Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Circle of Life

The jungle comes alive in "The Circle of Life" butterfly sculpture in front of Brown Chapel AME Church. Painted by artist Nate Brown along with fifth graders and Knox and Payne Elementary schools,tigers and panthers, parrots and butterflies share a lush landscape. Oh...and I believe this butterfly is looking right at you! To see closeups of this butterfly, click HERE.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blue Shadows (Skywatch Friday)

The sun turned the sky into a brilliant turquoise above the antebellum Summerfield Methodist Church.The church was organized in 1837, and this structure was completed in 1845.

There are lots more photographers out watching the skies around the world. Check them out HERE.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

$10 Haircuts

Barber poles seem to be a rarity these days with so many men opting for "styled hair" at salons. But, here at Dixie Barber Shop, two brothers still cut hair for $10. You get to sit in a regular barber chair, and you can read area newspapers and catch up on man talk while you wait.

There's still a lot to be said for a barbershop haircut. I know men who have moved to the big metros...yet still return to Selma for a haircut, because they can't find anyone else who knows how to cut hair right!

All that said, this barber pole symbolizes a whole lot more than a haircut. It seems barbers once performed tooth extractions and bloodletting! Read all about it HERE!

Oh, yes that's my self portrait in the bottom of the pole.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spring Preview

We're getting a Spring Preview this week with daffodils and 70-degree weather!

These early bloomers hide under a hill in our yard and are determined to keep spreading their cheer despite weather that changes drastically daily

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fun with a Nail Gun!

Can a lovely, dainty butterfly be macho?

You bet!

Fuller Building Supply's "Fun with a Nail Gun" butterfly sculpture is the creation of artist Teresa Cammack and is ready to go to work downtown with a hammer and pliers.

I'm told by folks who work on Broad Street that this butterfly seems to gather lots of attention from passersby.

The worker butterfly in overalls is one of 45 butterfly sculptures sponsored by businesses and individuals for The Butterfly Project.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mystery at the Museum

Ahhhhh...there'll be a Mystery at the Museum the night of Friday, January 30!

The antebellum Sturdivant Hall Museum over in Old Town will be the scene of a Mardi Gras Revelry, and Encore Little Theater actors will interact with guests for a "Who Done It?" at the costume party. Guests must obtain clues to solve the mystery, and the first person to solve it gets a prize and the title of Selma's Top Amateur Sleuth!

According to publicity, "Rhett Beauregard Butler and his lovely wife Hortensia Hufflemeyer Butler" will host the revelry. Their "actor" guests include Gethan and Merrygold Rutgers, Cliff and Maybell Snodgrass, Archibald and Vesta Willingham, all long time friends of Hortensia, and a mysterious guest. Before the evening is over, one of these people "meets an unfortunate end."

So, buy a ticket, don a costume and bring along your best detective skills.
Mystery Night is sponsored by Arts Revive, and proceeds go toward restoration of the Carneal building on Water Avenue that will become an art gallery and workshop.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


At the Old Depot Museum:

"Selma was home to three ironworks, or foundries, prior to the Civil War and continuing until recently. Located near the Alabama River, adjacent to River Road, the ironworks used wooden patterns to create the molds from which hundreds of machine and locomotive parts and architectural and decorate designs were made. The process was similar to play with sandbox toys: a wooden pattern was pressed into a special sand, molten metal poured into the impression and allowed to cool and harden. The process was repeated with each of the pieces of the pattern until the mold was complete. These molds were used over and over. A large sifter was used to salvage bits of hardened material from the sand. The metal was then melted and re-used. Because fine hardwoods were used in the patterns, they are decorative as well as a link to the historic past."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Selma Bypass

Most through traffic along U.S. Highway 80 skips downtown and travels the Selma Bypass. The bypass, which crosses the Alabama River via the John Tyler Morgan Bridge, connects U.S. Highway 80 East and Alabama Highway 41 near the Craig Industrial Park to Alabama Highway 14. Turn left and you are soon back on U.S. 80 headed west.

Above is the Water Avenue exit off the bypass which leads straight to Henry Brick Company.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sun and Fog (Skywatch Friday)

At 7 a.m., a mixture of rising sun and hanging fog gave an ethereal feeling to the beginning of a weekend that promises a touch of spring...warm temperatures and rain.

More skies abound. Too see them, click HERE.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Battle is Back

The Battle of Selma Reenactment is returning after all!

Last fall, organizers announced that there were too many conflicts to continue this popular April event that serves as a living history lesson of the April 1865 Civil War battle.

But an article in today's Selma Times-Journal states that the battle will be back, although scaled back from previous years. School tours will be limited to one day, and more details will be available soon.

