Saturday, October 31, 2009

Arachnophobia!!!!!!!!


I'm pretty sure that Birmingham is the Halloween Decoration Capital of the....state? country? world? Well anyway, this display in my neighborhood was enough to make me stop my walk and say, "Ewwwwwww!" Ever the intrepid BADP photographer, I went back another day packing my camera with the zoom. I'll admit that I got the "willies" when I took this shot ( these guys were HUGE!). And yes, of course I fiddled with the photo a little......it's HALLOWEEN !!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

High Chairs

I don't have a clue!
Continental Bakery

Interiors Market
Looks like the only ones that can reach these chairs hanging from the rafters might be the spiders.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I've Got My Costume All Picked Out


Want to guess which one?? ( Hint: Ooh-la-la!) These great costumes are from Zoe's Consignment Shop in Forest Park. We've been there before, last Valentine's Day here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Robert S. Vance Federal Building



Today some photos of the Robert S. Vance Federal Building in downtown Birmingham. Judge Vance was assassinated on December 16, 1989 when he opened a package containing a mail bomb at his home. This building was renamed in his honor in 1990.

My thanks to my friend Bill Dixon who offered some Shutter Speed 101 help with the top photo.

MANY thanks to Thérèse at Chandler A-Z for sharing the Kreativ Blogger award with me recently!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

La Pyramide, Birmingham Style



Ahhh yes, a little taste of Paris right here in Birmingham! I was shooting up through the skylight at the Harbert Center recently and I thought it was reminiscent of le Pyramide du Louvre, a place I've photographed many times. It's that Euro Birmingham thing again.

If you'd like to see more of my photographs from le Musée du Louvre, jump over to Paris Through My Lens!

BANNER NEWS: This week the banner photo will change on a whim. I have a lot to share and Halloween is breathing down my neck. Today's header photo you saw last year ( dry those tears!!!), it is for my dear reader Judy from Souther California who told me recently it was her favorite photo, and it's going up tonight just for her. Stay tuned, more to come this week!


Le Pyramide
Le Louvre, Paris

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Church



The First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham has affectionately been called "First Church" as long as I can remember. Their website says it was founded in 1872 and the inscription over the door says the building was erected in 1891. Since that time, it has been considered the "Mother Church" of many churches in the Greater Birmingham area. I think it's wonderful that this church as survived over all these years and is still a vibrant part of our city.

Saturday I took a spin downtown with my photography buddy Bill. The late afternoon sun was hitting the shiny facade of the Harbert Plaza across the street and making some amazing shadows on the church. Have a look.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bare and Beautiful

Allée of crape myrtle trees
Birmingham Botanical Gardens

What most of you don't know is that I have a cadre of photography friends that often get the distinct pleasure (?) of critiquing my photos before they go up here. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don't, and they know that. Today's photo got a positive but rather noncommital answer from Wayne, who is usually trying not to rock my boat. Bob Crowe , is an attorney so it's safe to say he's not scared of me or anyone else, and as always the silver-tongued lawyer, he said, "It sort of has a blend of autumn starkness and grace." Two thumbs up, more or less, so here it is! Thanks guys, the check's in the mail as always.

I chased the setting sun all over the gardens Friday. With Daylight Savings Time coming to an end, I'll need to get my act together if I'm going to take advantage of the afternoon light I love. I really liked the last rays on these polished trunks and branches.

My friend Daryl has persuaded me to enter this photo at Aileni's Monochrome Weekly. Please visit her site and and the amazing monochrome work shown there every week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shelter


Since it's beginning, this blog has been all about showcasing the good things, that good people are doing across my city. Today is no exception. Back in 1983, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Birmingham began giving temporary shelter and assistance to homeless women and their children in the basement of their church. Today the church in partnership with other area churches operates First Light Shelter for women and children. Countless volunteers from across this city prepare meals every day, provide overnight assistance and serve in so many other capacities for this worthwhile ministry. I've had the privilege of serving meals with members of my church, Independent Presbyterian. These women are all facing circumstances in their lives that I cannot begin to imagine, yet they are always smiling and so appreciative. First Light, a place of "community, opportunity and hope".

