Before heading out for my weekly photo hike, I put out a question to my online friends, asking them where I should go… beach, woods, cemetery or backroads. The vote, overwhelmingly, was cemetery.
My friend Kath, suggested the venue first, saying a cemetery would be a good place to photograph, in honor of a short story I’m writing with fellow blogger Lance, he of “My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.”
(If you’re interested in the escapades of our heroines, Pauley and Vivian/Millicent, check out “Pauley” in the header nav bar.)
One of my favorite cemeteries to visit is St. Michael’s in Pensacola. It’s located near downtown and is steeped in regional history. After doing a little Google-recon, I found an old graveyard in Panama City to visit – Oakland Cemetery.
Where St. Michael’s is well-maintained and manicured, Oakland is…. sad. So many of the grave stones were toppled and broken. Ledger stones worn smooth over time. Sand and weeds obscuring any legible names or dates.
Many of the stones marked graves of Civil War soldiers, Union infantrymen from as far away as Michigan. One section of the cemetery, spanning almost the entire width of the park, two burial sites deep, was all children. Perhaps the devastating result of an epidemic.
Where St. Michael’s is garden-like, peaceful and serene. Oakland left me sorrowful and restless. Heartbroken that these graves had seemingly been forgotten.
You can click on any image to see a larger photo, or the series as a slideshow.
(Photos shot with a Nikon D60, using an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, Nikon CoolPix S205 and/or iPhone4)
For more photos, please visit my Flickr photostream.