Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Cardinal

It's New Year's Eve, and with just a few hours left in 2008, I give you this beautiful closeup of a female cardinal photographed by Elaine Stewart of Valley Grande.

Happy New Year to everybody around the world!

Be sure and check the City Daily Photo Blogs on New Year's Day when bloggers will post their best photo of the year.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let the Sun Shine On!

Sunshine has returned to Alabama, giving the cattle and us a break from damp, dismal conditions. Let the sun shine on!

Monday, December 29, 2008

High Cotton

Here's a break from all the fog, clouds and rain...High Cotton.

One of Selma's Butterfly Project sculptures, "High Cotton" is sponsored by J.A. Minter & Son, which operated a longtime cotton gin in Tyler, Alabama, and is painted by Anne High.

The sculpture graces the grounds of Sturdivant Hall, but depending on seasonal events there, you might find it across the street at Heritage Park.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Cat (Camera Critters)

Our 12-year-old rescue kitty has always craved much so that he spent Christmas morning hugging his Daddy's leg and serving as a ribbon receptacle as gifts were opened. While he isn't smiling for the camera, I can assure you that he's a very contented cat!

To see more Camera Critters, click HERE.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas at the Mall

Christmas trees and snow banks fill the entrance of the Selma Mall where a fountain used to be.

These are the days of after-Christmas sales, but so far, I haven't ventured out to the stores. There's so much to do outside while December is pretending to be April. Our windows are open to let in the warm, fresh air!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blue and Gray

A little blue and a lot of gray...that's been the sky most every day now for a couple of weeks. This is the sky above the Walmart parking lot just before Christmas, and it's the same today. Temperatures here are 75 degrees F.

To see more skies around the world, click HERE

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good News!

Wind blew some of the straw roof off this stable on Broad Street, but that doesn't change the Good News that Christ is born.

The Nativity scene is said to have been introduced by St. Francis of Assisi back around the 13th Century as a visual way to tell the Christmas story. It's a story that changed the history of the world and has the power to change human hearts.

The Bible proclaims Christ to be God incarnate called the Son of God, "God with us," the Savior, everlasting Lord, Prince of Peace, King of Kings... long-awaited Messiah. Hallelujah for the good news!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Traffic

Oh, the weather outside is balmy, and shoppers are out in force this Christmas Eve of 2008.

Have a very Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa in Crochet

Crocheted Christmas ornaments were all the rage years ago, and somebody who could work the tiny crochet hook through slender cotton thread spent untold hours making them.

I purchased this and many other crocheted ornaments at arts and crafts festivals, and Santa with his stringy beard is still among my favorites.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tabernacle Baptist Advice

Amid all the gift-buying, Christmas parties and decorating, Tabernacle Baptist Church on Broad Street posts the advice to "Keep Christ in Christmas."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The CATtle are Lowing

Ever since we unpacked Christmas decorations and placed the manger scene upon the jelly cupboard, the cattle have been lowing and our cat has been napping next to Baby Jesus. Last year, she chose to sleep beneath the Christmas tree. This year, she's part of the Nativity!

For more Camera Critters photos, head on over HERE.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

End of the Trail

Christmas vacation for this college student from Selma so far has included a nearly 40-mile, three-day hike along North Georgia's Appalachian Trail.

His team began their trek at Dick's Creek Gap and ended at Neel's Gap at the Walasi Yi Center, a hiker hostel where the trail runs through the shelter.

Here, after climbing several mountains through fog, rain and unusual winter warmth, he is happy to be just a mile from trail's end. The adventure was not without close encounters. The team saw a mama bear and her cub, which quickly moved another direction. There were also glove-eating varmints at the Tray Mountain shelter.

And yes, if you are wondering, he's one of my boys!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Old St. Nick

Customers at Southern Antiques and Collectibles on Dallas Avenue receive a jolly welcome from Old St. Nick. The gifts and antiques store is especially busy these days with Christmas just a week away.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twelve Drummers Drumming

"On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...twelve drummers drumming."

Here is Lafawnda Watson's interpretation of the twelfth day of Christmas in the popular song. Aren't these drummers colorful? I can just hear the pa rum pum pum pums now!

The "Twelve Days of Christmas" art project is sponsored by the Selma Art Guild and on display at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tiny Tears

Speaking of Santa's Workshop and elves, who remembers the Tiny Tears dolls of the 1950s?

They were popular items on little girls' Christmas wish lists, and Elaine Stewart of Valley Grande still has hers. When Elaine emailed this photo, I was sure that I may have had a very similar doll. What memories! Elaine says she's sentimental and still has her bride doll and doll buggy.

I'll admit to saving two small dolls and a few baby doll clothes that were too big for my preemie twins!

