the quick and the dead . . .

New Years Eve, the dead year gone, the new one not yet begun. So I thought the following photos might be apt.

Boxing Day, clutching the camera I’ve long promised myself, I toddled off to the local churchyard to discover exactly what it could do, and where its controls (though I confess I kept it mostly on Auto.

Said churchyard is a designated nature reserve, and I had the idea of contrasting the hard stone and bare wood with the softness of evergreen growth. The quick and the dead. I’ll leave you to judge how well it has worked.

Prisms of the dead

Prisms of the dead?

Guardian angel

Some soul’s guardian angel? But I write of ‘fallen angels’, so I could hardly not snap this.

Snow White's sepulchre

Snow White’s sepulchre? Then this must be the 10th Kingdom.

Mardi Gras

I don’t know why but this arrangement has a feel of New Orleans. Perhaps there’s a vampire lurking?

Stones in array

I particularly liked the array of greens in this shot

Tombs beneath tree

An interesting contrast of stones used in these tombs: yellowy-green, bluey-grey

White cross

This (modern . . . okay, 1908) white stone cross stands bold against the older stones and crosses

Rule of Three

As with the Trinity: the ‘Rule of Three’

All in a row

Lots of little graves all in a row . . .

The quick

And finally the quick. This little beastie saw me with a camera and instantly posed. Perhaps he thought I then would feed him. Not so, though I did thank him.


NOTE:
I’ve saved these photos in medium quality to keep their bytes low for WP. Better quality on Google Plus (Crispina Kemp); although even there I have reduced them in size to conform to the 2,400 pixels free limit.

SECOND  NOTE:
Yes, I know: I desperately need various filters. They are on order.

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About crimsonprose

After years as a multi-colour octopus in entertainment, now chilling and writing
This entry was posted in On The Door, Photos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to the quick and the dead . . .

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    Happy New Year!

    A few thoughts:
    photo #1: happy idea of stone prisms; but what sort of rays do they refract?
    photo #4: wrought iron posts and chains were often used to mark off family plots in the 19th century; sadly, as they suffer from rust and casual damage, they are being taken down with nothing to replace them.
    photo #6: often in U.S. cemeteries, you can figure out quite a bit about the era of the grave or the social class of its occupant by the material of the stone. In New England, slate tends to predominate until the early 1800s, when you start seeing granite and marble show up.
    photo #8: Celtic crosses don’t appear in U.S. cemeteries until very late in the 19th century, and the vogue in large part dies out by 1930.

    • crimsonprose says:

      Perhaps these stone ‘prisms’ separate spirit from body? Else it is a dark ‘light’ (yea, contradictory, I know). And there is no doubt the iron railings were used here to define a family plot. The Carpenters. But it still makes me think of New Orleans (reading too many Anne Rice books!) And, true, the stone used in the monuments can reflect social class. But they also reflect the current fashions. You can tell the newest graves: the stone used doesn’t connect at all with local traditions. And it’s local tradition to use the Celtic cross. An early Celtic saint (St Fursey) set up a monastery at Burgh Castle (then sodded off to France cos he’d heard there was about to be an invasion of warriors with accompanying fighting!)
      But none of your comments answer my question of whether I had captured the essence of the collusion of the Old & New Years

      • Brian Bixby says:

        Well, more like life amidst death, which can serve as stand-ins for the old and new year (or vice versa). So, yes.

      • crimsonprose says:

        And that was my intent. But more than that, I was reminded of the writings of Mike Pearson-Parker (archaeologist at Durrington Walls, Riverside Project), that the stones of Stonehenge represent the ancestors, ie the dead, while the wood at Woodhenge (outside of Durrington Walls) represent the living. Knowing this is a keen interest of mine, you can perhaps appreciate how this proved a strong resonance with me.

      • Brian Bixby says:

        Understood. And these days we do a much weaker version of this by putting down flowers in front of dead stone cold graves.

      • crimsonprose says:

        Just as flower pollen is found in rich abundance in Neanderthal burials. Nothing is new when it comes to our treatment of the dead. And so my Portuguese neighbour hangs a flower-dotted wreathe on her door for Christmas and New Year. And I find myself hunting for red-berried holly to deck my ‘halls’.
        And so the New Year begins. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’m taking the camera for a walk along Breydon. Maybe I’ll capture a picture of that wyrm that”s reputedly terrorizing the locality! 🙂

      • Brian Bixby says:

        I hope the new camera is everything you hoped for (within budget, that is).

      • crimsonprose says:

        So far. Though I do need the filters . . . and have now got. It was with new camera that I ventured into churchyard. But between the mistiness and the myriad reflections off stone and glossy everygreens, it didn’t turn out as good as I’d hoped. Still, I did manage a pretty good shot of a squirrel. Even if said squirrel did ‘pose’ for me. He was probably hoping to be fed.

      • Brian Bixby says:

        It’s a challenge and a learning process. So go to it and enjoy!

      • crimsonprose says:

        Very steep learning curve. And, really, the wrong time of year for it. But . . . . Keep watching this space. (I need a challenge: it adds spice to my otherwise rather dull life.)

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