Sunday, January 31, 2010


We Daily Photo Bloggers talk about this all the time. We live in a city for years, decades, (eons?) even and walk or drive by places and yet never notice them until that "photographer's eye" takes over our hearts and minds! Well this is a prime example for me. I've lived in Birmingham for most of my ...... many years! Never even noticed this beautiful Art Deco signage until the other day. Wonder why?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Break

If you're like me right now, you are sick and tired of cold, brown and bare!! I can't photograph one more leafless tree or icicle. Feeling fresh out of ideas, I decided to do what I do best.....copy another blogger! My friend Rob who lives in Minneapolis, a suburb of the North Pole, headed to the McNeely Conservatory recently. I loved his photos, so I just marched right over to the Conservatory at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens this past week. There was an entire room full of camellias just showing their stuff! Since the bushes in the gardens were almost spent, this was like striking gold! Enjoy this little winter break with me.

By the way, the camellia is the state flower of Alabama

Friday, January 29, 2010

Under the Big Top!

Laura Kate and Hudson have been best buds since they were born!

This post today is about Ascension Episcopal Kindergarten in Vestavia Hills. I know personally how grand their program is because I have "connections"! I was invited to their 4K Under the Big Top program this week and it was a delight. Now the fact that my Laura Kate was an acrobat is PURELY coincidental, because this post is about AEK, remember (wink)???

There were roaring lions, strong men, trained seals, monkeys, clowns, tight rope walkers and of course some adorable acrobats! This circus group got a standing ovation and did a great song as their encore. Special pats on the back must go to teachers Ms. Carr and Ms. Holmes and the other staff members that made this such a special day.

Send in the Clowns

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Brake For Shadows!

I learned another lesson today. Sometimes you don't need to run all over the city in search of a nice photograph for your blog. I was driving down Clairmont Avenue this morning and BAM....the morning sun was casting a gorgeous shadow on the now vacated *fire station. I made a quick turn and shot this out of the car window. I'm thinking I need a bumper sticker that says, " I BRAKE FOR SHADOWS! " If you didn't know better, I'll just bet you thought I'd flitted off to Greece or some other wonderful place.

* We are pleased that our dedicated firefighters from this station have some new digs in the Avondale area. This station, while very long on charm, was not as user friendly as they needed. They are still in the area, and we are grateful for everything they do for our community, especially bringing Santa to Triangle Park each December!!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Tuesday I combined my walk with a photography hunt through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It was sunny and crisp and just a grand day to enjoy the gardens in all their bare midwinter splendor. I've photographed the Japanese Gardens many times, but this day the Karesanui (dry landscape garden) appealed to me in the afternoon sun. I hope my friend Ann sees this post, and feels I've caught the spirit of this very special, and serene garden. I think the next time I come here, I'll leave the camera in the car and just take a deep breath, relax, and relish this peaceful place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Waiting to ........Shine!

Fired pottery awaiting the glaze

Oh what fun. Today I went back to Cahaba Clayworks in Leeds. This is where Tena Payne 's Earthborn pottery is created. It's always fun to roam around the studio and take pictures. I'm now a mini collector, but I want MORE! And did I mention that I'm seriously thinking about taking pottery classes there as well? Photos of me throwing pots promise to be something to behold!

After the glaze

Monday, January 25, 2010

Unsettling Skyline

After a full day of pouring rain, I spotted this eerie sunset. I drove up to the nearest hillside, threw the camera on top of the car and did my best. I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of more rambunctious storms to come.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Cantina - Part II

Last night I met friends for dinner at The Cantina in the Martin Biscuit Building at the Pepper Place. If it sounds familiar, we've been here before. Good friends, good food and drinks, and it's VERY photogenic!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday With Ted and Mike

Today was just a great day. As many of you know, I work part time for my friend and very, very talented pianist, Michael Dulin. Well today Mike asked me to tag along with him and photograph his good friend Ted Haddin. Mike has a new website and it includes a blog. Guess who does his blog each week? Well our visit with Ted is Mike's featured post for tomorrow, and I decided rather than reinvent that wheel, I'd just let Michael Dulin do the talking here today as well. That works for me!

"On Christmas morning, I received a delightful phone call from a dear friend of mine, Ted Haddin. As a Christmas greeting, he read a Christmas poem that he had written, then dropped the phone and played the beautiful Coventry Carol for me on his 250-year-old violin.

Ted's a true Rennaissance man, with an astonishing range of talents and interests. He is a published author and poet, a former professor at UAB, he taught not only English literature, but Russian, German and French literature as well. He is also a very fine musician and gifted raconteur.

