Monday, April 30, 2012

Dothan Murals 2

For the last thirty years I have been making almost yearly trips to Dothan, Alabama with my Mother to visit her sister.  During out trip in May of 2011 I photographed as many of Dothan's murals as time would allow.  Regrettably, I only managed to get half of the twenty colorful and historic murals gracing the walls of buildings in the old downtown area of the city.  I was back in Dothan a few weeks ago, to attend a family funeral, but time did not allow me to go hunting for the ones I have missed.  Next trip, I will be better prepared with the addresses and let our GPS see to it that we get the rest in as little time as possible.

Last week I posted the first installment of these fantastic murals and you can view them by clicking here.  

Salute to the Peanut Industry 

Because of its significance to the entire Wiregrass region, the peanut was selected as the subject of the first mural commissioned and features Dr. George Washington Carver and the National Peanut Festival which is held in Dothan each year.  

Fort Scott

A crucial factor to the settlement of the Wiregrass area was safety.  Until the construction of Fort Scott, erected on the banks of the nearby Flint River, settlers steered clear of the Creeks and Red Sticks who roamed the area.  This mural is a fitting testament to hard work, dedication and progress.  

Mules of the Wiregrass

Mules were introduced to the area in the late 1800's quickly replacing horses and oxen in the fields and woods.  While considered stubborn and meaner than horses and oxen, mules played and important part in the growth of farms and the logging industry in the Wiregrass Region.  

There will be two more installments on these great murals posted on the next two editions of Monday Murals.  So be sure to stop back by.  


Linking to Monday Murals hosted by Oakland Daily Photo

Also linking to Color Carnival
 hosted by Maria

Linking to Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Love of Purple led to a Surprise

Several times during the last week I needed to go downtown on a short errand.  My route took me past a row of beautiful purple flowers edging the street.  As luck would have it I had left home without my camera for such a short trip.  So yesterday I found myself needing to return downtown and made sure to grab my camera.  

 I stopped intending to only photograph these wonderful flowers. 

Then I noticed the mailbox was sitting on an old cistern pump and snapped away. 
 That made me curious about what else I might find.  

So I strolled down the driveway, thinking, that this must be the only
 unpaved drive left in town.  

I had barely taken two steps when a robin flew in front of me
 and landed on the neighbors fence with a big fat grub.   

 As I walked down the driveway I realized that this yard was like a forest of plants with small trails meandering though the overgrowth.  The owner certainly had no need for a lawnmower.  I could also tell that someone was tending this dense garden because there were twigs, cut plants and pulled weeds laying in a pile on the path that led to the front door. Plus, these cute little statues and flags were visitable throughout the garden.  

I finally found a spot where I could get a peek of the house beyond.  But, when I got up closer I realized that the person who lives here must survive on a small budget (and possibly be reclusive ) because  the house was in a sad state of repair.  Most of the front I could see was covered with plastic sheeting to keep out the wet and cold and the garage at the end of the drive was listing a bit to one side.  I decided I'd better head back to the street for fear of alerting someone to my presence who might be unhappy about having  company.  

Linking to Sundays in my city.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Celebration Fences

Fencing, that amazing selection of post or stakes joined together with wire or wood that serves as an enclosure, barrier or boundary.  Fences can be as simple as a strand of wire charged with an electric current or as ornate as the human mind can imagine.   

I grew up in farm country so I have dealt  with my fair share of fences.  I've even  encountered a few that I had to climb in a hurry to escape either a rogue animal or one of my nine brothers.  But, mostly when I see a fence I wonder what it is protecting or maybe, hiding.  Yep, I've been glad a few times that no one could see the mess my patio fence was hiding.  

I currently live in a row of townhouses, and my patio is surrounded by a six foot privacy fence. Much to the chagrin of the Old Salt, I have decorated on both sides with a lot of what I like to call decorative items.  Perhaps one day I will actually put my fence on display for Friday Fences.  But, this week I have another type of decorated fence to share.  

I captured these pictures a few years ago when I traveled to Alabama for my cousin's wedding.  They decided to have a small affair, in their front yard, with a Polynesian or Hawaiian theme.  The fence played a big part in the decorations for this event.  

Now, I should warn you that parts of Alabama are not known for having lush green lawns.  In fact my mother tells tales about it being one of her chores as a girl to regularly sweep their front yard.  So, just imagine you can see grass in the following shots.  You will also have to click to enlarge for best detail.   

As a side note you might enjoy knowing the ministers name was actually Johnny Cash.

