Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where the Wild Fern Grows

Fern grows out of tree limbs along some of the shadier sidewalks of Selma.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Paddling and Peddling

Waterfowl in the the upper right corner are paddling the lake at Grist State Park, and below, people will soon be peddling the boats.

The days are warm, and it's time to picnic, swim and take some time to go fishing. May is almost here!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Petals of Purple

I see these purple flowers all over town and assume they grow wild. They don't seem to be "manicured" and are usually growing among honeysuckle vines or sidewalks and alleys that haven't met The Weed Eater yet. Does anyone know what they are?

Monday, April 27, 2009

High Tea and High Attendance

Sunday was extraordinary...from High Tea at Sturdivant Hall (top photo) to high attendance at Elkdale Baptist Church (bottom photo) last night. Teapots and art adorn a table for High Tea, and attendees enjoyed teas of different flavors, pastries, Tiffany tablescapes and an art auction. The fun and fundraiser were sponsored by Sturdivant Hall Museum and the Selma Art Guild. Thanks to Jacque Johnson for sending me the photo!

The second event was held at my church, Elkdale Baptist, where 821 people attended a special service that featured Allan McConnell, a Christian missionary from Mountain Brook, Ala. Once the sanctuary filled, attendees watched the service on big screens in two other auditoriums at the church. The event was also historic, because in a new addition to its website, The
Selma Times-Journal newspaper streamed the service live via the Internet, and it was broadcast by local FM radio station WDXX 100.1. There were some technical glitches that included maxed-out traffic on the website broadcast so that not everyone was able to watch via the web.

A large number of other local pastors and churches endorsed the event, and it was also attended by members of a motorcycle group, Bikers for Christ.

Why so much interest? The subject was about cults, how to identify them and how to explain and defend the deity of Christ. To check out local articles about this issue, click HERE and HERE.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

For the Beauty of the Earth

"For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise."

It's such a beautiful Sunday morning, the first that either wasn't cold and/or raining or threatening severe weather in more than a month. So, I offer the first and last verse of one of my favorite hymns, "For the Beauty of the Earth," written by Englishman Folliott Sandford Pierpoint.

The photo was taken at Old Live Oak Cemetery last year when dogwoods were blooming and covered in Spanish Moss. Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

High Tea

The double parlors at Sturdivant Hall will be the setting for High Tea Sunday afternoon from 3 until 6 o'clock.

The British-style event will feature tea and pastry as well as Tiffany tables and an art auction.

The fundraiser is sponsored by Sturdivant Hall and the Selma Art Guild.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brownstone Bird Nest (Skywatch Friday)

Birds are singing and building nests all over Selma these days, and one bird family claims home in a decorated tree outside the Brownstone Manor.

This 1904 sandstone often hosts celebrations downstairs and in its courtyards. It is said that F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was a frequent visitor here, based his novel, The Great Gatsby, on this house.

Visit other skywatch photos by clicking

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Operation Facelift

Operation Facelift is an ongoing beautification project in the historic Riverview District.

Many of the houses and yards in this area along the Alabama River have been neglected through the years, and among them is the house my grandmother lived in almost a century ago. Her family rented a bungalow along Water Avenue after moving down South from Ohio.

Now that a neighborhood association is active, there is new interest in cleaning up. You can see the bright red knock-out roses that have just been planted along View Street.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fly-Up Breakfast

Goldfinches have arrived at the bird feeders of Elaine Stewart, and she snapped this one's picture as he stopped by the feeder at her "Fly-Up" window.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Home for Arts Revive

Cleanup began last week on the former Carneal Auto Service property, which is soon to become the home of Arts Revive.

Located at the foot of Water Avenue by the Alabama River, the renovation will provide space for offices, art workshops, shows and other events.

Check out the plans at the Arts Revive website.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Unfurling Old Glory

Union troops in Sunday's Battle of Selma Reenactment unfurl Old Glory prior to engagement. While the rifle shots, cannon blasts and burning of the businesses bring "shock and awe," I enjoy visiting the camps beforehand to get a sense of the anticipation. The reenactment debuted in 1987, and in a few more years, Selma will recognize the 150th anniversary of one of the last battles of the American Civil War.

