31 October 2009

Spirit of the Season

'Tis the season for the veil between our world and the spirit world to thin until one bleeds into the other. Or so some believe. In any case I thought I'd share, on the day that the veil is supposedly at its thinnest, a few photos I've taken at cemeteries.

I'm sure anyone who reads my blogs won't be surprised to find out that I like to hang out in cemeteries, particularly at this time of year. Not only is the foliage amazing (if I didn't live someplace where the leaves changed colours in autumn I'm positive I would be an obnoxious leafer a la New Yorkers in Quahog...) but you can also see some pretty impressive--and unique--art. People tend to get creative when it's the last thing they'll ever do. Besides, for those of us who like our space, cemeteries are generally free of crowds...at least when it comes to the living.

Click on photos to enlarge...

The first set of shots were taken in the newer part of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto. Usually I'm more drawn to the older area of Mount Pleasant but I was happily surprised to discover how lovely the new part also is.

"In memory of those who lost their lives, 5 July 1970, Flight 621, Woodbridge, Ontario."

The newer cemeteries are more like gardens than graveyards...

In some cases they are gardens:

Turkish Oak:

The rocks are grave markers:

Each side has a different design:

Speaking of art, this monument is a signed sculpture:

We were lucky enough to see this guy. He very kindly posed for photos, although they didn't turn out that great. The same kind of bird (haven't figured out yet if it's a falcon or a hawk) has been visiting our yard (and bird feeder)!

I'm sure the Bishop would be pleased that he's near the Lord:

My weird sense of humour compels me to photograph monuments with names from books/pop culture. Bueller?

Another pop culture reference (this time to one of my all-time favourite characters, Mason from Dead Like Me). This one actually works well as Mason is dead and would have a grave somewhere (although knowing him it's probably unmarked...)

Next we move on to York Cemetery, in Toronto's north end...

This is why I love to go for walks and take photos in Autumn:

The cemetery is built on what was once someone's yard. They use the house now as the cemetery office. See the next photo for the full story...

Ontario: where we pardon our rebels and give them land!

Exceedingly cool lamp post next to the house (it seems to have been placed on the original road that was once there--now an extra wide driveway into the cemetery):

This is a very cool monument--sundial on top and engravings all around:

I'm also a fan of graves with interesting/bizarre inscriptions. The Street family apparently has had its share of problems: "God knows...keep in touch. See the other side of everything."

"Typhoon - Tycoon!" Baffling...

There are lots of military graves and monuments in this cemetery:

You meet some interesting people in cemeteries. In this case, it was a Russian Grand Duchess (Olga Alexandrovna):

In an interesting coincidence, when I went to the ROM back in the summer to see the Wedgwood Exhibit, just before the beginning of the exhibit I saw this:

It turns out it's a Russian ice bucket (cut lead glass and silver) that had belonged to the Grand Duchess. The rim is engraved with the presentation date (1915) and the Duchess's Imperial cypher. Small city!

By the way, the Wedgwood Exhibit has been extended until August 2010, for anyone interested. I highly recommend it. More info here.

Not Jack Harkness, but still Captain Jack (Doctor Who/Torchwood):

Couldn't resist. And check out the highly reflective surface too!

Still can't believe that people need to be told this:

Does anyone else visit cemeteries and graveyards? I'd love to hear about it!

Happy Hallowe'en!

(All photos by Domicile)