Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

The view across the lake in Woodlawn

The view across the lake in Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit

I’ve been away from this blog for too long.  I took November off to do Nanowrimo, which was successful for me this year, although blasting through a 50,000-word novel in 30 days didn’t leave me much brain power for anything else.  My brain was too full of space ships and time travel to think coherently about cemeteries and the past.  It’s time to get back up on the horse, as they say.

The photo prompt for this week is Reflections.  Of course, I have a morbid spin to put on that subject…

Hollywood Forever is quintessentially Southern California.

Hollywood Forever is quintessentially Southern California.

I love the man-made bodies of water in the old garden cemeteries, even as I recognize that they’re difficult to maintain.  This pond in Detroit, pictured above, was an alarming shade of green.  Lakes draw wildlife from snapping turtles to Canadian geese that might not welcome visitors.  Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn filled in one of their lakes fairly early in their history so they could build a chapel atop it.

In a cemetery in Northern California this summer, I saw warnings posted that the maintenance crew would dump out any flower arrangements with standing water in order to prevent mosquitos from breeding and spreading West Nile Virus.  I’m not sure how Hollywood Forever keeps their ponds so lovely and free of dangerous critters.

Mary Baker Eddy001One of my favorite cemetery vistas is looking across the pond in Mount Auburn at Mary Baker Eddy’s monument.  There’s something so peaceful about the lovely Grecian Revival temple reflecting in the unruffled water.  For me, there’s a sense of the afterworld in the vista, tranquil and welcoming beyond the turmoil of this world.

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. My science fiction trilogy, The Dangerous Type, will be published by Night Shade in 2015. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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2 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

  1. coastalcrone says:

    I was wondering if I had missed your posts! I am impressed with 50,000 words. The photos are beautiful – I don’t think I recall ever seeing a cemetery with water.

    Like

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      Thank you! Most of the garden cemeteries in Michigan have water, but that may be as much a feature of climate as anything else. Ponds and rivers: those are things I really missed when I moved to San Francisco. We have the ocean, but that’s a completely different style of water. It feels different to watch it.

      Like

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