See more photos at Selma NOW.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Old Howard Bike Ride

A participant in the Old Howard Bike Ride coasts into Selma's First Baptist Church parking lot for the final rest stop of the three-county Black Belt route.

Sponsored by Birmingham's Samford University Howard College of Arts and Sciences, the Saturday event benefited Sowing Seeds of Hope, a mission that seeks to improve the quality of life in nearby Perry County. Samford University was originally founded by Alabama Baptists as Howard College in 1841 in the Perry County seat of Marion. The ride began and ended at Marion's Judson College.

In the background is Church Street United Methodist Church.

See more photos of this event at Selma NOW.
Thanks to Elaine Stewart for sending her photos.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homemade Root Beer

Looks like a good day to head out to the Battle of Selma and buy a bottle of homemade root beer or lemonade.

Little John's Homemade Root Beer is one of the most popular sutleries in Selma every battle weekend. The drinks are manufactured on site and served from wooden barrels into heavy, glass bottles that can be refilled at a discount. I still have my blue bottle from last year, and while root beer isn't my preference, the lemonade is the best you will ever find anywhere!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Working with Acrylics

Paint-splattered jeans, a western hat and flip flops make the artist!

Fairhope artist and instructor Bill Harrison finished a three-day whirlwind workshop at Selma's Performing Arts Centre Thursday.

"...Just have the courage to jump right in and slam it down!" he told participants.

They completed four acrylic paintings and learned numerous techniques. Now don't you just love the rooster? It reminds me of Country French decor, although it could be Lower Alabama Rurality!

Anyway, Harrison is known for painting colorful landscapes depicting life on the Gulf Coast and rich still lifes. He told his Selma students that "I can give you tools; I can't give you heart. Only courage can give you heart."

The workshop was sponsored by Arts Revive.
View more workshop photographs HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


April 16 is "Save the Butterfly Day" in Alabama, and rather than post a Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch or some other natural butterfly, I found ELECTRIFLY!

Electrifly is one of the Dallas County Arts Alliance butterfly sculptures that took flight downtown last October. This butterfly was painted by artist Tammy White for patron sponsor Alabama Power Company.

Butterflies are Selma's official mascots and Alabama's official insects.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Battlefront

The river has receded and overgrowth cut back to make room for reenactors and spectators at this weekend's Battle of Selma.

In the background, you see a small structure that likely will be set on fire by the Yankees as they approach Selma's fortifications (center). Bleachers in the foreground provide a good view of the battlefront.

For more information, click on

To see a photo of "Scarlett O'Hara" at a recent Battle of Selma Ball, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Corner of Heritage Village

Here's a view of the corner of Heritage Village at Mabry Street and McLeod Avenue.

The 19th Century structures in the background include a doctor's office, law office, tenant house and pigeoncote. The village is a project of the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.

Directly behind the butterfly sculpture is the historic circa 1850 Gillis House.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Next Big Event

Southern Belles will be watching for their loved ones to return home from the battle again this weekend when the Battle of Selma reenactment returns to Riverside Park.

The event is in its 23rd year and features school tours, a memorial service, night cannon firing, antebellum ball to which even the "Yankees" are invited, a Saturday skirmish and full battle on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the Battle of Selma website HERE.
View the video from last year's reenactment.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

The legend of the dogwood symbolizes Christ's sacrifice with a crown of thorns in the center, the imprint of nails on the petals and the stain of blood on the outer edges.

To read more about the dogwood, click HERE.

Happy Easter to all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Little Lamb Centerpiece

This little lamb was a table centerpiece at the Elkdale Ladies' Banquet last weekend, and it looks a lot like Spring and Easter to me!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Woven Crosses

This bookmark woven with crosses is among many made on a Selma weaver's loom. Isn't it beautiful?