So, bright and early Thursday morning, Virginia Jones ( my new photographer-in-residence, remember?) and I set out to pay Ted a visit at his home. He serenaded us with some old standards, a little Fritz Kreisler, and at Virginia's request, a lovely rendition of
La Vie en Rose. I even accompanied him in a performance of a Corelli sonata."

May I add a big thank you to Ted for opening his home to us today. I was the lucky girl to hear both he and Michael play together! He let me rearrange his furniture for a better photo op and was so dear to play the loveliest version of La Vie en Rose on his pricelss violin pour moi. Merci Ted!

And for my Birmingham readers, if you're very lucky you might be at Nabeel's in Homewood on a Friday night have the pleasure of hearing Ted play!

Mike accompanies Ted on the piano

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut!

As promised, Monday I hit the streets to make up for lost time. I got to Historic Morris Avenue and pulled over. The Peanut Depot was open for business! I usually photograph that area on the weekends and have posted an exterior photo *here. I don't know why I never thought about going on a weekday. The Peanut Depot has been right here, roasting peanuts the old fashioned way without oils or preservatives for over 100 years. Stepping inside is like going back in time. The old roasters are cranking away, and they still sell them in brown paper bags. You can get them roasted, salted, cajun and raw. And for you hard core southerners, they have boiled peanuts as well. Check their website and order some.

My thanks to the owner and friendly staff for allowing me to roam all over the place photographing . Oh, and I bought myself a paper bag full for the road. We'll come back here. This is a photographer's buffet as Bob Crowe likes to say.

Peanut Factoid: Approximately 1/2 of all peanuts grown in the USA are grown within a 100 mile radius of Dothan , Alabama, the Peanut Capital of the World!

* When I went back to find the URL for the previous post, I stopped to read the comments. That was shortly after I started my blog. How fun to read the comments and find that most of them are still with me, and I do miss those that aren't!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Portrait of a Photographer

Those of you that follow this blog have heard me mention my photography buddy Bill from time to time. He kindly subbed for me last June while I was flitting around Paris. Bill and his wife Sis and I have been dear friends for many years. A seasoned photographer, he has been at it for a lot longer than I, and has (very) patiently mentored me and let me drag him all over this city on many a photo excursion (wild goose chase?). We've stomped through the briars and poison ivy in search of deserted gravesites, worked like crazy trying to photograph my 5 lively grandchildren, braved snow and freezing temps, and flirted with getting mugged in some seedy neighborhoods together. Last fall we hiked around the lake at Aldridge Gardens where I snapped this photo. It's not often you can catch another photographer without a camera in front of their face. Thanks B for letting me follow in your footsteps and tag along with you in the big white truck!

Bill's website is: Pawley's Island Photography

Election Outcome:
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Well, last night the voters of Birmingham proved it one more time. Back to business as usual in City Hall. Some things never change.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Fresh Face in the Mayor's Office?

Birmingham City Hall

Today is a very important day for the city of Birmingham. Today the voters will have their say in the runoff election for a new mayor. Our previous mayor made many, many poor........ummm personal financial choices and will be unable to finish his term. A federal judge will decide where he will call home and for how long. We have two candidates. Patrick Cooper, a bright, energetic Birmingham attorney, new to the Birmingham political arena yet successfully made it to the previous runoff election and William Bell, a seasoned politician and councilman. I do look forward to seeing a fresh face in the mayor's office and have hope for some positive changes in the way my city is run. Heaven knows we need it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter - Second Avenue North

I 've been a little out of pocket this past week. I'm home and will be back on the job pronto!

For my Birmingham city resident readers, tomorrow is ELECTION DAY. Please make that extra effort to get to the polls. We need a fresh face in the Mayor's office !

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Looking Ahead

Je suis arrivé! A very long day yesterday but I caught all three flights as planned. Today, a photograph that reminds me of Paris. Shot at Architectural Heritage of course.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Waiting Paris

Today a nod to my blog friend Daryl, who from time to time features tethered pups out and about in New York City. She calls her series, "Waiting Impatiently". Today a Golden I spotted in the snow on Saturday. You don't see many Goldens in Paris. A good thing I think. Big dogs need a yard!

Friday, January 15, 2010

CDP Blog Day - Photo of the Year 2009

I thought this would be a difficult choice for me. After all, for a photographer having to choose your favorite photograph, is like choosing which of your children you love best! I started with the most recent posts and worked my way back. I gave an extra look at the ones with the most comments from you and then she was. I knew immediately that this was IT! I hope you'll enjoy seeing her again as much as I did.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

la Tour Eiffel

How could I pass up this unusual view of la tour?? Taken from a street running alongside while we waited on the bus in the COLD!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ah Paris!

