Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not a Scary Scarecrow

Ah, this friendly scarecrow is plopped upon a bench on the porch at the St. Edmund Learning Center. He welcomes children at the after-school program located on Minter Avenue.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Mums, Spring Azaleas

What is going on? Chrysanthemums and azaleas are blooming at the same time!

Mums are fall flowers, and azaleas bloom in the spring, but these azaleas decided to bloom twice this year. I wonder if all the recent rain contributed to their second showing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn by the Road

One can't help but smile while driving along the country roadsides in late September. The goldenrod sure is smiling back!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Washington M. Smith Monument

The Washington M. Smith monument in Old Live Oak Cemetery has tarnished, but the legacy of the former president of the Bank of Selma lives on. Some of his business and personal correspondence is available for researchers in the Special Collections Library at Duke University. His papers give valuable insight on law, agriculture and economic conditions in Alabama after 1840. Also included is information about the establishment of public schools in Alabama and social life and customs in Selma.

Smith is renowned for saving his bank's gold during the Battle of Selma. Prior to the arrival of Union troops here in April 1865, he sawed a hole in a column of his antebellum home and deposited the assets inside. Check out "Saving the Gold."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mums are Back

Chrysanthemums are back in town, lining sidewalks and filling pots. These yellow mums welcome folks to an antique shop across the street from Sturdivant Hall Museum.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Anticipating Market Day

After you check out the arts and crafts, music and pony rides, stay for lunch at Riverfront Market Day!

There's barbecue, turkey drumsticks, funnel cakes, onion blossoms, hamburger, Polish sausages, chicken on a stick and even some pickled pigs' feet.

Market Day is coming up October 10. This photo was taken at the 2008 event.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Festivals

I just reached back into my October 2008 photo file and grabbed this autumn wreath! Fall is officially here, and that means events, events, events for Selma.

The Central Alabama Fair is October 5-10, followed by the Alabama Tale-Tellin' Festival October 9 and 10, and Riverfront Market Day October 10. Whew!

On October 11, photographs by Selma author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham will be featured in a special showing at the Selma Art Guild. The reception is 2-4 p..m.

Then, on October 17, there's the African Extravaganza, and Haunted History Tours are October 16 and 17.

October offers bright blue weather for our area, so come along and join the fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last of the Zinnias

I've left my zinnias in the ground far too long. They are full of weeds and insects, but the butterflies and moths are finally enjoying them, thanks to the first entirely sunny day in weeks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rain Swollen River

It's not at flood stage, but the Alabama River is swollen as it moves rainwater from the past several days further south. Many areas in Alabama have received several inches of rain causing flash flood warnings.

This view is from Lafayette Park off Water Avenue downtown. You can see the Bridge Tender's House at left.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Working on Windows

Between rains one day last week, workers were out all over Selma catching up on repairs. At First Baptist downtown, windows get a facelift.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Selma Churches, Tabernacle Baptist

When I recall my most joyous moments, I realize how true the words of this sign can be.

Tabernacle Baptist Church on Broad Street is historic as the church that gave birth to the voting rights movement in Selma. The first mass meeting was held here before the meetings were moved to Brown Chapel AME Church on what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

Thanks to guest photographer Christine Weerts for sending this picture.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kudzu: The New Nutrient?

If an extract from kudzu root turns out to be as promising in humans as it in rats, then Selma and vicinity could become the Camelot of Kudzu!

Much of the Southeast is literally overrun with this vine, which most people view as a nuisance. But, scientists in Alabama and Iowa have reported its medicinal properties. Kudzu extract may help control metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects some 50 million people in the United States. (If you have a big belly that is not due to overeating or consumption of beer, then you might have metabolic syndrome!)

After just two months of receiving kudzu extract, rats showed lower levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, conditions that contribute to cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Skywatch Friday, Wispy Blue

The skies were wispy blue above Lauderdale Street one day this week, although rain soon returned. At left is the performing arts centre and other businesses as you walk from Selma Avenue toward Alabama Avenue.

To see more skies around the world, check out

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dream Catcher

Someone attached a silver balloon to the Dream Catcher butterfly on Water Avenue. The balloon caught the reflection of the sky and what appears to be the top of a building, although I can't tell for sure.

