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NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nature's Surprises

I love history... I love genealogy. As a part of my research I go to cemeteries and photograph gravestones to preserve them and post them to on-line graveyards. When I was younger I spent alot of time in cemeteries, they were beautiful and serene. A great place to think. It wasn't until I was about 19 that I decided to photograph them for genealogy purposes, which brings me to my tale.

A couple years ago I happened to be visiting family in Mount Pleasant, MI. When I am in a town, village or city I try to get to the cemetery to take photo's of veterans gravestones. Especially the older stones and Civil War Veterans. While there I went to a beautiful Catholic Cemetery called Calvary Cemetery that has beautiful stones and many statues, alot of clergy were buried there. At one point I began to photograph a group of gravestones that was a family plot that had about 9 graves. There were lily's or some type of flower that was planted in front of two particular gravestones that hadn't bloomed yet. They struck me as particularly beautiful that day.

I looked through my viewfinder, zoomed in and prepared to take the pictures. Always trying to get the best shot of the full gravestone. I had originally planned on taking at least three shots of the one stone with the flowers. I steadied myself, took a deep breath and slowly let it out (to make sure I was holding the camera steady). To my complete surprise, a head popped up behind the flowers and scared me half to death! I jumped back and let out a shriek, in a complete panic as I have never had something pop out at me like that while photographing stones before (I had zoomed in to the stone, had taken one picture already, so through my viewfinder it was a lot closer and in my face). My heart was pounding in my ears. You simply don't expect that kind of excitement in a cemetery!
What was this thing that scared me so badly, to the point of near cardiac arrest you ask? I did a double take and stared in awe. It was a fawn, not very old and cute as can be! It still had it's spots! After the initial shock wore off and the idea that something living scared me in a cemetery (It should be the complete opposite like a zombie, right). I took in my surroundings and determined that it's mother must of left her baby in the fenced in cemetery to keep it safe while she went for food. There was no sign of her whatsoever. I stood in one spot while the fawn got up on it's four legs and began to move away as I had intruded upon it's safe and shaded spot. Needless to say I had quite a laugh at my own expense! How silly I felt!

My intention was not to scare the fawn more than I already had (or like it had scared me) and to not get close to it so it's mother would come back for it. It ran a few feet and then began walking around the cemetery when it realized that I was not going to follow. I stayed glued in my spot and began to take photo's of the little one walking around. This went on for at least 45 minutes. Eventually the fawn seemed to tire. It climbed a small hill near a large cross in the middle of the cemetery and hid in the comfort of the bushes that were in front of it.

After that, I lost sight of him/her and decided to move and finish my photographing. Not before I took a picture of the cross the fawn was sheltering near and went on my way.

I have chosen two quotes for you, both of which I feel are appropriate. They are:

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles." - Anne Frank (1929–1945), German-Jewish refugee, diarist. The Diary of a Young Girl, entry for Feb. 23, 1944 (1947, trans. 1952).

"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story." - Linda Hogan, Chicksaw poet and novelist (quoted in Listening to the Land, edited by Derrick Jensen)

Khrysania @ GreenSpot-On

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