This weekend I photographed parts of the Pilgrim Home Cemetery in Holland, Michigan, on 16th Street. The light was strong, which made for interesting images in the older section, where there are a lot of trees and a wide variety of headstones. I also was drawn to all the flags inspired by Memorial Day.

My favorite image of the day has marvelous dappled light with headstones of a variety of sorts. The image is strongest on a bright monitor with rich contrast.

I’m not sure what most people think of cemeteries. Some, I suppose, avoid them as unnerving, fearing ghosts and the dead. I find them restful, at least the older ones, especially if they are allowed to be a little overgrown. Newer cemeteries, especially where all the headstones are flat, put me off. They also feel like golf courses, they are so neat and practical.

The aesthetics of headstones also are interesting. The next two images are ones that were made to look like they were carved out of tree stumps.

Then there were bowls and bird bath style headstones (or additions to headstones perhaps, for flowers). I liked this image for the play of light.

You can find life stories in the headstones. Long lives. Family groupings, which meant a lot of planning ahead (and children going with what parents decided). Lives cut short. In a couple of cases, I saw lives ended young, in 1919, probably from the influence epidemic of that year. As you might expect, the names in this cemetery are heavily Dutch, especially the further into the past you go.

Finally, two more Memorial Day flag images. Both are black and white. One is the cover image for the post.

It was a pretty, sun-shining morning. And it was a beautiful weekend. A good Memorial Day to everyone! This is my favorite holiday weekend of the year. The last Monday in May, it marks the beginning of summer for me. The same was true when I lived in Canada, with Victoria Day, the last Monday before May 25 .

COVID numbers look to be getting better in both countries. They remain fierce in a few parts of the world, especially South America. There’s the promise of returning to something close to normal this summer. If we continue to be smart, not taking unnecessary risks, getting vaccinated, etc., there’s good reason to hope.

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