What favorite toys did you save from childhood?
(Do you remember Thumbelina, Tressie or Troll Dolls?) Click HERE to visit Baby Boomers' childhood memories.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Elves at Work

High atop bookshelves in the children's section of the public library, elves are at work!

Toys are cut from wood, painted and decorated. Greenery is assembled into decorative boughs, and all a child has to do is look up and marvel at Santa's Workshop Come to the Library.

Many Christmases ago, when I was very small, custom, elf-made gifts were such a delight. While there were Schwinn bikes and Chatty Cathy dolls to dream about, the gifts we truly cherished were handmade.

There were lots of doll clothes...the baby doll's layette, the bride doll's trousseau and tiny Sisette's royal blue dress of polished cotton.

Instead of manufactured furniture in a dreamhouse, Barbie (or my Barbie lookalike) had a wardrobe made of plywood, complete with shelves and an aluminum foil mirror set in a painted popsicle-stick frame. She sat on a plywood sofa with clothespin arms and carpet-scrap upholstery. Her best friend, Midge, joined her on an oatmeal-box chair covered in contact paper. She slept on a cigar-box bed topped with a piece of painted plywood. The headboard and footboard were made of wooden, round-top clothespins, and her pink bed linens were handmade.

Playhouse appliances were never ordered. I had a custom, fiberboard sink with real running water. A red plastic bin served as the basin set into a cut-out section of the counter. A five-gallon jug underneath contained water and had a hose that ran from it to the pump by the basin. Just pump the water, and wash the dishes!

I wonder what the elves are custom-making this year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Selma's Butterfly Calendar

The Butterfly Calendar is here!

Selma's Spectacular Butterflies 2009 Calendar features the 12 butterfly sculptures of patron sponsors. Each represents a month. The cover and January 2010 photos also include the other three dozen butterflies.

The calendar and The Butterfly Project are sponsored by the Dallas County Arts Alliance, which was formed by more than a dozen arts organizations in Selma and Dallas County early this year.

The calendars are available for $15 each at The Frame Shoppe, which recently moved from Water Avenue to Broad Street near Butler-Truax Jewelers. Profit goes to the DCAA for future projects.

Click the photo to see a larger version, and click HERE to view an inside photo at The Butterfly Project blog.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flying (Skywatch Friday)

Birds and leaves were flying with the breeze the day I took this photo.

To see more Skywatch pictures, click HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eight Maids a Milking

"On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...eight maids a milking."

Here's another interpretation of the popular "Twelve Days of Christmas" song on display at the public library.

Artist Louella Clements used acrylics plus cutouts to compose this happy, fun-loving scene, and it appears that it is so true to human nature: One does most of the work while the rest play!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Five Golden Rings

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...five golden rings!

Can you find all five?

This felt wool sculpture is by artist Sally Jordan and part of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" display at the public library. It is sponsored by the Selma Art Guild.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Find the day and count the gifts at "The Twelve Days of Christmas" art display. It's at the public library on the first floor and sponsored by the Selma Art Guild.

Interpretation of the gifts in this popular holiday song vary from funny to serious to outright outlandish! I'll be posting my favorites over the next several days, and here is the first one.

"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...a partridge in a pear tree." Artist Cam Walker used recycled materials for the intro art.

Now, just wait until you see the interpretation for the five golden rings...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cahaba River in November

I know, I know. It's December, and here I am posting a picture that I took in November!

But, I thought you'd like to see Dallas County's other river...the Cahaba. It's a free-flowing river and considered among the most biologically diverse in America. It is home to the famous Cahaba Lily and a number of rare plant and aquatic animal species.

The Cahaba meets the better-known Alabama River at Old Cahawba, Alabama's first state capital.

Sorry this photo is a bit blurred. I snapped it from through the window of our truck as we traveled across the river bridge.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bright and Beautiful

All things at Holiday House are bright and beautiful!
This Christmas arts and crafts sale is an annual two-week event at the Performing Arts Centre, and this is the last week. While you're browsing and stocking up on homemade ornaments and jams and jewelry, don't forget the daily bake sale. Each day, a different organization brings cakes, pies, cookies and candy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tide Pride

If anyone ever doubted the pride that Alabama football fans are feeling these days, here's proof! The Crimson Tide flag ranks just beneath the American flag in a yard just a couple of miles down the road.

I bet there are more local vehicles decorated with Crimson Tide pennants right now than there are yards decorated for Christmas... and those who drive red or white cars and trucks are really FANatic with the Bama theme. I've seen Bama tags and magnetic signs on doors and hoods and trunks and windows!

All that pride has led to TODAY when the Tide meets its most cunning foe yet...the swarming and swarthy Florida Gators (No. 2 in one poll) for the Southeastern Conference championship. But it's even bigger than that! The winner will probably vie for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series national title game in January.

