A Collection of Doves

This week, I had originally planned on posting a cemetery recipe for Red Lantern Cheese dip, from the gravestone of Debra Ann Nelson. But, I had some issues finding the correct ingredients and the recipe didn’t turn out as expected. So I will continue my hunt for the elusive ingredients. 

Instead, this week I will share a collection of Dove’s. If you have been following this blog for a little while, you may have noticed that I sometimes like to share collections of my favorite photos of some of the cemetery symbols I find on my cemetery walks. I have been photographing cemeteries for over 15 years, and in that time I have noticed some repetition of certain symbols and motifs. I find cemetery symbolism so interesting and love looking at what the different variations of a symbol mean.

Doves are not as common a symbol as lambs in Northern Ontario, but they represent similar ideas. Doves commonly are a symbol of peace, but when used in funerary art, they also represent innocence and the Holy Spirit. Doves may appear in many forms, such as sculpture or bas-relief. There are also different variations of doves, and each carries additional meaning.

Sometimes a dove may be depicted carrying something in its mouth. A dove with an olive branch in its mouth may represent peace. This symbolism also can be traced to Ancient Greece. A dove carrying a broken flower bud in its mouth often symbolizes a life cut short. 

The position and angle of the dove may have some significance as well. A dove flying downward is thought to represent the Holy Spirit coming down from heaven.

Another variation of a dove you might find, is a dove that looks like it might be dead. A dead dove sadly represents a life cut short. This variation may also be found lying in front of, or on top of a tree stump; which is also a symbol of a life cut short.

Have you come across a different variation of this symbol? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for reading!


References:

  1. Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards by Tui Snider
  2. Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism by Douglas Keister

Winding down for Winter

The leaves have almost all fallen and the icy weather is making its cold return. Winter is almost here!

It’s been a great summer and fall season for cemetery visits. I hit my target and surpassed it—visiting over 100 cemeteries! But, I am not a fan of winter and trudging around in the snow, so I mostly hibernate in winter. I plan on taking full advantage of cozy-couch-time to catch up on my reading; the AGS Quarterly, back issues of Markers, and my ever-growing to-be-read-pile of fiction and non-fiction. Now that I have a better handle on my blogging and social media schedule, I want to take advantage of this downtime and introduce some new things on the blog.

For one, I would like to start a book review series, featuring reference material and cemetery-related books. I’ll take a look at some of my favorite past reads and reference books, as well as document what I am currently reading. I am always looking for recommendations as well, so feel free to post them in the comments!

Secondly, I also want to take this time to do some much-needed portfolio updates. I have collected a lot of new photos this year, that need sifting through and editing. I will flag these updates on my social channels when there are new photos up. I may also play with the layout of my portfolio section on the website—we’ll see!

Thirdly, I will be planning more road trips for next year! I have gotten into the habit of using Google’s My Maps to create maps for cemetery road trips. I love researching areas and discovering abandoned and hidden cemeteries, as well as roadside attractions and oddities. All this research may spawn some blog posts along the way as well.

Speaking of which, expect more posts on the blog! I have a lot of posts on the back burner right now. Many were started months ago but were put aside because I was busy with road trips or personal matters. Many posts are half-started, or just bare-bones at the moment. Some are just ideas floating around in my head. I had planned a few spookier posts for the Halloween season, but unfortunately, they never came to be. October is always super busy for me, and those posts just got away from me. I’m hoping to get those specific posts polished and ready for next Halloween season.

If you have any blog topics you would like to see me cover, please send me a note or post in the comments. I am always looking to hear feedback from readers.

Thanks for joining me on my cemetery adventures!