They are perfect for Good Friday when Christians remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for the sins of the world! His death on the cross at Calvary is one of the most holy days of the year, followed by Easter, the most joyous holy day when we celebrate our Savior's resurrection.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to stop by the Weaver's house and see her magnificent loom and take this photo. You can see more of her crosses and other work at her Alabama Weaver blog. She is learning new designs all the time and shares her talents with local children by teaching them how to weave during Art Camp.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gathering Eggs!

Children who live in the Old Town neighborhood enjoyed "gathering eggs" last Saturday. The annual Easter Egg Hunt is held at Heritage Village, a park that features 19th Century structures amid a large grassy area. The park is located across from Sturdivant Hall Museum. the foreground I see something pink!
In the background, I see a refreshment table, and in between is a happy hunter!

Thanks to Jacque Johnson for sending this photograph.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring at Byrd School

Byrd Elementary School in Selma's Old Town Historic District is noted for its beautiful grounds. Azaleas, pear and dogwood really dress it up in the Spring!

In just another month, the school will celebrate its 90th birthday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Girlville Diner

The Girlville Diner was open for sodas and jukebox music Saturday night at the Selma Convention Center.

"Conversations at the Girlville Diner" was the theme for the annual Elkdale Baptist Ladies' Banquet, and our speaker was Christian vocalist, musician and comedian Kim Bolton.

The jukebox is over against the wall on the far right, and yes, there really was 50's music, which I think is some of the best ever recorded!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wake Up, Wake Up!

Wake up, wake up! It's Monday and time to put on the strength of the Lord's power to prepare for a new week. A little coffee made in retro pots won't hurt either! This creatively designed table was among my favorites at the Elkdale Baptist Ladies' Banquet Saturday night.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday Tablescape

Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem for Passover was the theme of this tablescape at the Elkdale Baptist Ladies' Banquet Saturday night, and I knew it would be perfect for today's post on Palm Sunday.

The annual banquet at the convention center features an inspirational speaker, music and tablescapes with Bible verse themes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

House & Gardens

I have long admired the spring gardens at this house in Old Town. The azaleas are just breathtaking, and I make a point to drive by and see them at their peak.

This time, I noticed that the place is for sale. This circa 1875 home seems to combine quality construction of the past such as interior woodwork and leaded glass windows with modern conveniences such as an elevator.

Azaleas are at peak this week in Selma, but another storm system is coming through Sunday, so get out and tour the town before the blossoms are gone!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Best of April (Skywatch Friday)

Between clouds and rain and tornado watches, April offers some of the best weather and blossoms of the year.

Blue sky with wispy clouds make the perfect background for deep pink and snowy white flowers that rise to the occasion when the storms have moved on.

This is Skywatch Friday, so join in with your own photo or click HERE to view more.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Selma's Azalea Trail

Mobile is known for its Azalea Trail through the residential districts, but some of Selma's streets have trails of their own, and certainly this yard on Church Street qualifies!

I love the mix of light and dark pinks with white. These giant azalea shrubs form a trail around the formal rose garden.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Yellow Lady Banksia

Today is Theme Day, and participants in the City Daily Photo Blogs post a photo of the color YELLOW.

The Lady Banksia Rose, especially the yellow Lady Banksia, blooms all over Selma in early April.

In fact, it was on April 2, 1865, that Lady Banksia rosebush shed its petals over the corpse of the Presbyterian preacher. Earlier that Sunday, the Rev. Arthur Small preached his regular sermon at the church despite the boom of cannons in the distance. When Union Gen. J.H. Wilson's cavalry entered town later than afternoon, the the Rev. Small joined other townspeople to help defend Selma. The Yankees destroyed much of the town and burned its Naval Foundry and Ironworks, the second largest in the Confederacy next to Richmond, Va.

But the good preacher took a Yankee bullet, and he was laid out on the church manse beneath a Lady Banksia rosebush. Soon, attending parishioners noticed that the bush had shed its delicate petals atop his body, a testimony to their grief.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants