Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Sun Sets on 2009 (Skywatch)

It's Skywatch time again as the sun sets on 2009. I took this photo a few days ago at Marion Junction, and it's one of the most brilliant sunsets of the year! 
Also, notice the cell tower at the bottom right.

Hope you all have a glorious new year!
See more Skywatch photos at This week's meme should be posted soon!

(I'm posting this a day early since Friday is Theme Day for the City Daily Photo Blogs.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Truck

I'm afraid that Kate the horse didn't get a very good look at herself through the mud-spattered outside mirror! However, she is the prettiest horse of them all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunset on a Clear and Cold Day

The sun begins to set on a clear and cold day in west Dallas County. While this area is rural, a major highway runs next to it, and there's a "camouflaged" piece of technology that lets the viewer know he's not far from civilization.

Can you find it?
If not, click on the picture to enlarge.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa's Landing

Santa and his reindeer landed on this Old Town roof long before Christmas Eve! I think if prizes were given for decorations, this one might win the "Tim the Tool Man" award!

(Only those of you who remember the "Home Improvement" TV show will get that!)

Thanks to Christine Weerts for snapping this picture!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome Home, Sam

Apparently, Sam will be home from the Army for Christmas and not just in his dreams!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Alabama or Auburn?

Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift?

If you live in Alabama, Santa can't go wrong with souvenirs from a favorite college team!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Real Thing Christmas Tree

The "Real Thing" Christmas tree pretty much explains the reason for the season. I spotted it atop a picnic table at a nearby country store.

Monday, December 21, 2009


This kitty creates her own "snuggly blanket" in a basket of clean towels that someone didn't fold right away, and then she takes her bath!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Chrismon Tree

Ever seen a Chrismon tree? It's a Christmas tree that uses the early symbols of Christianity for decorations. Some of the common symbols used are:

1. The Greek letters Chi and Rho, which are the first two letters in "christos."
2. The Five-Pointed Star, the symbol which led the Wise Men to Bethlehem.
3. The Triangle, which represents the Triune God, one God who exists in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
4. The Fish (icthus) symbolizes the first letters of the Greek words, Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior.
5. The Cross, which is central to Christianity for it was on the cross that Jesus died and made atonement for our sins.
6. The Globe surmounted by the Cross, which shows that Christ's reign is extending around the earth through the spread of the Gospel. When this age ends, Christ will reign over all in person.

7. The Butterfly symbolizes eternal life and resurrection.
8. The Greek letters Alpha and Omega point to Christ as the beginning and the end.

There are others, and you can learn more by clicking this link.

Click to enlarge the picture and find the Chrismon tree symbols.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sprucing Up

From the entry doors to its Corinthian columns, this grand front porch on Church Street gets a "sprucing up" for the holidays...and also Spring Pilgrimage. The Victorian brick is among the featured homes on Selma's 2010 Historic Spring Pilgrimage March 18-21.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts for the photo.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday House, Stockings 'n Bags

Who wouldn't love a big white stocking or a whimsical reindeer bag for Christmas? The Holiday House crafts sale ends this weekend at the Performing Arts Center.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Singing to the Seniors

Leika's Preschool choir at Church Street United Methodist Church sings Christmas carols to seniors at a recent appreciation luncheon in the fellowship hall. The background nativity was painted by church member Bill Smith.

Thanks for the photo by guest photographer Christine Weerts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bold and Bright

Christmas isn't just red and green anymore. it can be magenta and teal! I love the bold and bright ornaments on display at several Selma shops. This one hangs from the branches at Butler Truax Jewelers downtown.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Trees and Bottle Trees

Whether it's Christmas trees or bottle trees, both can be found at Holiday House. This is the second and final week for the local Christmas crafts sale at the Performing Arts Center, and part of the proceeds benefit the Old Depot Museum.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dressed Up

How about this dressed-up reindeer? I don't think he's ready to pull a sleigh, but he sure looks like he's enjoying the holiday!

I found this whimsical decoration at Tutus gift shop.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First Baptist Steeple

The steeple of First Baptist Church rises above brilliant red leaves as autumn wanes.

Photograph by Christine Weerts

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Christmas Tree with Flowers on Top

This tree about takes my breath away each time I visit Butler-Truax Jewelers on Broad Street. Topped with a bouquet of flowers and decorated with more flowers and colorful glass ornaments, it certainly lifts the spirits with "Merry Christmas!"

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Skywatch Friday (December Rainbow)

Finally, a rainbow!

I've been searching Selma's skies ever since joining Skywatch and never found a rainbow until now.

Fortunately, my camera was beside me in the car as I stopped at a traffic light on Dallas Avenue, and here is the "through-the-windshield" result.

