The Evergreen Cemetery on Broadway Street, Galveston
Few first-time visitors to Galveston realize the cemetery they pass on their way to the beach is a collection of seven cemeteries. Built over the span of nearly two centuries, four are city-owned, and three are private; known collectively as the Broadway Cemeteries, they’re rich in history, and a magnet for photographers and artists during the spring wildflower bloom.
Only some of the cemeteries allow flowers to flourish, but where they do, Coreopsis tinctoria runs rampant, mixing primarily with firewheel (Gaillardia pulchella) and lazy daisy (Aphanostephus skirrhobasis).
Given the cemeteries’ location, it can be hard to photograph the flowers without including the surrounding homes, tire shops, fast food restaurants, and skateboarding teenagers, but every year I enjoy giving it a try.
One of my favorite images from this spring made use of elevation differences between the sidewalks and the burial plots to allow framing the Coreopsis against the sky.
On a cloudy, gray day, the contrast between the flowers and some of the older graves pleased me.
Visible graves at some of the cemeteries represent only the most recent layer of burials. Stones occasionally were lost during three grade raisings, so plots were resold and new graves placed above the old. Occasionally, only the top of a gravestone is visible, while the rest of the structure remains buried.
Not a fire hydrant, but a finial belonging to a buried marker
Unfortunately, vandalism isn’t unknown. In November of last year, many historic stones were broken and otherwise damaged. The perpetrator was caught, and some markers have been repaired, but many history lovers still grieve the losses. Here, a stone knocked from its base leans against a tree.
In some cases, nature seems to be consoling the broken markers.
While my favorite angels weren’t significantly damaged, they now stand closer to one another.
Unwilling to close the cemeteries to the public, the city did install new fencing and lighting. There are rumors that concerned citizens occasionally patrol the property as unofficial guards.
A different and more pleasant kind of history abounds in the cemeteries. Here, the Willis family mausoleum in the Episcopal cemetery remains stately and attractive. Peter James Willis, born in Maryland in 1815, moved to Texas and established a dry goods store at Washington-on-the-Brazos; eventually, P. J. Willis and Brother became one of the largest mercantile establishments west of the Mississippi.
A daughter, Magnolia, married George Sealy, one of her father’s business associates, on May 12, 1875; Galveston’s John Sealy Hospital is perhaps the best-known reminder of the family’s influence.
Their luxurious home, Open Gates, became a center of Galveston business and social life. Magnolia engaged the New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White to build the mansion, thought to be the only building in the South designed by Stanford White, and the home’s elaborate carriage house was designed by preeminent Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton.
As you’d expect, the mausoleum is equally tasteful. The lock on the doors isn’t to keep members of the Willis family from leaving, but to prevent passers-by from spending the night there.
Galveston’s ethnic heritage is rich and complex. Italians, Germans, English, Swedish, and Dutch share space in the cemeteries. Here, a reminder of the Celtic tradition stands tall.
As for the pace of life in a cemetery, it might best be represented by the snails I discovered on several graves. I’d not noticed them in the past, but when I read that snails will climb rocks to obtain minerals needed for shell-building, their presence on stone markers made perfect sense.
Beyond that, it occured to me: even when life moves slowly, it’s still life.
82 thoughts on “Off Broadway”
So much to like about this post, but top of the list is that wonderful Raven!
You even got his eye sharp, bravo!
I’d been trying for a photo of a starling that was carrying strips of palm for its nest when this fellow did a fly-by. I was perfectly happy to turn my lens on him, instead.
That first picture is perfect – image and mood.
A post most perfect to give perspective.
Galveston always seems such a contrast to itself. Elegant mansions and little wooden houses needing care.The wild frolicking on the beach and the cemeteries. I like the picture and words about nature consoling. Once even the worst sort wouldn’t bother churches or graves, but now – it’s sad statement about society.
Humorous, astute observation about snails and life there.
That’s the perfect way to describe it: a city that’s in contrast with itself. Get off Broadway into the neighborhoods — the East End, the sections between Broadway and the Seawall — and it’s easy to begin wondering exactly where you are. The last time I went to the Sunflower Cafe for brunch, we were talking about the various restorations going on around UTMB: glorious Victorian homes still “in process” tucked next to shotgun shacks. Thus it ever has been, and thus it probably ever will be: at least, for the BOIs.
As for vandalism, I read in a book about Texas’s cemeteries generally that there was a period of time when people weren’t breaking, but taking. It seems that the fanciest statuary from cemeteries was en vogue for yard art.
Coming from New York, where Broadway is just Broadway (broad way = wide road), I’m always amused when I come across other places that feel the need to add an extra word. Broadway Street is found not only in Galveston but also in Austin, San Marcos, and San Antonio. There’s a Broadway Avenue in Port Bolivar, Dallas, and Fort Worth. Garland, Dallas, and Portland (TX) claim a Broadway Boulevard.
Even without wildflower displays like the ones in Galveston, cemeteries are great places to wander, as your post confirms.
The thought of a Broadway Avenue in Port Bolivar makes me laugh. I wonder if some of these ‘broad ways’ were given their names to either pay tribute to New York’s Broadway, or evoke a bit of its glamour on a smaller scale.
Wonderful as the Broadway cemeteries are, the Catholic cemetery is interesting, too. Wildflowers aren’t allowed free reign there, but there are some interesting structures, like the Italian Vault. Many of the families who controlled Galveston during its freewheeling prohibition days are there, and most Galvestonians recognize the names of their descendants.
Beautiful wildflower images, as always, Linda. Nice job avoiding the power lines and commercial clutter that accompanies these cemeteries in Galveston. I was not aware of the previous over-fill of the older graves to accommodate more “residents” over the years. I remember reading Bill Bryson’s description of rural country church cemeteries in England that had tens of thousands of burials, so stacked over the centuries that the land surrounding the old churches had risen to the height of the church windows. I’m sure that in Galveston this aids in their not being washed away during hurricanes. I, too, love the raven.
It took a while for the flowers to come into their own this year. The advantage of being so close is that I could keep checking, and catch them at their height.
Apparently the grade raisings and even more recent attempts to uncover various stones made the cemeteries look like archaeological digs. I read there are an estimated 12,000 visible grave markers, and those may be only a quarter of the actual burials. I’m not certain, but I suspect the first grade raising probably took place after the storm of 1900, when they raised the entire city and built the seawall.
I was trying to photograph a different bird when the grackle showed up — and I’m glad he did. Given the look in his eye, I’m not sure I’d want to cross him.
I just mentioned this to a reader from Bandera, and thought you’d enjoy seeing it.
An excellent tour. The photographs are all good; the crow is wonderful; and the final pun delightful
I thought that little pun would be just for my amusement, but you caught it! I’m not surprised, actually. It was a fun post to put together, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Looks like that would be a great cemetery to explore! One of my favorite things…
With your love of geneaology, there would be a lot for you to enjoy. The number of veterans of the War of 1812 buried there is remarkable, and it’s great fun to see the number of ‘immigrants’ who arrived in Galveston from Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Many heros of the Texas War of Independence are buried there as well, there are some poignant Civil War stories. I’ll write about one of those eventually.
A wonderful, peaceful wander through an old cemetery. And that crow looks like he’s (or she’s?) taking guard duty very seriously! Great photos and commentary.
Thanks, Charles. That bird was moving, believe me! As the old saying has it, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and I was lucky as could be with that shot.
As for memorials, I found a remarkable one out on the Twisted Sisters a couple of years ago: as Texan a marker as you could want.
That is a unique memorial. I drive the Twisted Sisters every now and then for the scenic relaxation, but I do it in the steel cage of my car rather than a motorcycle. My cycle went down in Houston rush hour traffic many years ago, and that cured me.
The cemeteries I visit don’t allow wildflowers to grow. Thanks for sharing the wildflowers from your visits as well as the history and your perspective.
Much of the year, all of these cemeteries look the same, but once the wildflowers begin to bloom, some allow them while others don’t, and the effect is a little amusing. The flower-filled cemeteries look so bright and festive, and the ones with only neatly trimmed grass look — well, they look neat and trimmed. I prefer the flowers.
So sad to hear about the desecration of the cemetery. I did not spend a lot of time there in my four years living in Galveston, but our Statistics class did do some lab work there, collecting dates to run some statistics on them!
Being that I frequented going down 61st much more often (lived and worked over that direction), I often looked at the cemeteries on that street far more often.
The Calvary Catholic Cemetery on 65th and whatever is especially nice. I haven’t spent much time there — only a couple of visits — but it would be worth going back just to photograph the marvelous crypts.
I gather it’s been some time since there was significant vandalism at Broadway, although it has happened in the past. I did learn that there’s a masonry grade epoxy that can be used to put gravestones back together: who knew? Even better, there was an old and quite large Galveston cemetery called Magnolia Grove. Today, it’s gone — the grounds of the old cemetery lie beneath the runways of Scholes Airport and the back nine fairways of the Moody Gardens Golf Course.
Most amazing is that the cemetery lets the flowers grow.
At least some of them do. The city cemeteries allow it, and the Episcopal, but the others keep well-trimmed grass and call it good. I do think that flowerful cemeteries are becoming more common. Quite apart from any benefits for the natural world, towns are figuring out that places like Rockport and Galveston attract tourists because of those blooms, and that’s all to the good.
I am not a big fan of grave markers and such, especially huge, massively out of proportion monuments to wealth, power or privilege, but it seems that vandalism in a cemetery is an act of cruel and vicious hatred more heinous than most. It especially grieves me when sick people daub slogans they know are offensive to the targetted group, such as swastikas on Jewish gravestones, it offends me more than if I was mugged myself. It really is a despicable act.
As a birder, there are several cemeteries that are favourite locations for me. They are quiet, well treed and harbour an incredible diversity. Fortunately, the ones I visit have not been subjected to vandalism, but it amuses me to see that segregation and prejudice continue in death. There are Catholic sections, protestant sections, areas for chinese, and so on. Christians seem to leave flowers and asians food and incense, I doubt whether the occupants of the graves will ever smell the flowers or eat the cookies, but tradition being what it is, I expect these practices will continue. In the meantime the birds are there to welcome me and the trees enable me to perfect my tree identification skills. Perhaps they are the only monuments we really need.
I’m quite fond of cemeteries, for a number of reasons. The beauty of wildflowers may be seasonal, but the history is there to be read throughout the year. And while it may be easy to make assumptions about large monuments and the wealth they represent, there’s often more to the story.
Magnolia Willis Sealy not only helped to found Galveston’s Women’s Health Protective Association, after the Galveston hurricane of 1900 she opened that magnificent home she’d designed in order to shelter as many as four hundred victims of the storm. After her death and the passage of some time, the home was donated to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for use as a conference center.
As for the tendency of people to cluster in Catholic, Mexican, Vietnamese, or Hebrew cemeteries, I can’t help remembering a story from my own life. My parents were in a bridge club — four couples — that endured for decades. One night, after a bit of imbibing, they got the idea to be buried together, so they could keep playing bridge for all eternity. And, they did it. They bought four double plots next to each other in the town cemetery; as my mother, the last of the group to die, was coming to the end of her life, she grinned and said, “At least there will be two full tables now. Just remember to bring us some snacks.”
Thank you for including that Celtic cross, Linda — ’tis a beauty! And the raven patrolling the cemetery is wonderful. I, too, love the contrast of the orange-y flowers and the graves in your early photos. But, oh, my, those snails creeping up that marker give me the willies!! I find cemeteries wonderfully interesting and relaxing — why some people take to vandalizing them remains a maddening mystery.
Would it help if I told you there are baby snails on that stone, too? Or that even larger groups of babies were scattered here and there? After all, everyone likes babies — right? The most amusing thing about those snails is how far they traveled in a week’s time. One Sunday they were “here,” and the next Sunday they were “there” — about fifty feet away. I wish one could have told me why they decided to move, or how long it took them. They must have been determined!
I thought of you when I saw that cross; it really did stand out. I’m certainly glad it wasn’t damaged. Like you, I just can’t conceive of any reason to engage in such senseless destruction.
I love these photos, Linda. You (and nature) have outdone yourselves!
I was disappointed that I couldn’t visit other cemeteries with a greater mix of flowers this year, but as it turned out, the Broadway cemeteries’ single species was just as delightful. To paraphrase the old song, “If you can’t be with the flowers you love, then love the ones you’re with.”
Cute paraphrase and so true!
Thanks for this informative post, Linda, and for the beautiful pictures.
Now, if only I had discovered a fawn or two left among the flowers and stones. That would have made it perfect!
I love this post, Linda. I’m very fond of cemeteries. And these coreopsis growing everywhere is so beautiful, so cheerful. I agree with you about the blooms against the sky — that’s a gorgeous shot. And the angels. I love the angel statuary. So very beautiful.
With your family history project, you’ve certainly spent a fair amount of time in cemeteries, but even on your travels abroad your interest always shows in your photos. There are a couple of fascinating stories among the stones here: ones that I’ll tell eventually. Perhaps my favorite involves a man whose name became the name of a town in Minnesota where my family often visited: always, the coincidences.
The best thing about this spot is that, like your ditch, it’s easy to visit. One day, I found an artist with his easel set up, capturing the coreopsis in a different way.
Those orange flowers in the top photographs recalled my childhood. My mom planted what she called “California poppies” (Coreopsis tinctoria) in the back yard of the house her stepfather, uncle and my dad built. I had just turned six when we moved in during the summer and I have a very strong association between that flower and that house because of it.
They certainly have the color of California poppies; both are eminently cheerful, and can glow in the sunlight as though lighted from within. Memories of childhood flowers certainly linger. For me, bridal wreath, lilacs, and something called flowering almond are those memories, and thinking of them always brings to mind the house they surrounded. Still, I can’t think of anything nicer than a backyard filled with these.
This was a really great post and stunning set of photos. Thanks for the history, your text augmented the photos perfectly. I like your conclusion about life and the snails that represent the slower aspect, thereof.
Your grackle shot was perfect: caught his beauty and steely, determined eyes. Probably saw someone drop their lunch!
This is such an interesting — and beautiful — cemetery, it was hard to find the thread connecting everything. By the time I got done editing out text and photos, I had the beginnings of two more posts!
That grackle’s a hoot. I have no idea what he was up to, but when he swooped into sight, my attempts to capture an image of a nest-building starling had left me with a fast enough shutter speed to manage a photo of him. At first, I was unhappy with the blur in the wings; then, I realized they helped to focus attention on that steely eye!
I can certainly understand the reason for locks on the doors. I love the fact that flowers are allowed to grow around the markers and between graves – it somehow seems quite apropos.
It certainly does seem right to allow a little life to bloom in such a place. It amuses me that people will bring flowers into churches to celebrate Easter, but try their best to keep them out of cemeteries. Neatness and uniformity have their place, but “everywhere” isn’t that place.
Such amazing photos – I do love that one of the bird too, what an expression you captured on his face. I’m so sad to hear of the vandalism though!
Serendipitous images often are the best, and that photo of the grackle certainly qualifies. As the Stones put it, rather memorably, we can’t always get what we want, but sometimes we do get what we need.
Vandalism is an odd phenomenon. There’s unthinking vandalism, like our grade school pranks run amok, and there’s hateful vandalism, like anti-Black or anti-Jewish graffiti. And then there’s cemetery stone tipped and breaking, which I’ve never been able to understand. The weathering away of stones is one thing, but wanton destruction is just sad.
A great post, Linda. Cemeteries are always interesting and some say you can tell a caring society by the way they look after their dead.
In some countries people go to the dearly departed places and at the same time make a picnic out of it. Blankets, thermos and food are spread and for many it becomes a fun day.
The kind of tradition you describe is common here, especially on All Souls and All Saints Day, but not only then. Culture makes a difference — it seems to me that it’s more common among Hispanics — but it’s an old tradition. A history of Houston’s Glenwood Cemetery says that, “On November 2, 1886, four thousand people traveled to Glenwood for a picnic to celebrate the day, with fifteen extra street cars added to the route for the occasion.”
One of the most interesting smaller cemeteries I’ve found includes the graves of Hispanics, Vietnamese, early Texas ranchers, and an assortment of others. It’s always great fun to see the variety of decorations and offerings, and to see that some of the historic conflicts among those groups have been resolved — at least to the point that quite different peoples can honor their dead together.
Fascinating to see the snails on the headstone. I never would have thought of it, but it makes sense.
I certainly never had thought about it, Vicki. I’ve always wondered why I don’t see as many snails as others do, but in this case, it was snails galore. If you enlarge that photo, you can see that there are baby snails in those two little clusters tucked away on the stone. I’m hoping I have some photos that show the various life stages more clearly.
Excellent album & story. I believe that shot of the raven swooping past the graves, with a pretty remorseless gleam in it’s eyes, is going to stick with me a while! Wow, if that bird is delivering a message to someone about the afterworld, maybe a warning, I’d hope it wasn’t for me, paging Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.
I’ve visited some ancient cemeteries & tombs, even a few ossuaries, and understand that even there, it’s really a renters’ market, and land gets reused, but sorry, that finial poking out of the ground seems wrong, kind of disrespectful. Pour a new foundation, and reset the monument at the new ground level.
The Celtic monument, on the other hand, is beautiful, the people who do such work, are usually called cemetery stone carvers, but they’re sculptors, aren’t they. And taking a picture on a gray cloudy day, I think sets it off in a great way.
And that shot with the snails is pretty neat, too, with their spiral stripes, they really add an almost festive look. I wish more cemeteries would be like this, fields of wildflowers, it’s just great.
Almost all of my favorite bird photos have been ‘accidents.’ In this case, I was trying (without success) to capture a starling that was gathering dried palm fronds for nest building. Then, this fellow showed up, and stole the show with his photo-bombing mission. That is a Poe-like gleam in his eye, for sure.
Resetting monuments isn’t always so easy. Some get left “as is” just because of their size, and the impossibility of raising the whole thing. While the finial suggests a typical individual stone, those who’ve studied the place probably know what’s underneath. If it’s something like this, it’s probably better to let sleeping stones lie.
From the sharpness of the detail, I think the Celtic cross is relatively new: decades old rather than a century or more, anyway. There still are those carvers around, doing some creative work. One of my favorites has been dubbed “Jesus in cowboy boots,” although it may be an angel rather than Jesus. You can see the monument here. Willet Babcock was a furniture and casket maker by trade, and he came to Texas from — Ithaca, New York!
Wow, that must’ve been quite a store, to have a 1200 seat theater in it! Texas is certainly stuffed with interesting stories, Linda! That’s a pretty unique monument, too, and it’s always a
special kick to run across some whimsy and humor in a cemetery.
I also am always glad to hear stories of transplanted Yankees, and southerners moving to the north, after the Civil War. Apparently a lot of folks were able to let bygones be bygones. Over in Albion (west of Rochester) when they go around putting flags on the vets graves, they include Andrew Hall, a Confederate from S. C., who tended the Erie Canal lift bridges. And in Wheatland (across the river from where my dad grew up) there’s a stone for a minister, who started an African-American Baptist church, for former slaves that migrated north, but had been Stonewall Jackson’s “body servant” during the war, and had that carved on his stone.
And “Mark Twain” in Elmira, of course, Clemens was briefly a soldier, I’ve seen his study in the campus of the college there, but haven’t been to the cemetery.
Old cemeteries hold a fascination and the one in your post is no different in terms of interesting history and beautiful wildflowers. The flowers in your post are simply gorgeous.
The flowers certainly were worth waiting for. While I’ve seen them even more lush than these, it turned out to be a fine year for them. It’s amusing to see the flowers creeping out of the cemetery and down the surrounding streets. Every year the bloom seems to travel a little farther as their seeds get scattered.
Oh wow, brilliant! I love the third photo especially. What a challenge. I suppose that there is always photoshop if all else fails.
While I still haven’t managed to master Photoshop and etc, I did use my editing program to desaturate the tombs and sky a bit, to increase the contrast between them and the flowers. The flowers, on the other hand, are just as they appeared to my eye. How they can be so bright even on a cloudy day always fascinates me.
Lovely post, Linda. I like old cemeteries with their magnificent sculptures. Fabulous photos, too, with these wonderful colourful flowers giving everything a bouyant lift. Love that final shot.
I was amazed to find those tombstones covered with snails, and somewhat amused to find, a week later, that they’d traveled en masse to other stones, leaving only one snail on this marker. There surely is an explanation for why it hadn’t moved on with the group; I wish I knew what it was.
I really enjoyed this post and loved seeing the snails. It’s very sad to hear that vandals sometimes try to spoil this place, but I am sure its spirit will remain untouched. You have inspired me to share my own pictures from a visit at a similar time of the year. I have linked to your post to acknowledge it as my prompt and in the hope that some readers might make their way over here as you know this place much better than I do – I hope that’s OK.
I’m so pleased that you included a link to this post in yours, but I’m even more delighted to know that you’ve visited this wonderful place, yourself. Of course it’s a wonderful sight when the flowers are blooming, but at every time of year it’s an interesting visit. The stones are filled with history, and there are bits of quirkness to be found.
I need to look at your post more closely, but I smiled when I saw one of your photos. Clearly, a certain marker with its accompanying angel appealed to us both!
I just loved this post as I love wandering around old cemeteries, I must do a post on the one in our village, some wonderful gravestones there. The pictures are all stunning, I loved the flowers against the sky, the angels and the raven. How interesting to hear how snails gravitate to the stones! Wonderful, all of it.xxx
Apart from the flowers, I especially enjoy seeing the birth places of so many people who are buried there. You might be surprised to see how many were born in England. I remember Liverpool and Bristol, for example. People always have traveled, and sometimes they stop traveling far from where they began. In the case of the snails, the distances traveled are shorter — but perhaps only from a human perspective!
Wow. Came over from Susurrus and was blown away. I like old cemeteries, and these wildflowers really are perfect for them. Some stunning shots, too. Do you write two blogs? More?
I started this blog about three years ago, give or take, just to have a place to put some of my photos. I wanted to keep writing, and didn’t want to lose that focus at The Task at Hand, so this seemed a good solution. I try to publish here every other day; I can’t keep up with more. No woman can serve two blogs, and all that!
I’m hoping to do more than one when I retire, which will be sometime this year, with luck.
We have plans to be cremated and our ashes spread, but a cemetery like this would certainly be an attractive alternative. Who wouldn’t want to sleep below such profuse flowers? OTOH, having another span of graves built over yours might be a deterrent. Ashes it is.
The grackle shot is perfect as an example of a neighborhood patrol with that vigilant gaze. I like the snails maintaining a bit of cleanliness on the marker too.
Lovely as the flowers are, part of their charm’s a result of being an occasional phenomenon. From April to July, all’s well — and then the mowers show up. They are careful to wait until the flowers have gone to seed, though. From tales I’ve heard, there are some Galveston residents who did a fine job of educating city officials about that little issue.
The grackle’s a good illustration of the difference text and context can make. I liked the photo and was going to publish it as a stand-alone, but didn’t. Eventually, it found a home here, and I think ended up being more memorable as part of the ‘story.’
Here in MA the state allows the medians to flower before mowing as well. Towns all have their own agendas. I haven’t been to our more lovely cemetary in a few years, but folks go there for the flowers and warbler watching so I think it is kept attractive although more woodsy than yours.
For some reason I’m not getting notices of your new posts even I though have signed up to do so. I hate it when that happens, which it does from time to time with WordPress. I came to this post via Susan Rushton. Anyway…magnificent post with striking pictures. I’ve reclicked—or whatever—to get notices of new posts. We shall see.
I just checked, and your new ‘follow’ took — you’re right there on the list. Thanks for resubscribing! The same thing has happened to me, and I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. When I feel like someone’s stopped posting, it’s usually one of the standard WP glitches.
I’m glad you like the post. It’s a tradition for many of us in the area to visit the cemeteries in spring. Even on an ‘off’ year, the flowers always are delightful, and there’s always a new bit of history to discover.
Phew! Glad my “follow” took. That cemetery is a wonder. I would be visiting, too, if I lived in your area. On another subject…still waiting for the memory card to come in. We expect to come on Friday.
I’m going to go down for another look tomorrow or Tuesday after work, depending on the weather. Given the crowds on weekends (at the beaches and fishing spots, not the cemetery!) I usually go after work, and go down to the west end of the Island, too. The spots I like to visit aren’t particularly crowded, but the traffic to and from Houston isn’t relaxing, and I avoid it when I can.
Great post Linda. All the images taken from a low angle work so well. The snails are great, and grackle tops it up so well!
When they say flexibility is needed for photography, they’re not just talking about attitude! I was delighted by the way those low angle photos came out, especially the first. That grackle really did steal the show, though. I laugh every time I look at him.
I love the image of the two angels surrounded by a sea of coreopsis. Very different to anything I’ve seen in the UK.
When I photographed those angels last year, they were so widely separated I had to take their photos individually. I suspect one had been tipped over by the vandals, but not broken, and when they uprighted it, the pair ended up being closer together. They do look angelic in their field, don’t they?
A sign of a good post: you leave it, buried in thought.
That’s certainly better than being buried in the third layer down!
Just gorgeous – I love the orange of the Coreopsis. Plus it’s a much better tribute to the deceased than a plain lawn.
You’re right about that. It’s too bad they’re seasonal, but on the other hand, everyone looks forward to seeing the bloom — rather like a gardener anticipating the appearance of his flowers!
May those who are asleep amidst those gorgeous blooms rest in Peace! I love everything about this post…your perfect way of writing, your subtle humour, the photographs, the descriptions on each image! So hard to choose a favourite image!
…”The lock on the doors isn’t to keep members of the Willis family from leaving, but to prevent passers-by from spending the night there.”
I love that!
Best wishes Linda!
I had a hard time selecting images, too. I’m always tempted to add too many photos; I’m glad you like the ones I chose! As for that subtle humor — we need all we can muster, these days. There are hard issues to be confronted, and complications to life, but humor’s a good way to keep living!
It’s good to see you, rethy. I hope all is well in your world!
Cemeteries do make very historic shoots and wonderful contrast between flowers and grasses, the living, and the stony grey tombstones, the inanimate, ancient and dead. I’ve shot cemeteries from time to time but have neglected to post any of the images. Not sure why. I should do that, but none of mine have such lovely contrast with the flowers as yours do. That is a marvel.
Cemeteries are also great places to go when you are new to town and want the scoop on all the famous people that streets and libraries and museums were named after. Once upon a Halloween, my husband and I joined a historic tour of Miami’s oldest cemetery led by a historian. Learned some surprising things about the time when Miami had shoot outs in the early streets much like the wild wild west and a bit of gossipy info on Miami’s most revered founders buried there…back in the day.
It’s true — in winter, when the stones are the prime attraction, there’s still a lot to provide interest. Even less well-known people can provide a story. In one of these Broadway cemeteries, I once found a stone with the names of five or so people. That’s not so unusual, but I’ll gone on down the row when I realized there was something odd about the dates. I went back to look, and four of them had the same date of death — and they all were children. It turns out that the stone memorialized several children of one family — and the mother who killed them! It’s quite a story. I need to pull out some of those stories and do something with them.
Given our current circumstances, it’s interesting to read about the various pandemics that swept early Galvston, especially smallpox and yellow fever. In fact, one of these cemeteries used to be known as the yellow fever yard. Grim, but instructive.