NOW, while Alabama is ranked No. 1 in all national polls, doubting prognosticators who study the stats even in their sleep give the nod to Florida. BUT, the underdog Tide has proved it's worth its saltwater time after time and pulled with a mighty undertow to victory through 12 regular season games.

SO, how can anyone in Bama Country believe the naysayers and so easily dismiss the relentless Bear Bryant-like defense and game-control techniques reinvented by the Sabanation? Those Gators may come plundering with their jaws wide open, but a Tidal Wave is on the way!

Update: Much to my surprise, the pundits were right this time. Many predicted that Florida would beat Bama by 10 points, and while the Tide led at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Gators came back with two touchdowns and won 31-20. But, the Tide is back with a 12-1 record and is probably headed for the post-season Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sunbeams (Skywatch Friday)

Sunbeams from Heaven smiled down last Sunday after a weekend of rainy weather. It was one of those afternoons where the sun and clouds played hide and seek as the wind picked up and blew a cold front through by Monday.

To see more skywatch photos, visit

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Autumn Angle

A view of the Pettus Bridge from Bienville Park is barely possible in summer, but as leaves shed, we are treated to a this angle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mama & Baby

It's not just Spring when calves are born. Here's the latest Mama and newborn babe out at the pasture.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Brown Chapel Campaign

Despite tough economic times, fundraising must go on!

This campaign is for preservation of Brown Chapel AME Church, a national historic landmark because of its role in the Civil Rights Movement. Marchers met here in mass meetings during the 1960s, and the church served as the starting point for a number of marches, including the Selma-to-Montgomery March.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Theme Day (Circles, Spheres)

Welcome to December Theme Day!
This whimsical critter caught my eye with all its round stones and circles, a "Yes!" for this month's theme.

It's the "Aanea" butterfly, sponsored by the Selma Children's Museum, which is a project in the making. Artist is LaFawnda Watson.

There are 187 City Daily Photo Blogs participating today.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of November

November leaves the Black Belt with a bit of autumn color remaining. As mild temperatures from the weekend rains turn swiftly colder, cattle head toward the hay and will huddle together tonight away from the wind.

Monday is monthly theme day for the City Daily Photo Blogs. Be sure and drop by to find out how CDPB bloggers interpret December's theme, circles and spheres.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yea, Alabama!

Yea, Alabama!

The Crimson Tide is back. After six long years, the University of Alabama football team finally defeated the Auburn Tigers. It was a 36-0 wipeout in Tuscaloosa that should keep undefeated UA ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Meanwhile, there's been no economic downturn in Bama Country! Everywhere I go, Bama merchandise is selling better than ever. Fans have brought out their flags, their Bear Bryant hats, car pennants and magnetic signs. Of course, Bama clothing is a hot item too!

Here are the lyrics to the Alabama fight song. It's a bit outdated since the Rose Bowl used to be the national championship game, but the Bowl Championship Series changed that. Stay tuned...for the Southeastern Conference Championship against Florida in Atlanta!

"Yea, Alabama!"

Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!
Every 'Bama man's behind you;
Hit your stride!
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave!
And if a man starts to weaken,
That's a shame!
For 'Bama's pluck and grit
Have writ her name in crimson flame!
Fight on, fight on, fight on, men!
Remember the Rose Bowl we'll win then!
Go, roll to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie's football pride, Crimson Tide!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Aqua Sky (Skywatch Friday)

A combination of the sun, white puffy clouds and dark gray clouds turned the sky aqua one day last week as I was waiting in the pickup line at Wendy's. I took the photo through the windshield, and nope, neither the color is changed, nor did I super-saturate the photo.

It's nice to have a camera beside you when the sky turns aqua!

For more Skywatch photos, click HERE.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We shared our Thanksgiving meal today at the home of relatives, and the table setting was so beautiful that I just had to get a picture.

On the first Thanksgiving, though the Pilgrims had lost so much, they had so much for which to be grateful.

"To All Ye Pilgrims: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings."
...William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Turkey's on the smoker.
Cornbread is done.
Congealed salad is chillin'.
Sweet potato cakes are coolin'.

So now I have time to publish a post!

Here's our turkey, slowing smoking. It's got apples inside to keep it moist and Southern Flavor (Selma-made) Cajun Seasoning rubbed all over. Tonight, we're having honey-baked ham from Mark's Mart, and the rest, we're saving til tomorrow.

I'm thinkin' about baking Paula Deen's Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie too.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Nutcracker Ballet

These posters are all over town, because a Christmas ballet classic, The Nutcracker, is coming to Selma. Not only that, some of Selma's young dance students will perform in it.

The story of Clara and her Nutcracker prince opens at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 on the stage at Pickard Auditorium. This production by the Montgomery Ballet is presented by Arts Revive.

Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and Truax & Company.