Linking to Friday Fences hosted by Jan and Jer and Ms. Burrito's Color Connection. 

To join the fun click on the badges below. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Natures Wreckage

Jenny over at Alphabe Thursday is featuring the letter "W" this week.  Have to admit that was a no brainer for me.  Seems that everywhere I have traveled over the last year or so I have encountered a lot of the same stuff.  And, that stuff is "Wreckage."  

 I have photographed people's homes were their property looked like a junk yard.  I have shot photos of stipped cars abandoned on city highways and neighborhood streets.  I have other photos of the wrecking ball taking down buildings and bulldozers digging up the pavement for highway expansion.  But, in the last year I have happened to be in three cities where mother nature has wrecked extreme havoc and those are the shots I would like to share today.

Since Joplin, Missouri has been so much in the news I will skip the photos I took there and instead share a few of the shots I took of tornado damage in Alabama and Georgia in 2011 and a few taken last month in Branson, Missouri.  

Branson, Mo.
 March 2012

Branson, Missouri
 March 2012

Branson, Mo.
 March, 2012

Branson, Mo.
March, 2012

Branson, Mo.
 March 2012
Manchester, Georgia
May, 2011

Mancester, Georgia
May, 2011

Manchester Georgia
May, 2011

Northern Alabama
May, 2011

Northern Alabama
May, 2011
Tornadoes leave fear, death, hardship and a whole lot of "wreckage" both physical and emotional  in their wake.  My heart and prayers go out to everyone still suffering from the effects of these terrible storms.

Linking this post to Alphabe Thursday

To check out what others have found using the letter "W" click the badge below.  

Something New

Since the first of March I have been lucky enough to travel through parts of seven states.  We have made pit stops in all of them and most of those stops have been at gas stations.  
 Heck, every one knows that gas stations are the best place to get all your needs met and get back on the road quickly. Right?   

Of all the stations, in the country, that I have been in I have only seen the product pictured below once in my life.  

This station in Iowa is either on the cutting edge of new product placement or could they have a higher regard for their customers?   

I am linking to Signs, Signs hosted by Lesley.  Hop over and check out what interesting signs others are contributing this week by clicking the badge below.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


FDR's favorite picnic spot-- he even had the grill built.
Over at ABC Wednesday this week the featured letter is the letter "O."

If you have ever taken a road trip then you have surely pulled over at one of the many scenic overlooks dotting the country.  I know I have.  In fact, we never miss the opportunity to check out the vistas available at an overlook, and contemplate the journey of our forebears as they cross this same spot a century or more ago.   On a clear day you can see forever and sometimes get the thrill of seeing several states at once.

I have photos taken at dozens of overlooks.  One even had an ice cream stand across the street.  But, today, I want to share photos from one of our favorite overlooks.  One we keep returning to over the years as these photos will show. I have a cousin who lives on Pine Mountain in central Georgia.  She also works at "The Little White House" which was Franklin Roosevelt's vacation spot during his time as president.

FDR contracted polio in 1921, at age thirty-nine. When he heard about the therapeutic value of the thermal mineral baths at Warm Springs, Georgia, Roosevelt went there and bought a resort. He created a foundation to support a hydrotherapy treatment center.  He got his friend and New York law partner Basil O'Connor to run it. FDR hid his paralysis for most of his life and came to believe in the healing power of water to increase his use of his legs.
Frank and me sitting on FDR's Grill in the fall of 2008

Each time we visit my cousin we spend some time at "Overlook Loop" a beautiful ridge atop Pine Mountain inside the Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park and near Callaway Gardens. The overlook is part of a 3.2 mile hiking trail through the park.  

FDR loved Pine Mountain and enjoyed this view of a Georgia mixed pine-oak-hickoy forest so much that he built this grill on his favorite vista where he had numerous picnics.
This photo of us was taken in the spring of 2007

I was visiting this spot long before I met the Old Salt so I was delighted to learn that FDR was one of his heros. Plus, his given name being Franklin was a good omen for me that he would fall in love with this spot as well.

There is something about sitting in a spot where a US president and countless other visitors to the Little White House have   picnicked that makes you want to learn more about our nations history.

Spring and Fall on Pine Mountain 

You can't tell it from this picture, but, at the edge of that pavement is a steep drop off.  So the first time The Old Salt climbed on top of that rock my heart fell into the pit of my stomach.  I am so afraid of heights that you will never see me near that edge.  

We have been back to this spot several times since these photos were taken.  We are a tad older and the hike from the parking area seems a bit longer but, I'm sure that as long as we can make the drive to visit with my cousins we will be visiting our favorite scenic Overlook and following the tradition of having our picture taken sitting on FDR's grill.   

