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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

I’m taking a risk here, but I’m writing this post as my farewell to winter. The photos on this particular post were taken Valentine’s Day weekend, when Cleveland experienced our first spring-like weather for 2011.

Goodbye to winter.

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Goodbye to the soft stillness of being alone in the cemetery with only the occasional chittering of a squirrel for interruption, but goodbye also to monuments disappeared by snow.

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Goodbye to monuments silhouetted against the striking contrast of winter-gray skies, but also goodbye to grave offerings buried in snow.

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Goodbye to the sparkle of snow that turns ordinary surfaces to a glittering blanket but goodbye also to cold noses, cold toes, and windburned faces.

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Whitney Monument

I’ve always loved winter. My mother was a ski instructor for a number of years, and Dad is now Ski Patrol after many years as an instructor. Some of my enthusiasm for cold weather has dissipated now that I am the one who has to drive in it, but I still can’t deny that it looks beautiful. I spent my college years living in the snow belt and experiencing lake effect snow at Edinboro University, and I was by some strange twist of fate crowned Snow Queen my sophomore year (possibly the only one – I’m not sure that festival or the absurdly named Snow Ball dance happened ever again).

Broken tombstone

But in the cemetery, my enjoyment of the beauty of snow and ice is tinged on the edges with the knowledge that it could be damaging the stones. Snow and ice aren’t the only things that wear away at tombstones, but they dig at me because I so enjoy the look of them.

Louise Behnke tombstone

I know that as the snow melts and drips down into tiny crevices, if the temperature happens to dip to freezing again, the water will freeze and expand and push just a little at the stone, weakening it from the inside.

Damaged Monument

It is a bittersweet beauty to walk through an old, snow dusted cemetery and see the white blanket draped across the broken, cracked tombstones.

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Angel

With the holidays, I don’t know if I will post as much content that requires in-depth research. As a balance, though, I will probably post a lot more photographs of cemeteries in snow.

Angel

I love the way that cemetery monuments stand out against the soft white of the snow and the gentle grayness of winter clouds.

George Hely Monument

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