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Archive for the ‘Cemetery dwellers (flora and fauna)’ Category

It was a surprisingly nice day here Saturday, so I went over to Lake View to take some photos with my new camera. It’s pretty much the same as my last point-and-shoot digital, which had mysteriously gotten a scratch on the lens despite the protective plastic covering that closes over it when it’s not in use. I wasn’t alone, though. First of all, I encountered a horde of runners from Case Western. (I know they were from Case because the car with them had a license plate that read “CWRU RUN,” in addition to the fact that most of them were wearing athletic gear with CWRU or Case on it.)

Runners

When their pounding footfalls were finally far enough in the distance, the wildlife reemerged. I took photos for a while around a bush because birds were flitting back and forth.

Cardinal

Bird

I caught a glimpse of a cat as well, but it eluded my camera. I’m sure it was wondering why the crazy lady was trying to communicate.

Squirrel

Squirrels will pick their heads up when you yell at them, making them slightly more obedient than cats. Who knew?

But I had to move on to other parts of the cemetery when I saw them. *insert ominous music* There was a whole flock, and I don’t need another goose-Forester showdown on a cemetery lane.

Geese

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Pratt (18)

Sunus (3)

One of my favorite things about visiting cemeteries in the spring are the flowers – not the cut ones that are brought by family and friends, but the ones that bloom every year in a place that most people associate only with death. Maybe some of them are descendants of flowers planted there years before, but often they seem to be a gift from Mother Nature to those who rest below the ground.

Collord

Strong

Violets

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Two weekends ago, I went to Forest Lawn Cemetery alone early in the morning. It was a little chilly and wet, but a pretty day, and everywhere I looked, there were bikers, walkers, and joggers. I finished taking my photos, and started driving towards the fence to find a gate. I turned my car down one of the internal roads and found myself in an area devoid of all other humans. A pair of Canadian geese were crossing the road, and I slowed down. The first goose finished crossing and disappeared into the next cemetery section. The second goose turned, looked at me, and stopped in the center of the road. He stood there for about a minute. I slowly started to ease the car forward, hoping the movement would convince him to make way, and instead, he began honking and charged the car.

Geese (2)

This went on, with me inching forward and him advancing honking, until he was less than a foot from my bumper, angrily refusing to move or quiet down.

Geese

I finally had to put the car in reverse and ease around him. He didn’t charge the car, but he did continue honking until I was out of earshot.

Somewhere in Forest Lawn Cemetery, there is a very angry Canadian goose who has my license plate number. Watch out for him.

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And now, I imagine, the caretaker of Oxford Cemetery hates me.

Sunday morning, with the time change, I assumed that I would be the first person awake in my friends’ house.  So I got up, got dressed, and went over to Oxford Cemetery to get some more photos.  Even though there is an inhabited house on the ground for the caretaker (I assume), neither my car nor the act of photography is very loud.  What I didn’t know at the time is that the caretaker has an excellent guard dog, if guarding the cemetery is one of her duties.  The dog barked for fifteen straight minutes after I drove through the gate.  She quieted down after that (or was shushed) but sounded the alarm again every time I moved the car.  If a cemetery doesn’t have a good parking area, I tend to move my car as I go through it so that I’m always close by if someone else needs to get through.  And Sunday morning was pretty cold, so I used the car to warm up my frozen toes twice.  There were at least four different barking outbursts.

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This is a photo of the dog as I got in my car to leave. Considering this is also the cemetery where I startled a caretaker so much he backed his truck over a tombstone, I am probably not his favorite person right now.

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I think these birds are a little confused – this statue is of St. Patrick, not St. Francis of Assisi. There was a brief moment where both birds were sitting on him at the same time, but I didn’t click the camera fast enough.

St. Patrick

St. Patrick (6)

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Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York, currently has a Canadian goose who has laid her eggs in one of the urns. A resident deer has appointed himself guardian. The cemetery has set up a fence to keep onlookers a respectful distance away, volunteers to patrol the area, and a goose-cam. Click here and look for the video link on the right hand side of the page.

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Last weekend I went over to Lake View Cemetery to take some photographs. It was a nice warm day, nearly 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and Lake View was busy. Not just with people walking and biking, but with animals. A good number of the animals were dogs on leashes taking their owners on the first brisk walk in warm weather in weeks. The squirrels were scampering everywhere, and I was pretty sure I heard a cat mewing when I was near some bushes.

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But the finest sight was the four deer lunching near the Elks’ plot.

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They weren’t thrilled to see me, but they weren’t intimidated enough by my presence to run away. They kept a wary eye on me until I finished taking their picture and drove to another part of the cemetery.

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