I am linking this post to ABC Wednesday. 

Click the  badge to visit others or join the fun yourself. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quonset Hut Redo

 I captured this old barn, made from a WWll era quonset hut, during my recent visit to Pine Mountain Georgia.  I learned from my cousin that the fencing and one side of this old quonset hut had been destroyed in the 2011 tornados.  The fence and damaged area of the building were recently replaced.  While the medal part of the building was still a deep red the new wooden wall was a soft adobe pink.

I am linking this post to Barn Charm and Ruby Tuesday 2
Click on the badges below to join the fun or just check out what others have contributed this week.  


Monday, April 23, 2012

Dothan Murals

 Colorfully and boldly painted on buildings throughout the Dothan Alabama downtown area are twenty murals depicting the history of the Wiregrass area.  Below are three of them that I photographed in May of 2011.

Dothan Riot 

In October of 1889, just after Dothan was incorporated, a riot erupted at the public well and bell-tower over a tax levied on commercial drays traveling city streets.   
DeSoto's Journey Throughout the Wiregrass RegionThis mural commemorates the journey of Hernando DeSoto and his exploration party as they traveled from the Gulf of Mexico, north through Georgia touching on the edge of the Wiregrass Region east of the Chattahoochee River.
Chief Eufaula -- Creek Indian Removal

This mural depicts Chief Eufaula as he looked in 1836, as he spoke his farewell words to the Alabama Legislature, before leading the last of the lower Creeks to the reservation of Oklahoma.  

Chief Eufaula's words were:  "In these lands of Alabama, which have belonged to my forefathers and and where their bones lie buried, I see that the Indian fires are going out.  Soon they will be cold.  New fires are lighting in the West for us they say and we will go there.

I do not have photos of all twenty murals but I do have half of them.  I will post them a few at a time over the next weeks as time permits. So check back each Monday.

Linking to Monday Murals hosted by Oakland Daily Photo

Also linking to Color Carnival hosted by Maria

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hells Bells

I readily admit that iced tea is my beverage of choice.  But, hells bells, something is wrong with this country when you can't buy a decent glass of the stuff outside a restaurant.  

Heck, I live forty-five minutes from the city that made ice tea famous and it's almost impossible to pull into a gas station or convenience store for a decent glass of the amber liquid.  Seems most places around here have gone to using those bag-in-the-box mixes and I find them to be just plain nasty tasting.  And, those bottled teas are a close second for terrible taste.  Doesn't anyone besides me expect their tea to be fresh brewed, icy cold and served in a giant glass.  

Now, I admit,  I would prefer my tea in a large glass made from real glass, but, that just makes a big mess when traveling.  So, depending on whether I am the driver or the passenger I will take either my big purple Bubba or one of the Old Salt's preferred insulated tumblers (sometimes both) into my pit-stop for a refill.  But, regardless of what container I use I expect to fill it with some good old fashioned fresh brewed iced tea.

That is especially true when I am in the South! Doesn't everyone in the South have sweet tea at the ready?  Apparently not.  I just returned from a trip to Alabama and can't believe the number of places we stopped along the way that did not carry fresh brewed tea.    It took two stops in one Kentucky town.  The gas station did not serve tea at all so we had to go across the street to the Burger King to fill our jugs.  It got so bad in Tennessee I finally went into a grocery store and purchased a gallon jug we could carry to refill our glasses. While visiting my Aunt in Dothan I visited six gas stations and could not get fresh brewed tea at any of them.  Five had that nasty bag-in-the-box stuff and one no tea at all.  Can you believe that in the state best known for it's sweet tea and southern drawl, the tea was either not fresh or not available at all?  

found this tea container in a shop window
 I had to hug and bless the heart of my dear cousin Margaret (who lives on Pine Mountain in Georgia) for seeing to it that we left her house with every container we had filled to the brim with her amazing fresh brewed tea and a Styrofoam cooler so that all we had to do was fill up on ice every so often.  What a difference the drive home was not having to go on a tea hunt.  

Guess I've ranted enough about my tea trials of late.  Now I know how it feels to see something I always took for granted fall by the wayside,  another victim of payroll cuts and that "pay more for less" mentality that is permeating the retail market these days.    

I will leave you with this photo I took of the t-shirt a lady was wearing outside of our hotel in West Memphis, Arkansas on the ride down.  It certainly reminded the Old Salt of what he could expect during our stay down south.