Above a unit from Mississippi fires a cannon at the invading Yankees during the 2008 battle.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beads in Trees

I was running errands along Water Avenue recently when I noticed bunches of brightly colored beads in a Savannah Holly tree.

Okay, we all know that beads don't grow on trees, so why are they there? My best guess is that somebody must be celebrating Mardi Gras ... early!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Cahawba Bank Construction

Construction at First Cahawba Bank on Citizens Parkway includes a handsome dome. The local, independent bank is one of Selma's newest and takes its name from Alabama's first permanent capital and the Cahaba River.

To see a photo of Cahawba's state capitol dome, which now sits atop a church in Lowndes County, click HERE.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"I Was There"

Martha Scott is among hundreds who "were there" and marched from Selma to Montgomery during the 1965 voting rights struggle. Posted is her proclamation of that fact on the "I Was There" Wall of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma.

Hundreds of notes testify to the parts played by people from all across the United States in the movement led by by the late Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King led voting rights efforts in Selma and other towns in the South during the 1960s, and he is most noted locally for leading the Selma-to-Montgomery March in 1965. Today is a national holiday recognizing King's birthday.

...And just to review: King did not lead the infamous "Bloody Sunday" March as I read recently in a newspaper. He did return to Selma later to lead the Selma-to-Montgomery March that was protected by federal troops. Also, no one died on "Bloody Sunday." While one national television news reporter today made reference to some of the "survivors of Bloody Sunday," I hope he wasn't inferring that others did not survive. A number of people were injured, however, and survived their injuries.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Splash 'n Slide (Camera Critters)

So, do we splash or do we slide?

These bluebirds gathered at the birdbath one cold morning last week to find fresh water added to the ice. It seems they are trying to decide whether to take an icy bath or just go for a slide! Thanks to Elaine Stewart for sending me this photo. She keeps her camera handy for the flocks that love her yard.

Find more Camera Critters HERE.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Big Chill

The Big Chill finally arrived and turned Selma's municipal fountain into ice crystals.

Temperatures plunged into the teens Thursday night with a wind chill of single digits...the coldest night in several years!

Although you can't see it in this photo, there is spring shrubbery blooming near the fountain.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Church Street Methodist (Skywatch Friday)

Skies are blue, and temperatures are cold in Selma this week, and while I have posted photos of Church Street United Methodist Church before, here's yet another angle.

Methodists have worshiped here since 1835, and while this structure isn't the first, it sits on land set aside for the Methodists when the Selma Town Land Company drew the city's blueprints back in 1817.

The rose window above is a memorial to the 11 people who were part of the original congregation. Their names are included on the eight "petals."

To see more skies around the world, visit Skywatch HERE.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Selma's Cigar History

One of Selma's oldest industries, cigar manufacturing, closed recently, but a new display at the Old Depot Museum recalls its significance in the life of our town.

Cigar making was introduced to Selma in 1941 by local businessman Art Lewis. The factory was located in the historic old cotton mill off Cahaba Road where a whole neighborhood had built up around it. By the mid-1950s, Bayuk Cigar Company of Philadelphia purchased the plant, and in 1982, it was sold to Hav-A-Tampa of Tampa, Fla. Most recently, it was known as Phillies Cigar Co., and in 1995, production was about 500 million cigars with an annual payroll of $4.5 million. That year, more than 300 people worked three shifts that operated six days a week.

Several instruments used in cigar manufacturing, such as blunt dies, as well as wrappers, boxes and much more, are on exhibit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

High Wire Work

It seems that everywhere I've gone this week, utility crews have been out in force.

Here, Alabama Power Company employees work on lines above Marie Foster Street.

There was more work on Jeff Davis Avenue, which former Selma residents might be interested to know has just been renamed. The City Council last night voted to change the name to memorialize J.L. Chestnut Jr., Selma's first black lawyer who died a few months ago. Chestnut, whose law firm was once located on Jeff Davis Avenue, defended some of the Civil Rights leaders and activists. Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederate States of America back in the 1860s. I assume this action means that Selma will no longer have an intersection where the "Civil War" meets "Civil Rights" as noted in my post of
Signs for the September 1, 2007 Theme Day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

River's Up

The Alabama River at Selma is up. It's rolling and it's muddy as it rushes south to meet the Tombigbee.

Fortunately, our area didn't experience flooding due to recent heavy rains, although rivers west of us did. Flood stage at Selma is 45 feet, and the river crested Sunday at just over 34 feet. Selma's last major flood was in 1990 when the Alabama rose to 57.45 feet, the second highest on record. Even then, downtown Selma, which is built on a bluff, stayed dry, although parts of East Selma and Selmont were inundated

Monday, January 12, 2009


So, what in the world do Selma and Geronimo have in common?

Geronimo's bow and arrow.