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."
Mother Teresa

Note: For my Birmingham readers, there is a real need for winter coats for these ladies and their children. You may drop them off at First Light, 2100 4th Avenue North.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting Buffed at the BMA!


I told you that I never do my volunteer shift at the Birmingham Museum of Art without my trusty camera. Last week it was the neat reflections in the rain puddles. This week may be the best yet. I looked out over the Sculpture Garden and Botero's "Reclining Figure" was getting a bath! I ran for my camera and scooted outside. This friendly museum employee, who works in the restoration department, explained that this is done periodically and after her bath she will be waxed and polished to protect her finish. She laughingly added that she would wait till after the lunch crowd had cleared out of the Terrace Café. Apparently the "buffing process" always draws a nice crowd of (snickering?) onlookers. I hate I missed that! If this piece looks familiar, I've featured her here. You really do need to visit the Birmingham Museum of Art you know. There's a really great exhibit you need to see!


A nice surprise yesterday. Our blog friends Maya and Janet gave me a SKYPE call and we had a terrific visit. I even got a "tour " of their new apartment in France, a stone's throw from Geneva where they have jobs now. This time they didn't catch me in my baseball cap, worse.....I was in my PJ's much too late in the morning! That could be drawback of SKYPE I think.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Curvy Iron Chairs


My friends and I have lunch at V. Richards in Forest Park, our neighborhood market, most Sundays after church. If the weather's fine, you can dine outside and have a seat on these great curvy iron chairs under their bright red umbrellas. Aside from their terrific deli, it's a great little market with specialty items and wine!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seed Pods


I walked all around my Forest Park neighborhood yesterday. A glorious, warm , sunny autumn day. I found so much to share with you. Today, these nice seed pods.

I see so many new BLOG FOLLOWERS! Thank you so very much for following my blog and for your visits and comments. Merci!
Ooops! Looks like Blogger has eaten you all again. Burp!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Buns of Iron


I know, I know, I couldn't help myself. Vulcan,the largest cast iron statue in the world, overlooks the city of Birmingham , known as the "Pittsburgh of the South", celebrating its rich history of iron and steel production. The city of Homewood which lies south of Birmingham gets this view of the god of fire and forge. The residents affectionately refer to their view as "moon over Homewood". See, if it weren't for BADP how would you ever learn all these important facts about my fair city!!

All kidding aside, Vulcan Park is a must see. Recently renovated, you can zip right up the elevator (when I was a wee girl, we had to trudge up the stairs!) to the observation deck and take in the terrific view of Birmingham. There is also a museum and nice picnic areas with a view as well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Step Inside!


Who could pass by this enticing message and not step in for a peek?? Wondering what's inside? Well the newly opened Gypsy Market on 2nd Avenue North. A much needed "upscale convenience store" for the residents of Birmingham's loft district and downtown workers. Come see for yourself. Life is beautiful in there you know!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meandering in Lotus Land




Oh I see some of you shaking your heads. OK, this isn't THE "Meandering in Lotus Land", this is the Birmingham version. We're back to the Barber Motorsports Museum where they have more Lotus competition cars than anywhere else in the United States. I loved the shiny silvery vintage ones the best, but the boys loved the awesome red one!




Thursday, October 15, 2009

BLOG ACTION DAY 2009- Climate Change

Lava fields, Iceland
Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Today bloggers around the world are joining forces to address climate change in their own unique way. As a photographer I have chosen to highlight French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Yann has taken his incredible photographs of the earth from above and made a non profit film...HOME. Youtube says, "Home is an ode to the planet's beauty and its delicate harmony." Shot in over 120 locations in 54 countries, the film has now been distributed to 87 countries. It is available FREE online and it's one everyone must see. Breathtaking images and a powerful message. Click here to see the film. Click on the sidebar Widget for more information about Blog Action Day

Scroll down for today's regular Birmingham Daily Photo Post

Museum Reflections


I was at the Birmingham Museum of Art yesterday for my weekly volunteer duties assisting with the grand new exhibit, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I looked out over the Sculpture Garden and saw water standing everywhere and .....lo and behold! When I left for the day, I grabbed my camera and headed outside to find those puddles. Thankfully the rain had stopped and I got some interesting reflections.