For more splendid skies around the globe, visit

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Village

I'm one of those fans of Dickens-style Christmas villages, the ones with strolling carolers, lots of snow, Victorian homes, ivy-covered cottages, skating couples and bakery shops. But here's a miniature village with a Walmart!The Cahaba Center for Mental Health sponsored its annual Christmas Village this week, and part of the pleasure of attending was viewing a modern town and all its holiday activity. Visitors also got to purchase crafts made by the center's clients, and I saw no sign of any Ebenezer Scrooges.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Upside Down Christmas Tree

Apparently, I've been putting my Christmas tree up the wrong way all my life! This upside-down tree suspends from the ceiling at Tutus, a Selma gift shop, and through a little Internet research, I discovered that the earliest Christmas trees were hung upside down.

Legend has it that in the 7th Century St. Boniface used an upside-down fir tree to explain the Holy Trinity to pagans in Germany. When he witnessed them worshipping an oak tree, he chopped down a fir tree and hung it upside down to show the relationship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The tree became a symbol of Christianity and was known as God's Trinity Tree. Centuries later, food and flowers were hung from the trees.

Now don't you just love these colorful ornaments? I sure do!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Whimsical Whirls

Glistening glasses and practical platters are among the many arts and crafts offered for sale at Holiday House. Created by Laura Morris, owner of Whimsical Whirl, these bejeweled serving pieces would surely delight someone on your gift list!

Holiday House opened Monday at the Performing Arts Center and continues for two weeks. Proceeds benefit the Old Depot Museum, and this is its biggest fundraiser of the year.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Christmas Story

The Christmas creche tells the story of the birth of Jesus in three dimensions. St. Francis of Assisi apparently created the first living nativity scene in 1223, and the tradition spread to include nativities with figurines. Most include Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus plus shepherds and the Wise Men. Since Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger, animals such as the ox, donkey and sheep are often included.

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2 (Old Testament Prophecy from the King James Version of The Bible)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Where's the Hay?

The grass was getting short when I took this photo about a month ago, and now these cows are eating hay. Winter set in this week with temperatures plummeting to the mid-20s last night.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas at the Chamber

The Christmas spirit is catching on all over town, and here's a peek at the tree inside the Centre for Commerce lobby. Both the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority are located here in a beautiful building that once was the Carnegie Library.

Holiday events this week included a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall, and today the Christmas parade begins at 9 a.m. downtown. Dress warm! It's cold and damp!

On Sunday, First Presbyterian Church hosts "Handel's Messiah," performed by a community choir at 3 p.m. I also hear that Santa might be cruising the Alabama River!

There's more! Plan to shop at Holiday Festival for the next two weeks. This annual event offers regional Christmas crafts and homemade goodies beginning Monday at 10 a.m. in the Performing Arts Centre.

Thanks to Christine Weerts for providing today's photograph.

Friday, December 4, 2009

(Skywatch Friday) Eye in the Sky

An opening in the clouds kind of resembles an eye peering over the Alabama River. Selma has had plenty of rain this fall with more to come this weekend. The forecast includes a slight chance for a wintry mix.

To see more skies around the world, check out Skywatch Friday at

Thanks to Christine Weerts for contributing today's photo.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Last of the Leaves

The sidewalk in front of the old Dallas Academy building turned red and gold this week. Leaves fell fast, and today's heavy rain and wind should finish the task.

Photography by Christine Weerts

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Theme Day (Waiting)

Well, I waited and waited all month to find the perfect picture for December Theme Day, WAITING!

It finally happened on the last of day of November during a trip to Walmart. As I was browsing through Christmas decorations, the fire alarm sounded, and store associates quickly led customers outside. A Selma fire truck pulled in front of the store, and customers waited for the all clear signal before they returned inside. Apparently, there was no fire, thank goodness!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Monday, November 30, 2009

Selma Welcome Center

The Selma Welcome Center is getting a new home in this building on Broad Street right across Selma Avenue from the library.

The center will feature walls with different themes such as civil war, civil rights, museums, architecture, annual events, etc. So, when you come to visit, be sure and stop her first! I'll let you know when it opens. Meanwhile, stop by the library for maps and brochures.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Rat Snake (Camera Critters)

I found this lovely creature out sunning on the concrete yesterday!

It is probably a black rat snake since he played dead, even when turned over. A black racer would have quickly slithered away. He didn't come around until I scooped him up with a hoe, toted him across the backyard and let him go into the woods across the fence. Even then, he just raised his head to see where I was taking him.

By the way, while he is long, he's not nearly as big as he looks in this picture.

To see more Camera Critters, follow this link.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Keeper of the Fountain

Downtown Selma is getting spruced up before Christmas, and even the municipal fountain needs an occasional cleaning.

