Cemeteries - especially the wooded, parklike variety common in the US - have a surprising amount of life in them. This shot was taken in Portland, Maine at the historic Western Cemetery, one of the city's oldest (most graves here date from the early 19th century). I was there to photograph the grave of Prentiss Mellen, a former Senator from Massachusetts and later the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court (historic graves being another of my photography projects).
As I was leaving, I caught sight of a trio of groundhogs (a medium-sized North American rodent common especially in the northeast) poking their heads up from a burrow. I managed to get several shots off, none of which came out all that well as they were all in shadow; then my presence spooked them and they ran off. However, I caught sight of two of them out in the open a little further down the path, wandering around atop an old and ornate grave, and caught a few shots. This is my favorite, of one of them curiously eyeing me; his burrow is just below him, an escape valve in case I get too personal. I've included a couple other shots as workshops.
Larger version on Flickr, here.
Critiques | Translate
batalay (35791) 2014-07-09 12:39
An appropriate title for a very good photo. The textures and colors of the photo are vivid, and your note is highly informative. I did not know about Prentiss Mellen.
tyro (20782) 2014-07-10 2:27
As always, you have given us a very interesting and informative note as well as a delightful photograph too - well, three actually.
How nice that life should exist, and apparently quite happily too, in such a sombre place as an old cemetery and you have caught this little rodent perfectly as he sits basking in the sun on his own personal "doorstep", totally unaware of the significance of what that doorstep represents.
You have done very well to capture this little fellow, especially with not a particularly long lens, and the light and colours are delightful and natural. I like your two workshop pictures as well but the one of him just poking his nose out of his burrow next to the gravestone immediately gave me some rather macabre thoughts about what sorts of artefacts might be lurking around in that deep burrow of his!
boa (6081) 2014-07-10 10:06
an excellent title for this shot, i am quite sure that this groundhog lives a good life in this peaceful Place. A place that all of us must visit, sooner or later. Personally i am unsentimental about death, no stone for me, but i like this stone. Good old handicraft impresses on me. Good shot and note, tfs!
Have a nice evening/
abmdsudi (44328) 2014-07-11 5:03
Looks adventurous, a terrific capture and pretty good detail - if they are as fast as some of the little critters then you are doing an outstanding shot with that 50mm !
You are so close that this lovely hairy beastie certainly seems cross to see you, Spot on! Congrats.
jhm (140689) 2014-07-14 4:39
Indeed life and dead on one and same place, when you see one exemplar than are more of these rodents on these cemetery.
Excellent view about these area with the old graves.
Sharpness and clarity are perfect.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice week,
delpeoples (53421) 2014-07-21 1:48
A very timely photo, with all the death and destruction going on in the world at the moment. I see you like hanging out in graveyards too, my mum reckons it's a little unhealthy. But they ancient gravestones make such wonderful subjects. And this is a superb on, with the green lichen and aged stonework. Excellent low POV, great light management and exquisite definition.
Best wishes, have a lovely week
- Copyright: Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) (7507)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-07-06
- Categories: Humorous, Nature, Ruins
- Camera: Nikon D7000, Nikon 55-200MM F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Wild Kingdom [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2014-07-09 11:23