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Sea to Shining Sea & a Blog Award

Yes! It's Thanksgiving Week, and I couldn't think of a more appropriate post than Kathleen's "From Sea to Shining Sea" butterfly sculpture. While I love visiting countries around the world through City Daily Photo Blogs, at Thanksgiving, I give special thanks for God's blessings and for my country, the USA.

Kathleen, who blogs just up the road in Southern Artistic Touch, is a talented artist, and she captured so many famous American scenes on her butterfly. Her theme is taken from the song, "America the Beautiful."

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Thank you, Kathleen, for a "You are Tagged" blog award!
The rules of this Meme are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Some of the things about me you may, or may not know:
I'll stick with Kathleen's theme, "Things that make me go "Yes!"

1. Thanksgiving Week
2. When the crust on the pie in the oven doesn't burn
3. When I capture a really good photo
4. When there's time to watch a Hallmark movie on TV
5. When the community works together to produce something like The Butterfly Project
6. When the Alabama Crimson Tide wins yet another football game

Bloggers I'm tagging:
Tanya at Roanoke Daily Photo
Christy at Life with the Woods
Gwyn at Juneau Daily Photo
Jim at Terrell daily Photo
PJ at Pensacola Daily Photo
Mary at Faith, Fabric and Photos

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chipmunk (Camera Critters)

Today's photo of this cute chipmunk is courtesy of guest photographer Elaine Stewart. The Valley Grande resident loves animals, especially her Boston terriers, parakeet and cockatiel. She feeds the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and deer on her rural property, plus she's a birdwatcher and avid photographer.

Thank you, Elaine, for sharing this picture!

For more Camera Critters, click HERE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Glunk Who Got Thunk

Okay, all you Dr. Seuss fans, here's the winning color art in the Dr. Seuss Art Contest.

The artist is 11-year-old John Hartman of Valley Grande Elementary, and his creation can be seen along with dozens of other Dr. Seuss art at the Performing Arts Centre, site of this weekend's "Seussical the Musical."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bright and Breezy (Skywatch Friday)

Bright and breezy!

That's been the weather all week, and it gets even breezier today with winds forecast at 15 to to 25 mph and temps falling into the mid-20s tonight!

I'm glad NOT to be among those sitting out in the wind chills at the high school football playoff games!

For more skies, head on over to

(EXTRA! A Dallas County Arts Alliance member noticed an article in Budget Travel Magazine about a road trip through Alabama that includes a stopover in Selma. Click HERE for the website link.
The part about Selma will be on page 2.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Harvest at Holley's

Pecan harvests are coming in at Holley's Farm and Garden Center, but a truck farmer parked there one day last week too.

His truck was laden with baskets of apples, oranges, onions and sweet potatoes. I was tempted to buy some but just paid to have my 10 pounds of pecans cracked and shelled. Pecan pies will soon be baking!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Autumn in Our Backyard

I hope you aren't tired of seeing fall foliage, because I just had to post my picturesque backyard in most of its autumn glory!

As you can tell, the sugar maple is completely bare, but this ginkgo is near peak color. The ginkgo was barely six feet tall when we moved here close to 30 years ago. It's slow growing but spectacular for a few days each November. The dogwoods and redbud were planted by my husband so that we can see the beauty of spring and fall right out the big window of our den.

To see what these trees looked like a year ago, click HERE.

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Serenity in Nature

Branches, bark and Spanish Moss trim the elegant "Serenity in Nature" butterfly sculpture.

Sponsored by Pearce Catfish Farm and designed by artist Michael Sims, notice the base. It is cut out and filled with water.

To see more butterflies, visit The Butterfly Project.

To read a recent column about Selma, her butterflies and her metamorphosis, go to "Change Can Happen in Small Towns and Across the Nation."

It is written by syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson, who once lived in Montgomery. She was in Selma to talk about her latest book, "Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana" at the Lunch at the Library regional authors series.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Glorious Ginkgo

Though not a native species, the ginkgo tree is a glorious addition to autumn in the South, especially where pine trees grow and never change color.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

About as Close as You can Get (Camera Critters)

My camera must have had a magnet that drew this Simmental X cow to get as close she could to the lens.

Of all the cattle that were feeding on fresh hay, this one departed the herd to check me out. I decided to climb atop an old wagon to keep her at a nose's length!

To see more critters, click HERE.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Golden Gate

The entrance to Old Live Oak Cemetery from Dallas Avenue turns to gold every November. These grounds are lush with color in the spring, but autumn is worth a visit too!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Birds of a Feather (Skywatch Friday)

As the saying goes: "Birds of a feather flock together," and that sure was true of these little birds.
Against a cloudy-bright sky, they were enjoying the scarlet-leafed and berry-laden shrubs next to the Old Depot Museum this week. While I only see two in the photo, many more flew away just before the picture was snapped.

Anybody know what kind of birds these are? They were smaller than they appear here.

Check out other Skywatch photos at
Happy Skywatching!