The Church in the Wildwood
One of the things that I didn't mention about yesterday morning is that I stopped and visited a favorite little church that has a lovely cemetery. The church is called the Ross Church. I can't tell you what denomination it is, but its driveway turns off a pretty wild curve on Marengo Road.
I had so many pictures for yesterday, and such a story to tell, that there wasn't time to fit the Ross Church in. But the irises were just perfect, and the graveyard was so beautiful there that I knew I had to go back, even in the rain. I suspected that the rain would take the irises down rather quickly, and so my next visit couldn't wait till next week.
This is a shot I was working on yesterday. I spotted these irises over a grave, and there was a memorial wreath and a flag. And so I played with the shot then, and I returned to play with it once again on this day.
It is heading into Memorial Day weekend, so all of the graveyards are well tended and beautiful right now. If you like cemetery photography, just before this weekend (which is to say, before the events and crowds, though I can't imagine any crowds EVER in this wild place) is an ideal time to visit such places for pictures.
Here are a few things you probably can't see from this shot that I must tell you about this churchyard:
1) On a rainy day, everything looks slicker and shinier, and you can get some great reflection shots off the gravestones, which can be quite reflective even without the rain. This is why you should remember not to wear bright colors if you go cemetery stomping, as you may catch yourself unexpectedly reflected in many shots; you must take my word on this.
2) There is a darkness to things and a saturation to colors in the rain that you just don't get on a sunny day. Even the reds and blues of the flag look more saturated when it's wet.
3) There are many veterans sleeping in this graveyard, and so there are many flags. I discovered several flags that seemed to be tenderly caressing the gravestones of the veterans whose tombs they marked. What can I say? It made me smile.
4) The irises grow right up out of the trees by the church's front door. I have never seen such a thing anywhere else. If it got to iris dividing time, as it always does every few years, I have no idea how anyone would go about it!
5) There is a green and winding back road right behind the spot where I stood to take this picture, and the woods there are as green a green as anyone can imagine. I have no idea where that road goes, but I hope to find out upon my next visit.
6) That ragged tree in the top right of the shot is, I think, a variety of pine, and the birds love it. On a quiet morning, you can see some pretty outstanding bird visitors in this cemetery; enter quietly and look up, as some of them will be sitting atop that tree.
I think of this pretty little churchyard as the Church in the Wildwood, as in the song. I know I have used this tune once before (sung by Dolly Parton that time), but I will shamelessly use it again. Here is one of my dad's favorite singers: Charlie Pride, with Church in the Wildwood.