Tuesday, May 01, 2012

That Good Old Alabama Red Dirt

Growing up in Missouri I believed dirt was meant to be dark brown and mostly sweet smelling.  So, during our trips to alabama, to visit with my Mother's family, I was always fascinated by the red clay that covered my Uncles yard.  It would stain all our play clothes and on laundry day Mom could be heard cussing it for weeks as the stains gradually faded to a pale brown. 

This bright red Alabama dirt must have fascinated more than just me.  EmmyLou Harris sang  about it in Red Dirt Girl and I have heard that the guys in her band were known as the "Red Dirt Boys." when she traveled in Europe.

I have also seen rusty red t-shirts with the words "Alabama Dirt Shirt" on the front in a couple of souvenir shops while traveling across the state.  One of these days I may actually get a photo of one.

I've seen just as much red dirt in our travels to Georgia and Oklahoma, so, I know that Alabama does not have a monopoly on it.  But, all of the pictures posted here were taken by me somewhere in the state of Alabama.  

This red dirt road is just a few hundred feet from my Aunts house in Dothan, Alabama.  On a windy day everything in her yard will have a coating of this dirt on it.  After a few raindrops you can see rusty puddles begin to form anywhere the water collects.      

The following information was taken from the UAB Publications Website

Sweet Loam Alabama
While certain frustrated gardeners and landscapers might swear that red clay is Alabama’s state soil, it’s not. In 1997, the Alabama state legislature selected and approved a soil they named Bama Series soil as Alabama’s official representative dirt. Chosen for its good drainage, desirable physical properties, and high position on the landscape—making it suitable for the growth of cultivated crops, pasture, hay, and woodlands, as well as for urban uses—Bama Series soil covers 26 counties and about 365,000 acres in Alabama. UAB geologist Scott Brande, Ph.D., says the soil developed during an era when the Alabama landscape was essentially a sea floor. Now the soil is fertile ground for much of the corn and cotton that is grown in our state. But though it bears Alabama’s name, it can be found in Mississippi, Florida, and Virginia too.

I am linking this post to Ruby Tuesday 2

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  1. I grew up with red dirt at the grandparents' home in western Virginia. My mother was always trying to remember to pack dark clothes for us so we wouldn't ruin our "good clothes"! This brings back SO many memories today! Hope your surgery goes well. Will be praying for you.

  2. The first time I saw the red soil of the South, I was shocked. I was used to the black loam of the Midwest!

    Successful surgery to you!

    Ruby Flowers

  3. Beautiful photos. Good luck on your surgery. I hope everything goes well. Happy RT2!

    Mine's here.

  4. Very pretty!

    Rubies at my site. Please come see.

  5. Gorgeously captured.

    Your comment will be greatly appreciated at my Ruby entry. Thanks!

  6. Gorgeous ruby find, captured beautifully too!

    Ruby Tuesday at my page. Have a great day!

  7. Oh yeah -- I remember the red dirt from the Winter we stayed in Alabama ; here's a link to an old post where I'm wearing that 'dirt shirt' -- the post is about Big Bend in Texas, but the shirt was from Alabama originally! (If the link doesn't work, can do a search (on my blog) for Big Bend)


    Loved the idea of doing this for RT, very cleverly idea.


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