Sunday, January 31, 2010

Flying Low (Camera Critters)

Fowl fly low across a pond in West Dallas County, which is part of a migratory flyway.

To see more of your favorite fauna, go to Camera Critters.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kenan House

Here's a house that still bears scars of a fire when Wilson's Raiders plundered Selma during one of the last battles of the Civil War in April 1865.

Located just north of town, the Kenan House was in the direct path of the Union calvary headed to destroy the Selma Arsenal and Naval Gunworks.

Finding no one home, the Yankees piled furniture in the parlor and set it afire. But this 1826 Greek Revival that was built from lumber on the property, didn't burn, thanks to servants who rushed out of hiding as soon as the troops were gone. However, a large area of the charred floor is still visible in front of the parlor fireplace.

The Kenan House is among nine homes that will be open for visitors during the Historic Selma Pilgrimage March 18-21. The nearby Kenan's Mill, an 1860's gristmill on Valley Creek, will also be open, and visitors can purchase stone-ground cornmeal and grits.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Walk Along Broad Street

Broad Street (U.S. Highway 80) is the main avenue through downtown Selma and begins at the Pettus Bridge and continues a couple of miles to the U.S. Highway 80/Alabama 14 and Alabama Highway 22 intersection.

From beneath the Swift Drug Co. canopy, you can see Selma City Hall and the municipal park.

Alabama Travel has designated 2010 as The Year of Small Towns and Downtowns, so look for more downtown scenes this year!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saving the Historic YMCA

Selma's historic YMCA building on Broad Street is falling down, and while some want to raze it, others want to save it.

A standing-room only crowd attended a presentation held by the Historic Preservation Society the other night, and now a committee will meet with the owner, the city and an architect.

Built in 1885, the YMCA building was the first in Alabama and one of the first in the South. At right, Linda Derry, chairman of a Black Belt Heritage Area committee, informs the audience via slides.

Special thanks to guest photographer Jacque Johnson.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quiche of the Day

A spinach quiche, green salad, pasta salad and fruit plate was a delicious combination for one of my lunchmates at Richard's Cafe.

Formerly known as Strong's Cafe, the Washington Street business is owned by a former chef of the St. James Hotel. Daily specials feature a meat and three that includes coffee or tea.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cahaba River Rampage

The Cahaba River was on a rampage Sunday as it swiftly forged toward Old Cahawba Archaeological Park to connect with the Alabama.

The only free-flowing river in our state, the Cahaba is known as one of Alabama's 10 Natural Wonders due to its ecological significance that includes a wide diversity of plants and fish. Outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy canoeing its waters.

To see a more placid view of the Cahaba at this same U.S. Highway 80 West location, click HERE.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Turn Around, Don't Drown

This stream crossing on a Dallas County pasture road is usually dry. But, after heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area Sunday morning, almost three inches of rain sent water rushing through. The level had been much higher a few hours earlier, but the force of the moving water was too dangerous to try to drive through.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Here Rests Senator Morgan

Here lies John Tyler Morgan, U.S. senator, Confederate general, Cahawba lawyer. While he avoided accolades in life, even requesting no eulogies at his funeral, his name lives on in Selma. We have the John Tyler Morgan Bridge across the Alabama River on the bypass, John Tyler Morgan Academy, and the John Tyler Morgan house that now houses office for Cahawba archaeology.

Morgan moved to Dallas County to become an attorney in Cahawba, then enlisted as a private in the Cahaba Rifles but later received promotion to brigadier general on recommendation of Robert E. Lee. After the war, he lost his license to practice law anywhere but Alabama but later he became a U.S. senator and fought for federal funds for public education and a canal that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He lived to see that approved but was dismayed that it was to be built across Panama rather than Nicaraugua, which he claimed would have eliminated the need for complicated locks.

When he died in 1907, there was great fanfare with national politicians in Selma and quite a procession to the cemetery.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Native American Plaque

This reproduction of a Native American plaque takes us back to the Mississippi Period between 700 and 900 AD. A copy of an original found at Moundville Archaeological Park near Tuscaloosa, Ala., the plaque is on display at Selma's Old Depot Museum. Sorry that I don't know the symbolism behind the drawings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skywatch Friday, Rising Sun and Mist

The rising sun and mist provided a beautiful morning sky earlier this week.

Check out more Skywatch photos at

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snow Melt (Retro Photo)

Two years ago, snow melted on this tree stump. Two weeks ago, we kept faucets dripping due to record cold. Today, we've got warm temps, heavy rain and tornado watches. I think January enjoys shocking our systems!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thin Ice

Thin ice covered many ponds and swamps throughout Dallas County during the January Arctic Blast.

So, what you're seeing is the coldest of the cold that reinforced our opinion that we could NEVER survive a northern winter!

In fact, the stats are in, and the mean temperature from January 1-15 was 32.4 degrees F. That's a record, beating out another record-breaking cold spell in 1970.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Painted and Pristine

Not long ago, I posted a picture of Ashford, a Neoclassical Victorian home, that was getting a front porch renovation. The grand entrance on this 1903 beauty is finished and ready to welcome guests for the 35th annual Historic Selma Pilgrimage March 18-21.