View this post to see the fountain in action.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Evening Sky Unedited

Here's an evening sky from late October, and I don't recall ever seeing one quite like it. The heavens turned rosy-purple all over late one afternoon following a day of rain. It occurred just as the sky was clearing, and the sun was barely visible just before it set.

I took this picture on automatic, and it is unedited.

For more Skywatch photos, go to

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We Give Thanks

"Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name."
1 Chronicles 29:13

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, and we traditionally spend the day with family, giving thanks to God for our many blessings. It's a time celebrated with feasts and reflection and remembering the First Thanksgiving in 1621 when Pilgrims (English colonists) and Indians (Native Americans of the Wampanoag people) broke bread together in Plymouth Colony.

The photo above is the dessert table at the after-rehearsal dinner for my son and his bride, who were married last weekend. We had pumpkin-shaped pound cakes iced with caramel and topped with real pumpkin stems, along with pumpkin pies. The cakes and pies were baked by my sister-in-law.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Last Harvest Decoration

As store windows transformed from Thanksgiving to Christmas this morning, I found one last harvest decoration downtown at Southland Chemical. The day after Thanksgiving is billed as the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.A.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretty Pottery

I think artists are getting more and more creative with pottery. These brightly painted pieces were for sale at a recent arts and crafts show. Which piece do you like best?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Backyard, Autumn 2009

Fall doesn't get serious in Central Alabama until mid-November, but when it does, it brings spots of brilliant color just in time for Thanksgiving.

Here's my official autumn photo of the backyard for 2009. We are really pleased that the ginkgo tree has held its golden leaves for several days now. Usually, the leaves fall as soon as the color peaks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun with Alabama Clay

Ever play with modeling clay when you were a child? Kids who attended the Kenan's Mill festival got to work with native Alabama clay. The festival is held annually the first Saturday in November.

Photo by Jacque Johnson

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ginkgo 2009

Ahhh, what golden splendor!

This isn't my ginkgo tree but one captured on camera by guest photographer Christine Weerts.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Antique Ford Sedan

Back in 1937, a gallon of gas cost 10 cents, and a new car averaged less than $1,000.

That's the model year of this two-tone Ford Sedan that was among the antique cars on display at the Orrville Tractor Show last weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pottery Whiz

Here's a guy who knows how to mold clay. Allen Hamm often demonstrates his art of making pottery at various festivals around Central Alabama. The tractor show at Orrville was no exception. Click on the photo for a better view of his wares in the background.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pinwheel Quilt

Have you ever seen more colorful pinwheels? They are pieced together in this lovely quilt that was on display at the West Dallas Tractor Show. The show featured tractors and antique cars, but quilting, pottery and arts and crafts got good reviews too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Southern Antique Iron Association

What child wouldn't love a toy tractor to drive?

The Southern Antique Iron Association brought a toy tractor display to last weekend's tractor show in Orrville. The organization is dedicated to preserving antique tractors, engines and other machinery that has historical value.

Click the photo for a larger version.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scaling the Cliff

Just because there are no rocky cliffs in Dallas County doesn't mean our kids don't get a chance (every now and then) to try their cliff-hanging abilities! This climbing wall was among the attractions at Saturday's West Dallas Antique Tractor Show.

(Double-click the picture for a larger view.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tractors on Parade

Well, I'm not sure if this is a tractor or a tank, but it got a lot of cheers at Saturday's West Dallas Antique Tractor Show!

Sponsored by the Orrville Volunteer Fire Department, the show attracted a huge crowd from all over Alabama. They came to bring and see dozens of old tractors and cars, browse some 50 vendor booths, eat barbecue, roasted ears of corn and homemade ice cream.

There was music... country, bluegrass and even "Elvis," along with a rock climb for kids and a Country Kids Playground that had a slide attached to big round hay bales. The gorgeous weather as well as no Alabama or Auburn football until 6 p.m. helped round up the folks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just Leaves

Hurricane Ida (greatly downgraded) brought four inches of rain and a day's worth of strong breezes to our area earlier this week. Here are some of the leaves she knocked to the ground.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts for sending this colorful, autumn picture.

Friday, November 13, 2009

(Skywatch Friday) Fluff

Snowballs in the sky? It's not often that thousands of fluffy clouds like these congregate all at once!

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts for sending today's Skywatch photo.

To see more skies from all over everywhere, click on

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Valley Creek at Kenan's Mill

Valley Creek rushes over the dam at Kenan's Mill, an 1860's grist mill that opens to the public during the Historic Selma Pilgrimage and Kenan's Mill Fall Festival.

(Click on the photo for a larger view.)