DON'T FORGET THE YALE EXHIBIT SHOWING NOW AT THE BMA!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guess What It's Still Doing???


Yep. But this should brighten your day!

Buddy Holly's got a tune for you today right here!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!


Yep, it's still raining. I've done the mushroom/toadstool thing. May I add that Serge Virot, my French mushroom expert, reports that he couldn't make a ruling on the species I posted here. That said, I guess we won't be picking any for a nice mushroom quiche!

Today, in the rain, I visited my friend Billy Angell's Oak Street Garden Shop and Market. I had to tuck my camera inside my rainjacket at times, but you know raindrops are a photographer's dream. Have a look. BTW, the header is courtesy of Billy's place as well!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Hot Wheels .....and a lot of 'em!



Saturday I visited the Barber Motorsports Museum for the very first time. The occasion was my grandson Davis' fifth birthday party. Interestingly enough, Davis' dad, both grandfathers and his great grandfather were huge motorcycle lovers so I guess he might come by all of this naturally. As the "family photographer" I was anxious to tag along as I've heard about this place for years but somehow had never made a visit. In the words of the six, 5 year olds, "AWESOME". I agree!

This is a world class facility and their webesite states: "We are dedicated to the presentation, exhibition and interpretation of the history of motorcycles, vintage vehicles, and motor sports."At any given time there are over 500 of the 1200 vintage and modern motorcycles on display, as well as race cars and the largest collection of Lotus cars in the world. While I admit that I'm not a motorcycle enthusiast, I tried to photograph this fabulous place as best I could. Capturing it was a little like trying to photograph the Grand Canyon! I will say this, I've never seen that many smiling (and drooling ) men in one place in my life!!!

Due to inclimate weather, we were unable to take advantage of the Vinatage Festival that was going on in the park ( 740 acres). The race track accomodates not only motorcyle but car racing as well. Our family will definitely make another visit to take advantage of that. Yet another reason to visit Birmingham!

PS Many more photos to follow in days to come.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Les Parapluies et le Bouquet


It was another rainy day at the Pepper Place yesterday. I decided that I'd have a little fun with all the umbrellas that showed up. Even though autumn is coming, there were still some lovely bouquets to be made and shared.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Au Revoir Pepper Place Market! sniff sniff


Oh it had to end sometime. As my faithful followers know, the Pepper Place Market is my chief source of photos from spring until........October 1oth ( sniff). Today I will be there for the last time till spring. I'll bet you're wondering what I'll do for photos for this blog for the next six months or so. Well I'm wondering the same thing! Today, I leave you with one of my very favorite vendors. Meet Donny Tomlin. He does double duty each Saturday. His "main thing" is as the "Maple Man". Donny has some nice Japanese maples for sale. When his sweet wife mans their booth, he grabs that guitar and belts out some fine tunes. The day I snapped these photos, he was singing "Brick House" ( This isn't Donny's version but it'll do). Lord have mercy he's good!

I was unable to get his website to work so search for: Donny Tomlin, Tomlin Landscaping Serv.


Friday, October 9, 2009

"I just listened."


As you know, on Wednesday I attended The Women's Fund Blogging Against Violence event at NBC-13. Scroll down to yesterday's post to see more. As I promised, I am featuring some of the interviews I had with the many attendees.

Today meet Jean Newsome. Jean, an RN, has written and self published a book titled Homeless Hearts. It all started when Jean's son was diagnosed with cancer. She shared with me the shock, the fear, the worry, the emotional roller coaster. In her words, she walked the floor and finally felt like she would burst if she didn't do something! Thinking that helping others might be theraputic, she found herself at Pathways Women's Shelter here in Birmingham. As she volunteered more time, she found herself sitting and just listening over a cup of coffee with the residents. They poured their hearts and their stories out to her. That's when she realized there was a story to tell, and she must be the one to do it. Amazingly, when she started seriously collecting the stories, most of the women didn't seek anonymity, rather they wanted their names used and their stories told! Out of 22 interviews she chose 12 that most represented the variety of circumstances that put these women out on the streets of OUR city. Why did you write this book I asked? Her reply was, " To heighten awareness about the consequences of domestic violence." Indeed I heard that all afternoon, women often stay in abusive situations , because they can't financially afford to leave, or they are afraid for their safety and that of their children if they dare leave. I'm thinking Homeless Hearts is a book we ALL need to read.

