Monday, October 13, 2008

Witchy Woman

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(Photo taken in Deerfield, MA)

What's my idea of a good time? The usual, you know, walking around graveyards. Yeah, it's a little strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual (Sorry, that was a Beetlejuice quote. Couldn't resist!) Hey, it's not my fault. It's in my DNA. Don't you remember that I'm descended from a witch?
So, to begin with, it can't be just some modern-day cemetery. It must be old. I know some people find this a bit creepy, but, like I said, I've always been drawn to be macabre. And then there's the whole witch thing, like I mentioned. I love a good ghost story. It's more than that though; old cemeteries are a hotbed of history. I adore history. So much to be told through those headstones. So many stories to be interpreted. It's a creative mind's dream!

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(I also took this photo in Deerfield, MA)

Since it is October, the month of spooky, this is probably the only time that I can post just photos of headstones and not look like the freak that I am. Yea for Halloween!

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(Photo taken in Boston, MA. Anyone want to venture a guess as to whose grave this is?)

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(Copp's Hill Cemetery in Boston, founded in 1659. The famous Cotton Mather is buried here.)

I couldn't resist, giving this one an ultra-spooky feel (has a very Night of the Living Dead feel, don't you think?)...

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(Photo taken in Boston, MA)

They're coming for you, Barbara! (sorry, I'll stop with the whole quoting movies thing)

Ok, so I lied. I'm not just posting pictures of gravestones. I couldn't leave you on that macabre note. So, here are some pictures I took on Friday as I sat on my bedroom balcony. A huge maple tree's branches hang over my balcony and the turning leaves looked so beautiful with the sunlight streaming in.

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The beauty in New England is almost too much to bear right now. Seriously, my heart is about to burst, it's so stunning!

(Thanks to Shelle from BlokThoughts for helping me figure out a certain photoshop action!)

34 comments:

A New England Life said...

John Hancock!

Morning Alyson! Funny you would post on gravestones and graveyards because my husband really likes them too and thought it would be interesting to take pictures of really old ones, like you did. When we took our trip up North this past Wednesday we saw plenty of old Cemetaries but we never stopped. Maybe another time.

Twice now I've been with the girls to Boston on school trips. We did the whole colonial thing and went to the cemetary near the park. The tour guides are all dressed in costume. Is that where you went?

The colors this year are incredible! I have plenty more pictures to post which I better do soon! It's like fireworks where ever you go!

Enjoy the day!

Sharon

Benja said...

I never thought that all of our macabre interests could be ascribed to our "witchy" DNA. Thank you for introducing me to a convenient new excuse! You should see the books I've been checking out from the library, by the way. They're research for a paper I'm writing on Poe, postmortem and memorial photography, and the advent of professional undertaking and the changes in the funerary customs of the mid nineteenth century. Very appropriate for the spooky season, in other words. Love the pictures, by the way. Reminds me of delightful family excursions to graveyards and burial grounds.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Sharon - Curses, you guessed it! :-)

I never did the guided tour, I've only walked around on my own. John Hancock's grave is at the cemetery you are talking about (Granary Burial Ground), by the Commons, but the other ones that I took in Boston are in the North End.

I like your association with fireworks. So true!

Ben - Hey, whenever I can find a convenient excuse, I'll take it!

Oww, I'd love to see what you are researching!! I watched a show the other day called "The Business of Death" that I think you would have enjoyed!

I'm thinking of you, my bro, on this spooky of all seasons!

MERRIANNE said...

wow, Alyson!
You are Like a PRO with that Camera!!!! :)

seriously!

and i love those Headstone shots! Spooky..and i like it!!!!!

and those maple leafs... just beautiful!!!

and i love your Movie Quotes! {ha ha!}

Beeswax said...

I think the first time I read your blog, there was a graveyard post, and I was like, we are kindred spirits! That was punny.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Merrianne - You are so sweet! I'm having TONS of fun. I use my camera, literally, everyday. I'm always experimenting. And now photoshop is suddenly making sense. Such a fun hobby!

Kelly - HA, yes indeed, kindred spirits. Ok, I'm such a freak! Here I am writing about them again!

Becky said...

I don't think graveyards are creepy, but I don't like 'em, thanks to a particularly grueling Ecology lab assignment.

See, we were making a chart depicting the average age of death in different decades, so we each had our own little portion of the cemetery to peruse. We'd go from headstone to headstone, calculating the age of death, sans calculator. Why? I dunno. It's not like it was third grade math, for crying out loud! By the time we got back to the classroom, we were all so brain dead, we didn't give a flip about averages. (To be truthful, we probably didn't give a flip about them before we went, but whatev.)

Sorry about the comment that turned into a post...

Abby said...

Ooo, I love cemeteries, too! One of my husband's and my first dates was wandering around an old one.

I love the fall leaves photos. I just got back from vacation in New England yesterday and loved seeing the leaves change (finally) just before we left.

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

The Blonde Duck said...

Perfect Halloween post! I love that you're descended from a witch! That's awesome.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Beautiful photos! Your maple tree is amazing!!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Becky - that sounds like the craziest assignment and I'm sure glad I never got that one because I wouldn't want to be put off my graveyard fetish!

Abby - Sounds like the perfect first date to me! I'm glad you got to see some color before you had to leave!