"Dream Catcher" is part of the Butterfly Project that debuted last October and is dedicated in memory of Selma Rotarian Billy Atchison. the sculpture is painted by Pam Mitchell and sponsored by the Selma Rotary Club.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Walkway by the River

Elephant ears catch a few rays of sunshine before the next thunderstorms roll in by the Alabama River.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

To the Widows and Orphans

This impressive stained-glass window at First Baptist Church is dedicated in memory of the lady who founded the Alabama Baptist Widows and Orphans Home.

The organization is now known as the Alabama Baptist Children's Homes and Family Ministries.

Photography by Christine Weerts

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Little Hummer

This photo of a pretty little hummer was sent to me by Elaine Stewart, who loves to take care of God's winged creatures!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Skywatch Friday (Gray to the Left, Blue to the Right)

This morning's sky from my backyard is a cluster of puffy white clouds intermingled with wispy gray ones. The forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of rain.

More Skywatch photos are found at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Flying the Flag

As the anniversary of 9-11-2001 approaches tomorrow, emails are circulating urging Americans to fly the flag. I believe this house flies it all the time, but it would be awesome if many homes and businesses put up Old Glory to remember the thousands who died and to support our country.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rose of Sharon

I'm told this lovely flower is called a Rose of Sharon, a type of althea. This bush blooms near the goldfish on the grounds of Sturdivant Hall.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Confederate Rose at White-Force Cottage

Confederate Roses are blooming at White Force Cottage on Mabry Street. The roses are a hibiscus and related to cotton and okra. The large blooms first open as white blossoms, then turn pink on the second day and blue-pink on the third day.

White-Force Cottage was the Selma home of Mary Todd Lincoln's (President Abraham Lincoln's wife) half sister, Martha Todd White, and is next door to Sturdivant Hall.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Working on Labor Day

Today is Labor Day in the USA, and many people had the day off from work. But, State Troopers and police worked full force to keep the highways safe for what is traditionally a big travel day. Here, officers are working along U.S. Highway 80 between Selma and Demopolis.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Selma's Churches, The Story of Ruth in Stained Glass

The story of Ruth in the Old Testament has always been among my favorite, and the scene where she gathers grain is beautifully depicted in this stained-glass window at Temple Mishkan Israel. After Ruth's husband died, she followed her mother-in-law to the land of Judah, telling her, "Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; Your people shall be my people, and your God will be my God."

Photograph by Christine Weerts

More information about Temple Mishkan Israel can be found HERE.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Golden Orb Weaver

What a beauty! We think this is a Golden Orb Weaver spider because of her size and location. The females (foreground) are giants and can grow up to 50 mm long, while the males (probably the spider you see in the background) are small, only about 6 mm. The male is probably defending his territory from other males.

These spiders are also known as giant wood spiders, banana spiders and writing spiders.

Thanks to Lucy Battle for submitting this photo.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Skywatch Friday, Dreary Day

Much of this week has been dreary with cloudy skies and off-and-on rain. Good thing the grass is green to make the drive from Selma to Montgomery picturesque! These hills are in a section of Lowndes County along the historic route of U.S. Highway 80.

To see more Skywatch pictures, click on

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I call moonflowers (or moon lilies) like this glow-in-the-dark flowers. They bloom at dusk, then close in the morning.

Thanks to Jacque Johnson for contributing this beautiful photo of one of my favorite flowers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flea Market Finds

A few trips to the flea market/antique malls around Selma show some common trends. The country look that was popular for so long seems definitely out, but there's a market for these pedestal, pub-type tables and stools.

I've seen so many novelty duck decorations from the 70s and 80s that I wonder how they will ever sell, and today's 20-something Americans prefer a more sophisticated style, furnishings and accessories with European flair, particularly Mediterranean.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Cahawba Bank Entrance

Several months ago, I posted a photo of construction on First Cahawba Bank. Here's the finished building with its rotunda-like entrance. The bank gets its name from Cahawba, which was Alabama's first permanent state capital. Cahawba is now a park at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers in Dallas County.