Fresh snow at the Palais Royal - Saturday morning

Today a little treat for you. I know that it has been very cold in Birmingham, so I thought I'd show you what the weather has been like Paris as well. We awoke to snow on Saturday morning. A francophile photographer's dream! Brrrrr

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh the Details!

I was stopped in traffic on 21st Street North beside First Presbyterian Church recently, and I spotted this wonderful detail work that I'd never noticed before. Luckily I had my camera. I rolled down the window and here it is for you to admire!

I've posted other photos of this wonderful old downtown Birmingham church here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Across the Tracks

This building sits across the railroad tracks from Sloss Furnaces. I have no idea what it was used for in the past. It looks abandoned, yet I thought the afternoon sun really showed it off!

If any of my Birmingham readers can share some information, please leave a comment!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Today, I'm hoping to be on my way to Paris. The weatherman has predicted snow again, AGAIN in Birmingham!! Well I'm sorry I'll miss that, but I've posted so many photos from last December's morning of snow that maybe it's best I'm not there to take more! I fear I've pushed the limits, but that said, I'm sharing one more, just ONE more from that glorious morning. La neige est trés belle!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sundown on Second Avenue

A week ago my friend Bill and I did a late afternoon shoot in downtown Birmingham. I caught this one with high hopes that the setting sun would come out just the way I saw it. Not so much. I'll go back and try again. Meanwhile, Bill caught the photograper grappling with the sunset!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The FIrehouse Shelter

Today, my friend Doug Stocks shares a photograph of Birmingham's Firehouse Shelter.  Started in 1983, this outreach program housed just 12 homeless men. Today, 175 men have a safe, warm place to sleep each night. To learn more about one of Birmingham's most successful programs, click here.

Blog Friends - Making Plans

Forgive me for yet another personal post today. As I have stated many times, through this blog I've met met so many wonderful friends, here and across the globe. Today another example. Through another reader, Sara and I connected. . Last fall, we met face to face at the Day of the Dead Festival. We recognized each other immediately ( from Facebook), and she told me she and her husband read my blogs often. We chatted a bit, and she told me she and her family were going to Paris soon. Imagine my delight when she emailed me last week and asked if we could meet and talk about their upcoming trip to Paris.... next week! Small world, we'll be there at the same time! Today we met at Forest Perk on Clairmont. I gave her my condensed version of how to survive in Paris with limited français, the places I visit over and over, and most of all, why Paris j'adore! Well it wasn't all that condensed.

Sara et famille... bon voyage!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tutu Cute II - Tiny Toes

I'm sorry but some things are just too good to have only one helping! I was going through my archives the other day and ran across the photo shoot at the Children's Dance Foundation in Homewood. I did a post in November here, but look what else I found. Point those toes!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In Case of Fire

The old Steiner Bank on 1st Avenue North is a Birmingham landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. I like the fire escape zig zagging down the side of the building. The Steiner brothers, Burghard and Sigfried opened the bank right here in 1890. I love the color and design of this building that is still standing proudly today.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Little Reminder

My dear friend Phoebe brought me this card from a recent trip to Chicago. It's pinned to the bulletin board above my computer. I laughed when I got it because it's probably true, although I'm not so sure I'm all that interesting in real life either! One thing I do know, my life is more interesting BECAUSE of my blog! As we all do when a new year unfolds , I looked back to the beginning of my blog in June, 2008, and how clueless I really was. I thought posting a photo a day would be a piece of cake. A year and a half later, I can tell you for certain that a lot of the time it is a piece of cake, but some days it's like "pulling teeth" as my Momma use to say. That said, blogging has become one of the most rewarding challenges I've ever tackled. Oh my, the wonderful friends I' ve made flung far and wide across the globe. Some I've had the great pleasure of meeting in person. You have all broadened my horizons a thousand fold. From my little office, I take a marvelous trip around the world each and every day. Not only that, so many of you stop by and pay me a visit ( and I don't even have to get out of my PJ's if I don't want to!). Our fearless leader Eric is celebrating the 5th anniversary of his Paris Daily Photo soon. He's the one that got me hooked, and I was lucky enough to tell him in person last July, what a great ride it's been for me! Eric, you really started something!

And Happy Birthday wishes to our friend Petrea, who's Pasadena Daily Photo is celebrating it's 2nd Birthday!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

January Theme Day - CHANGE

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

What could be more important than helping a child become a better reader? Today some photos of STAIR ( Start The Adventure In Reading) reading programs around our city.

Today City Daily Photobloggers around our world are posting their interpretation of the theme CHANGE.