Posts Tagged ‘Pioneer cemetery


Cemetery: It was the thought that counted….

If you have followed along with SwittersB, you know I like exploring Oregon’s pioneer cemeteries. The markers make all manner of suggestion to me as I stroll about. Several children passing on the same day or within days of one another (an accident, disease, or worse). Historical names to the area or region are found. Or names that suggest further research and new discoveries.

Often the pioneer cemeteries are maintained by a core volunteers who tend to the grounds, the markers and records. Keeping track of where the graves are can be difficult if the markers are moved or overgrown. Here the markers are propped up against the primary family marker. Who were these people deserving of only a set of initials? Did finances limit the attention to details? Were they outcasts or distant cousins or son and daughter-in-laws? The leaning markers captured my imagination this time. It was the thought that counted at the time to make a marker I suppose. Now they are propped up as a fading reminder. Thank you to the volunteers that maintain this cemetery in the Columbia River Gorge.

cemetery, pioneer, Oregon, Gorge, SwittersB


cemetery, Oregon, Gorge, SwittersB, pioneer


Cemetery Hill

“Here lies George Johnson, Hanged by mistake, 1882.
He was right, we was wrong, but we strung him up and now he’s gone.”

Mistakenly hung for horse thievery; buried at Boot Hill

Isn’t it odd that we care to know more about a soul when dead than when they are alive? I am a devoted explorer of pioneer cemeteries. I enjoy strolling about obscure cemeteries and seeing if I can draw out poignant images, dramas, tragedies and beauty too.




grave-afterthought-Pioneer Cemetery-Oregon-SwittersB


Photography: Artificial vs. Natural (the unexplained conflict)

So much of what steers me toward photographic composition is intuitive, unexplained, impulsive and without much ability to articulate the why’s. Perhaps it is the toll of life’s passage, but I have a hard time explaining my reasons for certain things any more. Burned out, tired of thinking, resentful of the whole justify your beliefs…I just do it…I just am…I just like it or don’t like it. Here is an example…………..

artificial red swittersBNature, not your garden mind you, but out away where greens, browns, tans and grey blend into a rugged color palate. The introduction of red into this visual must be real for me. Hence, the red plastic flowers in a rural, over grown cemetery seemed abrasive (more on this soon).

Oh, I understand the why of plastic flowers at a cemetery…kind of. But, remember I can’t articulate this understanding very far out in my mind. It’s more like I like it or I don’t.

Berries Briars SBThis oddity of a briar sprouting in a remote parcel of land was unique and the red berries seemed perfectly natural to me even if the briar seemed out of place in a rugged canyon.

red flower lake BThe backdrop to this shot is so typical of the natural hues. And the presence of this plant standing in the water and blooming was pleasant with the natural reddish pink.

The natural, that seems normal to the terrain seems acceptable. The artificial that is inserted seems a violation of something……remember, I can’t really explain it. 


Photography: Just A Number & Questions………

I have remarked before about my ‘enjoyment’ of walking around older ‘pioneer’ cemeteries. So many questions arise as I study the markers of graves. The obvious questions of why’s, how’s, what’s are usually paired with the who and when on the marker.

ella by Swittersb

However, sometimes the marker is more challenging of the mind. The Who and When are not there. Below, the marker at Fredericksburg National Cemetery provides a very telling number ’11’…the number of unidentified soldiers’ remains buried beneath the marker.

Below, I found this marker for ’45’ next to a tree in a back corner of a pioneer cemetery. Again, the who and when are missing and the how, why, what remain equally missing. I find these types of markers provocative of emotions. Thank goodness most of us will not go unknown, unidentified, alone in the end. For those that do, perhaps someone will stand, looking down upon them and wonder.

45 SwittersB Photograph


Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

August 2020

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