Blonde Duck - Thank you! Yeah, I get a kick out of that fact!

JAPRA - Thanks so much! I love maples. We have some japanese maples out front that are the last to turn color and they are AMAZING when they do!

Donna said...

The foliage is really something this year, and right now it's so gorgeous. We drove up through eastern Conn. into Rhode Island yesterday afternoon and it was stunning everywhere.

I love your photos of the leaves and of the cool old gravestones too. You're so good with your camera and photoshop. I used my SLR on Saturday for the first time since our walk in July and I kept wishing you were there to help me with the different settings (and for the company too!).

Wendy Christensen {Moments Like This} said...

You are the ultimate "witchy woman" ... :)!! You should totally make cards with your photos! Start out with cards for Halloween and use your gorgeous gravestone shots... very fun. I love the fall leaf collection too. Cheers to you and your witch bloodlines --- :) :)

nikkicrumpet said...

It is so beautiful here right now. I've only lived in New England for 7 years...but I have never seen a more amazing display of color! It really is breath taking! I loved your grave yard shots. I toured a cemetary in New Orleans once and thought it was the coolest place I ever saw. There are some pretty awesome cemetaries here too!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Donna - Thanks! You've only used your dslr camera once since our walk?! It's a rare day that I don't use mine. I usually even have it in the car with me, like a little pet, when I go anywhere.

We would have loved to go on that hike, but Russ' ankle was still tender. I hope you guys had fun!!

Wendy - That sounds like such a fun idea! I love it!

Nikki - Aren't we lucky ladies to get to live here?! I'd love to tour the graveyards of New Orleans one day.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Alyson those look Amazazing! Seriously...I so wish I was out there to see that beauty right now...and the graveyard shots of an eery but beautiful feel to them! :)

Janelle said...

I was doing headstone research right before reading this post. I was even looking for headstones of family members in Connecticut and Mass. The two oldest cemetaries in Oakland offer Halloween night tours and people say that they are awesome!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Shelle - Thanks! It is seriously beautiful right now. Thanks for guiding me to some photoshop help. I'm totally addicted!!

Janelle - If those headstones are anywhere near by, I wouldn't mind taking pics for you.

I love those kinds of tours! We used to do one in Park City.

Sophie said...

I L-O-V-E the second black and white picture. Yowza! Pretty leaves. They're starting to turn around here, too. I love autumn but I have a hard time enjoying it since I know winter is coming. Sort of like Spring Break, knowing you have to go back to school. I'm such a downer.

ellen said...

I live next door to a cemetery...

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I awarded you...come check it out!

Barbaloot said...

Those leaf pictures are incredible! I'm so jealous---Fall is pretty much over here in Utah:(

The Blonde Duck said...

I do write stories on my blog! I write children's and women's fiction and am currently pursuing publication!

Bee said...

There is something about fall beauty that is heart-stopping . . . in the figurative sense of course. Love these pictures!

Kristina P. said...

Alyson, thanks for stopping by my blog and for your really nice comments!

You are an amazing photographer. You are one of my new cyber-BFFs. I will be back to stalk you. :)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Sophie - Thanks! I love the use of the word yowza! And stop being such a Debbie Downer! :-)

Ellen - Believe it or not, I envy you!

Shelle - You're awesome!

Barbaloot - Thanks so much!

Blonde Duck - Very cool

Bee - Very punny! I know, autumn is truly a gift.

Kristina - Thank you! And awesome!

Cindy said...

Hi Alyson ~ I think I've told you before, but I can't go by an old cemetery without thinking of you.
Just a bit of movie trivia for you since you mentioned Night of the Living Dead, it was filmed not far from me in Evans City, PA and friends of ours actually live down the street from the cemetery.

Barrie said...

There's something so intriguing about all the stories a cemetery holds.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Cindy - I love that I've got that association for you! ha

That is a cool bit of movie trivia!

Barrie - It's so true!

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I adore old graveyards. I think you should have left off the leaves and let it be all black and white. Where I live — Madison, Wisconsin — one of the cemetaries has so many interesting and famous people buried in it that they have a two-volume book about it so you can see who's who.

But here's my favorite part: there is a special section of the cemetary called "Confederates' Rest" where Confederate soldiers are buried. It is the northern most burial ground for Confederate soldiers in the U.S.

And as for mums by the front door: FORGET IT! The folks I know would think you were boring and lacking in creativity. Pale blue squash or ornamental cabbages are all the rage here.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Ms. Wis - I like it with the leaves ending the post because it is such a wonderful punch of color after the tombstones. Plus, it is that time of year and I like to see as many colorful leaves as possible. And it seems many others enjoyed it too.

That cemetery sounds very interesting.

The blue squash and cabbage is something that I've not seen here. I think mums can be pretty. I especially like the more unusual colors.

Wendyburd1 said...

Deerfield? Like Stephen Kings Deerfield...I think thats a town he uses...Is it??

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Wendy - No, he uses the fictional town of Castle Rock usually. Deerfield, MA is where the Yankee Candle destination is.

sheila said...

Scratching my head because I'm not sure how I missed this post. weird. Awesome gravestone pics! Very spooky in the black and white! I find that one pic fascinating with all the headstones lined up along that little path? WOW. THAT is freaky. I had to really look at it because it didn't look real at first. AWESOME!