I am personally looking forward to perhaps collaborating with Jean on a project in the future.
For information on purchasing Homeless Hearts please go to: homeless hearts@gmail.com
A portion of the proceeds will go to local charities for homeless women and children.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blogging Against Violence - Part I



As I have said many times, this blog has opened many doors for me and introduced me to many wonderful people and causes here in my hometown. Today was certainly no exception. I was asked to participate in the first ever Blogging Against Violence. NBC-13 and The Women's Fund joined forces and pulled off an amazing event. They brought together area bloggers , as well as NBC -13's coverage, and provided us with an outstanding number of professionals that were available for interviews from 3:00 -7:00 today. The lineup was impressive. Dedicated police officers, lawyers, victims of domestic violence that have stepped forward to tell their stories, judges, and agencies from city to statewide that provide the much needed services ( with never enough funding). I can assure you that four hours was not enough time to hear their stories and witness the tireless work they do for our women and children that are the victims of domestic violence. Hearing the cold hard facts was not easy at times, but we all need to hear them! I have an 8:00 deadline ( hence my Thursday blog is coming to you on Wed. night!) so tonight I am posting some photographs of the event. In the days to come I will highlight some of the dedicated people I was privileged to meet today.


As you can see, some blogged as they interviewed. You know me well enough to know I can't talk and do anything else at the same time!

Bluff Park Art Show - 100 Strangers Challenge


Stranger #91

Last Saturday my friend Karen and I crammed a whole lot into one day. We started out at the Pepper Place, did a little shopping, had lunch at Zoe's, and ended up at the Bluff Park Art Show. One of Birmingham's oldest and most respected art shows, it was a grand way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. I saw artists that I've known for years and met a few new ones. And may I congratulate my friend Leo Ticheli, who won a blue ribbon for one of his photographs! I also met Atlanta photographer Lorrie Dallek as well. I regret I didn't get a photo of Lorrie. Please visit her website and treat yourself to her amazing photographs! Birmingham readers, you can find her work at Jennifer Hunt Gallery.


Print artist - Debra Riffe from Birmingham
Debra's linoleum block relief prints are wonderful! I loved getting to talk with her. Please visit her website.
Stranger #92


Attention Birmingham Bloggers/Readers

On Wednesday October 7th from 3:00-7:00 Channel 13 will be hosting the first
Blog- a -Thon For Voices Against Violence

Sponsored by The Women's Fund it will raise much needed funding and highlight the issues of domestic violence. I will be participating and will have photographs and a full report of this event! You can follow the interviews from Channel 13's live feed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Courtyard Fountain




The courtyard at the Cathedral Church of the Advent is a lovely, serene space. This metal fountain I think is especially nice against the brick wall with the leaves just beginning to turn.


What Is It? Where Is It?
We have a winner.......
Fishinthebrook correctly guessed the Water Works Board's Fountain
located on First Aveue North.
Fish, you may choose one of my photographs and I'll deliver the print personally! :)


Monday, October 5, 2009

No. 13 and What Is It? Where Is It?



I was downtown on 20th Street last week and got a quick shot of the DART trolley ( or as I like to call it, Birmingham's version of a rapid transit system) just as it pulled off.

For those of you that visit my Paris Through My Lens photoblog, you are familiar with "What Is It, Where Is It?" Now it's time for my Birmingham readers to have some fun. Today I've featured a photo (below). Your job is to be the first one to guess what it is and where it is. The winner will be announced on Tuesday. You may leave your guess in the comment section. A fabulous prize will be awarded the winner. Let the games begin! Oh, and for my French readers, yes, you may play since you were disqualified on the Paris quizzes! :)

What is it? Where is it?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Courtship


The Meeting

The Nuzzle

The "Kiss"

Pardon!!! I know I posted dog photos yesterday, but I can't help my hopeless romantic self today. I just couldn't wait to post these photos from yesterday's Pepper Place Market. I've already told you that everyone in Birmingham brings their dogs to this Saturday event. Well, when I reviewed my photos, these two just seemed to play out a delightful scenario. Ain't love grand!