who served in the U.S. Army. They lived to return home, marry and raise families. I dedicate this post to them and to all the rest who lived and died that day.

The monument is located at Selma's Memorial Stadium.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Beware the Kudzu Strangler!

Crawlin’, crawlin’ like a spider,

Kudzu weaves its web of green.

Creepin’, sneakin’ ever wider,

Trappin’ trees in each ravine.

Reachin’, reachin’ towards the blacktop

Stalkin' all the cars that pass.

Can’t the guv’ment make it stop

‘Fore it strangles us en masse?

Kudzu grows everywhere, and here it is right in downtown Selma...on the river bank, through the fence and heading for the pavement.

Often called "the vine that ate the South," kudzu is not native to America. The government imported it from the Far East in the 1930s for erosion control. But the fast-growing plant took over like a tyrant...swallowing trees, gripping power poles, threatening ecosystems. It is very difficult to kill, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture officially declared it to be a weed in 1972.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The "Flying-est" T-33

Off we go into the wild, blue yonder

This T-33 aircraft was used for pilot training at Selma's Craig Air Force Base and gave young men the opportunity to "climb high into the sun" and learn how to navigate the skies after World War II.
It flew more than 7200 hours and 2.5 million miles. The plane was presented to the City of Selma March 4, 1964, and the display was erected at Memorial Stadium by Selma Squadron #288 AF Association.

The Air Force base was closed in the late 1970s by the Jimmy Carter Administration. Today, it is operated as an airport and industrial authority with a runway that can accommodate jets.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Cheapest Drink in Town

The cheapest drink in town?
No, it isn't Koolaid or some inexpensive wine. It's plain old tap water straight from the tanks of Selma Water Works.

The city has six wells and the capacity to pump 8 million gallons per day while average usage is about half that amount.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Discovering The Wall

The back wall behind The School of Discovery is a colorful mural. It depicts typical local landscapes and butterflies in flight. Selma is the Butterfly Capital of Alabama, and the school, which educates city sixth graders, is also the site of the Mallieve Breeding Butterfly Garden. The school includes several arts, music and technology programs geared specifically for young people who are about to enter junior high.

Friday, June 1, 2007

(June Theme Day) View from My Window

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June's City Daily Photo theme is:
The view from my window...

Bird feeder...birdbath...pot of petunias...perch places...

and shade from a crape myrtle tree...

Why not?
Check out my Selma NOW link to find out.

Please visit these other CDP sites participating in this month's Theme Day:

Seattle (WA), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Toruń, Poland - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Madison (WI), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Omaha (NE), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stockholm, Sweden - Grenoble, France - Lubbock (TX), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Hyde, UK - Joplin (MO), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Kansas City (MO), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Manila, Philippines - Sydney, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - London, UK - Chandler (AZ), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Singapore, Singapore - Hamburg, Germany - Sydney, Australia - Tenerife, Spain - Moscow, Russia - Lyon, France - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Evry, France - Hayle, UK - Mumbai, India - Kitakami, Japan - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - La Antigua, Guatemala - Paderborn, Germany - San Diego (CA), USA - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Madrid, Spain - Lyon, France - Selma (AL), USA - Shanghai, China - Baziège, France - Cologne (NRW), Germany - North Bay (ON), Canada - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Stayton (OR), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Hong Kong, China - Trier, Germany - Joensuu, Finland - Paris, France - Greenville (SC), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Cork, Ireland - Bastia, France - Vancouver, Canada - Brookville (OH), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Mainz, Germany - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Torino, Italy