Everyone has at least one place they can call their favorite. Some have more than one. Like me. [^_^] It can be somewhere fast paced, like the heart of a city during rush hour (though I’d have to question the sanity of anyone who says their favorite place is in the middle of rush hour!), or somewhere tranquil and serene like an empty beach or a quiet trail through the woods.
Photographers are no exception. Every photographer out there has at least one place that they return to time and time again. A place that never fails them photographically. I have a few, myself. Those of you that follow my blog have heard me talk about Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine. Well, I won’t rehash everything concerning that awesome locale, instead I’ll let you know of another place I enjoy visiting and photographing. A place that might confuse some. A cemetery.
Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine to be exact.
The first time I came upon Mount Hope Cemetery was a few years ago when I was traipsing around the city of Bangor with a friend. We read a city guide to find some interesting places to visit. How did we choose to visit a cemetery? So glad you asked! While flipping through the pages of the city guide, I came across a section about parks and recreation. Listed in this section was Mount Hope Cemetery. That caught me off guard. I thought to myself, why would a cemetery be listed under parks and recreation? So, my friend and I decided to go check it out.
I know some people find cemeteries morbid and creepy and avoid them at all costs. Not me. I guess I’m one of those people that has a darker side, that can appreciate the darker or morbid side of things (I’m not crazy…). So when we finally found the cemetery and started to walk around, I was awed. It was beautiful. The grounds were so well groomed and the monuments were all so interesting, I almost didn’t want to leave.
Last year, I went back to Mount Hope Cemetery for a solo trek through the grounds, my camera in tow (obviously). I took a walk through the older section of the cemetery with headstones that were askew, crumbling, or toppled. There was just something interesting about the area.
During my walk, I encountered several dragonflies (one even flew into my forehead. Go home dragonfly, you’re drunk), several ducks, and I even came across a blue heron fishing in one of the cemetery’s ponds. It was neat to watch the birds and insects going about their business, oblivious to me and the setting. So much life in a place associated with death.
Anyway, think about one of your favorite places. Where is it? Why do you count it among your favorites? And the next time you come across a cemetery, especially an older cemetery with intricately shaped, carved, or ornamented monuments, take a moment to look around and perhaps take a few photographs.
Until next time…