This Church Street treasure is one of nine homes on tour this year. New photos and information about the tour homes, church, museums and other venues are being updated daily on the Pilgrimage website.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cold River

Although temperatures have warmed, I still have a few cold-weather pictures to share. This photograph of a back-lighted Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River was taken on one of the coldest days of the decade. There was no ice in the river, but a person could surely imagine it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Shaggy Dog (Camera Critters)

This adorable shaggy dog is a frequent guest in our backyard. He's all bark and no bite, but my camera caught him off guard, and this is one of the few times that I've seen him standing still!

To see more animals from all over, head on over to Camera Critters.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's another rainy day in Selma, so I thought a few pink rosebuds might brighten my blog. This picture was taken down by the river shortly before the a long cold snap hit a couple of weeks ago. Our daily low temperature finally rose above freezing last night.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Theme Day (Best Photo of 2009)

City Daily Photo Blogs hosts a second Theme Day this month for our best photos of 2009.

"Bearing a Blossom," which I chose for this blog's second anniversary last March 23, was easily my favorite again!

I took this picture in Old Live Oak Cemetery, and the red camellia caught my eye. The flower could not have been placed in her hand for long since it hadn't wilted at all. Whoever handed her the camellia, along with strands of Spanish Moss, made my day. I took a LOT of photos before finding this angle where the tree branches and Spanish Moss overhead provide an enchanting, wispy frame.

The tombstone beneath the statue's feet memorializes a young wife who died at age 27 in 1886.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guard Dog?

As I snapped pictures in Old Live Oak Cemetery the other day, this beautiful black and white dog appeared and looked at me as if to say, "What are you doing in MY territory?" Then, she turned around and trotted on.

Be sure and check the City Daily Photo Blogs Friday for a special Theme Day photo project, Best Picture of 2009.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayer at the Gate

As many times as I have strolled through Old Live Oak Cemetery, I never noticed this "prayer at the gate" until recently. These comforting words are inscribed in one of the stone pillars on the Selma Avenue side of the graveyard.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blue and Gray

When the sun shines, January turns blue and gray on the Alabama River. I took this photo on the coldest morning in several years when the temperature dipped to the low teens.

In the foreground, Spanish Moss billows like a cape. In the background, you can see the railroad bridge.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Icicles and Spanish Moss

Water in a backyard fountain froze in drapes like Spanish Moss.

(After another 17-degree night, lows should warm to the 20s this week!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Camera Critters, Cattle Call

It's a cold, cold day in January as cattle head toward the promise of fresh hay.

See more Camera Critters from around the world HERE.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We Believe

This store window display downtown appeared prior to the college football national championship in which the University of Alabama played the University of Texas. The interest in Alabama Crimson Tide products really picked up this year as the team advanced to the Southeastern Conference Championship and beat Florida, then headed to Pasadena, California for the BCS game this past Thursday. Bama beat the Texas Longhorns in a game that became close in the second half until the Tide capitalized on a couple of late fourth quarter turnovers and won 37-21. "We Believe" sums up the feelings of Bama fans who were confident that their team could win its first national championship since 1992.

The Southeastern Conference has won the BCS title a record four straight years.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Skywatch Friday (UFO Ahead?)

If you look just above the treetops near the center of the photo, there's an unidentified flying object in the sky!

We saw this UFO last Sunday about 15 miles west of Selma along U.S. Highway 80. The closer we got, the more it looked like a balloon or a blimp. As it turned out, it was an advertising blimp over downtown Selma. That's the first time I've ever seen a blimp in Selma.

Happy Skywatch! To see more skies around the world, check out

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just a Bit Chilly!

I think you can tell that it's just a bit chilly in Selma this week!

(Click on the fountain for a larger view.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

River and Roses

There are still a few pink roses blooming along the trellis and iron fence behind the St. James Hotel. While these are a hardy variety, I wonder how they will fare in temperatures in the teens. We'll soon find out!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cold Day in Lafayette Park

BRRRRR! Monday brought out gloves, hats and scarves, and Old Glory waved all day! I think you can see how cold it is as evidenced by this view from Lafayette Park. The Arctic blast will linger through the weekend, and we could have highs that stay below freezing for a few days later this week. Weather forecasters encourage everyone to wrap pipes, bring pets inside or at least provide outdoor shelter and check on the elderly.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pink Camellia

Camellias are the winter day brighteners down South, and here in Alabama, they're the official state flower. It's a good thing I got this picture last week, because it's doubtful they will survive this week's frigid weather. Highs will be in the 30s and lows in the teens.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Frosty Frolic (Camera Critters)

We woke the other morning to find the dogs frolicking in the frost. Cold weather just invigorates them, and they enjoy southern winters a lot more than southern summers.

Check out more cute Camera Critters HERE.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cornbread and Blackeye Peas

Cornbread and blackeye peas are a New Year's tradition down South, and nobody serves them better than Selma's Kathryn Tucker Windham. A renowned storyteller, author and keeper of southern tradition and folklore, Mrs. Windham, now in her 90s, annually invites friends from far and near to her home on New Year's Day. From morning til evening, she cooks and serves the foods that are said to bring luck throughout the year...if you eat them.

Notice the china. No paper plates here! Volunteers wash and dry the real dishes so that guests are served in proper fashion.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2010 Theme Day (Changes)

Changes are coming (we hope soon!) to Selma's riverfront. The Historic Riverfront Park Master Plan has stood since last summer on the bank of the Alabama River. Initial cleanup is done but no construction yet!

Change is the theme for this month's City Daily Photo Blogs, and you can find more changes around the world by visiting participating blogs.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Happy New Year!