This display at the Old Depot Museum states that the bow and arrow were purchased from Geronimo by the Charles Lee Smallwood family. Geronimo once was imprisoned at Mt. Vernon, Alabama, in Mobile County.

Geronimo was a famous Native American Apache leader who tenaciously fought the government's removal of his tribe to reservations. His final surrender came in 1886. He stated in his autobiography that while a prisoner, he became a Christian.

"I am not ashamed to be a Christian, and I am glad to know that the President of the United States is a Christian, for without the help of the Almighty I do not think he could rightly judge in ruling so many people. I have advised all of my people who are not Christians, to study that religion, because it seems to me the best religion in enabling one to live right."

His hopes for the future included the return of the Apache remnant to Arizona.

"Could I but see this accomplished, I think I could forget all the wrongs that I have ever received, and die a contented and happy old man. But we can do nothing in this matter ourselves-we must wait until those in authority choose to act. If this cannot be done during my lifetime-if I must die in bondage- I hope that the remnant of the Apache tribe may, when I am gone, be granted the one privilege which they request-to return to Arizona."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Scene (Camera Critters)

Winter in cardinals against bare, gray limbs.

Just hang a bird feeder near a window. Fill it with songbird food. Bring the cats inside, and enjoy the view!

For more Camera Critters, click HERE.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Here's henbit, a winter weed that's supposed to bloom in spring but has taken over our yard to the point we had to pull out the lawnmower and mow in mid-January!

I don't recall ever having to mow in January before, but then again, I posted a picture of narcissus last week, and today I spotted our first daffodil in the backyard.

Nevertheless, winter is on its way. Temps are expected to fall into the 20s at night within a few days.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Sun's Out, Let's Work (Skywatch Friday),

So, the sun has been bright for a couple of days now, and temps are warm, so let's work! This road construction worker is apparently cleaning some equipment used in paving Highland Avenue. I was waiting in traffic due to the construction and took his picture.

This equipment is made by Wirtgen, which manufactures road equipment.

To see more Skywtch photos, click HERE.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Coat of Pavement

New's one of those things you hate to drive through until the work is finished.

This busy stretch along Highland Avenue where car dealerships, Walmart, the Selma Mall, Winn-Dixie and the Selma Bypass converge at various points is getting fresh blacktop. The commute isn't so great right now, but the new surface will be worth it...soon, very soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January Narcissus


The narcissus thinks so!

I found two yards with blooming spring flowers today. Last year, I posted a narcissus photo on Feb. 4. Thanks to plenty of rain and warm weather, these popped up a month early.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Black Belt Mud

Ahh, what with all the wet, dismal weather, I am stuck in the mud for want of lovely, sunshiny photos!

Anyhow, this is what Black Belt mud looks like...sticky, dark clay. This particular mud is a pasture road, and you had better be driving a 4x4 if you expect to get out!

This dirt is officially known as Blackland Prairie soil, which gives the Black Belt its name.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Humid, southern winters include a number of foggy days, and lately the backyard has been more opaque than clear. This week's forecast calls for showers and thunderstorms, which will help rebuild the water table after a severe drought in 2007.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


The other day, I posted a female cardinal in a photo by Elaine Stewart. Today, here's her version of the male redbird, feasting at a feeder.

This is a common sight in winter, and even though it's hard to catch these beautiful critters perfectly still, I thought his pose was striking considering he was eating dinner at the time!
Many thanks, Elaine!

For more Camera Critters, head on over HERE.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Love, Hope and Peace

What better wish for the new year than Love, Hope and Peace!

That's the name of this flower-flocked butterfly that is easily spotted on Broad Street in front of the fountain.

It's the inspiration of artist Cindy Stoudenmire and sponsored by Randy and Gail Lovelady, Town and Country Realty and CRL Construction.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Windy Weather (Skywatch Friday)

It was a blustery day as clouds skated across blue heavens, and at right, loose tin on the old barn composed an eerie rhythm as it beat against the rafters.

For more Skywatch photos, click HERE.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 2009 Theme Day Best Photo

It's Theme Day for the City Daily Photo Blogs again, and the first theme for 2009 is the Best Photo of the Year.

I chose "In the Neighborhood" which was posted last April, and while this picture may not be as artistic as others, it is by far the least posed, and THAT is why I like it so much!

I was out taking spring photos in Fairoaks Square when I spotted a girl playing with dogs. Just as one dog jumped back over the fence, I snapped my favorite photo of 2008! I think the picture also says a lot about the quality of life in Smalltown America, especially in revived neighborhoods such as this one where kids, dogs, white picket fences, brick sidewalks and pastel Victorian cottages are worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting!

Be sure and visit the other 151 Best Photos of 2008 throughout the CDPB community!
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants