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.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring our Veterans

Selma makes a point of honoring our U.S. veterans, especially our local ones. Every year, a ceremony with speeches, ROTC units and local school organizations is held in front of Memorial Stadium amid the veterans' monuments. I took this photo at last year's ceremony during which the Southside High School ROTC served as color guard and presented a flag-folding demonstration.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pictures from the Bridge

The middle of the swinging bridge across Valley Creek is a perfect place to snap a photo of the mill and dam, IF you can wait long enough for the bridge to stop swinging!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yea Alabama!

These Alabama football fans wore their team's colors to the Kenan's Mill Fall Festival on Saturday.

The Southeastern Conference showdown between the University of Alabama and Louisiana State University kicked off just a few hours later, and the Crimson Tide won the SEC West championship with a 24-15 win over the Bengal Tigers. Both teams are ranked in the Bowl Championship Series Top 10, and Bama moved up a notch to No. 2 behind Florida. Alabama and Florida meet in December for the SEC championship game in Atlanta.

In the Deep South, college football is a much bigger sport than professional football.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wagon Ride at Kenan's Mill

A wagon filled with hay bales and pulled by an old tractor was a hit at Saturday's Kenan's Mill Fall Festival. Both children and adults climbed in for a trip down the long, gravel road.

Warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine helped bring a large crowd to the annual festival that featured bluegrass music, stone-ground cornmeal and grits, children's games, arts and crafts and pottery demonstrations.

The festival returns next year on the first Saturday in November.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crossing the Creek at Kenan's Mill

You don't have to cross Valley Creek on the swinging bridge at Kenan's Mill, but it sure gives you a challenge!

The mill and grounds are open today from 9 a.m. til 5 p.m. for the annual fall festival that features fresh-ground cornmeal and grits, bluegrass music, cornbread and chili cookoffs, pottery making, arts and crafts, wagon rides, inflatable games for children, tours of the mill house and much more. The music begins at 11 a.m. at the bandstand.

Oh yes, you can reach the mill by vehicle or by walking across the old iron bridge. The new red barn also offers handicap-accessible restrooms. So, come on!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Skywatch Friday (Sugar Maple)

Autumn leaves are most brilliant in Selma in November. Wish our town was full of sugar maples like this one!

To see more skies, go to

Photo by Christine Weerts

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kenan's Mill Festival 2009

If you like music, fresh cornmeal, wagon rides and crafts, then come on out to the Kenan's Mill Fall Festival this Saturday, Nov. 7.

The 1860's gristmill will be grinding corn into meal and grits as Valley Creek meanders its way beneath the swinging bridge and over the spillway.

The bluegrass menu features young fiddler Caleb Bryant of Northport and the Hurricane Creek band. Music starts at 11, and there will be food vendors to supply your appetite as well as cornbread and chili cookoffs.

Try your hand at making pottery from Alabama clay, and visit the craft booths. Tour the mill house and charcoal kiln.

It's going to be a beautiful day for an outing, so bring your lawn chairs and enjoy! Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Cost is only $5 per car. The mill is located just north of the Selma city limits off County Road 37 (Summerfield Road).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Little Bo Peep Found Her Sheep

Little Bo Peep was surprised to find a sheep at Elkdale Baptist's Fall Festival last weekend!

As she was sharing the Bible story about the lost sheep, this little lamb arrived, so of course, I got their picture together!

Photo by Janet Gresham

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nightmare on Church Street

If trick or treaters wanted candy at this residence on Church Street, they had to brave the weirdo in the camo!

Now, I wonder if the monster had to brave the trick or treaters! When my children were small, one of them dressed as a robot and carried a toy robot claw. When we stopped at a neighbor's house, a "ghoul" was sitting in the yard holding the candy bag, and before I knew it, my little robot walked up and hit him over the head with the claw to see if he was real! He was, and I believe that ended his ghoulish game!

Photo by Jacque Johnson

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trunk or Treat

Spiderman and a little pirate were among the children who came to Elkdale Baptist Church for a "Trunk or Treat" event on Saturday. Church members decorate their vehicle trunks and give out candy that has been donated by the congregation. Participants were also treated to party inflatable games and food. (Click the photo to see a larger version.)

To view the festival slide show, click HERE.

Photo by Janet Gresham

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fun at the Fall Festival

Trick or treating in neighborhoods seems to be losing popularity on Halloween as churches sponsor fall festivals and Trunk or Treats.

Elkdale Baptist Church hosted its annual festival and treat time Saturday, and children were greeted by costumed adults before they made the rounds of decorated vehicle trunks filled with candy.

Here, Elkdale's children's director clowns around with one of the "celebrity" guests.

To view my Fall Festival Photo Album, click HERE.

(Photo by Janet Gresham)