Thursday Doors–Elm Grove Cemetery Redux

Groundskeeper Shed
The keystone has 1893 carved into it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the doors are original to the building.

I was worried that I might get into trouble with Norm for revisiting a site too quickly after the initial door photo had been shared. In my defense, I did warn you all that I was going to return to this cemetery to get a photo of the back door on the tiny building that served as the Chapel. To my surprise, as I drove through the cemetery to come up behind the building, I discovered yet another door.

Today’s door is on an out-building that serves as a groundskeepers shed at Elm Grove. A more modern cemetery up the street from this one has a similar sized shed, but it has a nondescript garage door. I love this old wooden door.

If you didn’t see the original post, and want to know more about this cemetery, you can read the story that accompanied the doors on the Chapel. Today, instead of a history lesson, I’m going to try my hand at philosophy.

Last week, when I was snapping these photos, I was hoping that the sun would hurry up and rise. It was just beginning to break through the thick trees that line the back of the cemetery. I have been there before at sunrise, and I know how spectacular the sky becomes, particularly on a partially cloudy day like we had last Monday. Unfortunately, the portion of my morning commute that gets ugly as the sun rises was still ahead of me. It was time to go.

I gave the sun a second chance when I stopped to take the pictures of the rear entrance to the chapel. I hoped that a few extra seconds would bring the sun to the top of the tree line. No such luck.

Once I was safely on the east side of the Connecticut River, where I had options to avoid ugly traffic, I could slow down. Still more than an hour early for work, I stopped at Great River Park “of course you did, when don’t you stop at Great River Park?” I can hear my friends ask. The sun was well on the rise, and was beginning to reflect off the buildings in Hartford into the river. That’s when today’s other photo feature landed.

Within a few minutes of taking those pictures, the reflection had moved away from the shore and my buddy was enjoying his breakfast in the cool shade of the tree-lined bank. Had I been any later, I would have missed the opportunity to get a photo I really like.

That’s how it goes. Time, the sunrise, the movement of the clouds, the morning routine on the river wait for no one.

I am going to end this post uncharacteristically below 500 words and simply remind you to not be upset at what you missed earlier today. It may be that something special is going to come your way as a result.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series.

65 thoughts on “Thursday Doors–Elm Grove Cemetery Redux

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    1. I don’t actually know Charlotte. I had it on my Flickr page where I said “I think it’s a Heron) hoping that someone would confirm or correct me but no volunteers yet. It is beautiful and I was truly impress at how quickly it snagged a fish. It take me longer to order a sandwich.

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      1. The neck looks like an egret. We only get snowy egrets here (Long Island), but I believe there are more colorful varieties. I love them — they’re always a joy to watch.

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    1. Ha – thanks Judy. The day I took these photos did turn out to be a good day. A series of events like that, before arriving at work, just helps carry the day. I stop at the park several days each week, but I am often surprised by the view. The changing time of sunrise brings a lot of different views to the water.

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  1. Love that old door. Leaving extra early to wait for the sunrise and then fretting about the clouds? Looks like we’re going to turn you into a true photographer if this keeps up, Dan.
    Hint, when you start packing a small step ladder in the trunk to change up the angle of your shots, then you know you’re hooked bad ;-)

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    1. That’s funny Norm. My wife is a pretty good photographer and my daughter has her BFA in photography. They both suggest things like “get down on the ground” and my daughter is famous for “do you think I could get up there?” I do need to think about those aspects more often than I do. It’s interesting to me how much more I am noticing simply by keeping an eye open for an interesting door. I’ve always loved looking at doors, but I never thought of them as a focal point for telling a story. I think you hooked me good on this. If you were of an evil mind, this is when you would start charging to link up with the list :)

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  2. Even though you missed the sun in the cemetery you arrived just in time to capture a gorgeous image by the river. Now see how everything works out for a reason? I LOVE these doors, Dan!! They both have so much personality. I personally was drawn to the one with the fancy trim … I guess you could call it a girl thing. Great post and yes imagine my surprise when I actually read a post of yours under 500 words. What is this world coming to? (smile) Love, Amy <3

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    1. Thanks Amy. The two sections started out as separate posts but when I realized that, if I combined them, I could avoid all the “remember when I wrote…” references AND still leave you guys with an easy read, I couldn’t resist. I like the fancy doors too, because they made those with hand tools and I can barely imagine the process.

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      1. That IS impressive, Dan, because the cuts are all so complex and intricate. I couldn’t imagine doing that with hand tools either. I am so happy people are willing to save history rather then tearing it down.

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        1. That’s the best part Amy. Somebody either moved this chapel here or recreated it and they work to maintain it today. I love that this will be here for people to see when they are printing stuff like this from their computer.

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  3. Dan, you’ve outdone yourself. What an intriguing little building — brick with the beautiful arch, but a rustic door and no windows? It seems awfully nice for a shed, but without ventilation, I can’t imagine what else it would be… The ones in the graveyard are compelling, even if the sun didn’t do what you hoped. Then, crowning it all, the pictures of the bird (heron? crane?) are stunning!

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    1. Thanks Teagan. I love the doors, but I was sad to miss the sunrise that day because it would have been filled with color. But, seeing that Heron (according to Mike) walking in the reflection more than made up for it. I’ve been to Great River Part hundreds of times, but I’ve never seen the reflections that far over onto the east side of the river.

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    1. thanks John. I feel like I should learn something about at least one of the “residents” since the sign says “no recreational use” – I guess that might apply to photography, but I like to think that I’m paying respects to the crowd.

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  4. Beautiful photos today, Dan! I think the foggy cemetery is my favourite. I wouldn’t call myself a cemetery person, but some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen have been snapped in cemeteries.

    And if I may weigh in on the bird… definitely a blue heron. They’re a much rarer sight up here than they used to be 10 years ago, but wow, what a magnificent bird!

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    1. Thanks Wendy. That’s two confirmations on the Blue Heron. I don’t seek out cemeteries, but I do like being in them in the morning. There is something about the sunrise and the fog, especially the fog that inspires a peaceful feeling.

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  5. This is a beautiful post, Dan – such lovely ‘moments’, each with its iwn contemplative features. I’m coming back later to spend more time with this and your original post because I don’t have time right now to reap the spiritual benefits – got to get my bike ride done before our sun rises enough to pour out its 90 degree heat!

    This post is really special. Well done!

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      1. Just got back – did shorter, hillier route ‘cuz air quality very bad (temp inversion and residue from CA fires). Will save longer route for fresher air.

        I was thinking about that on my ride – how you must enjoy your morning detours – moments, really, that you seize for yourself. It is a very healthy way to parse the day, and it’s sad how many aren’t conscious of opportunities or moments. It’s harder in those years when career and family gobble time, but that’s also when sress is most oppressive.

        I’m happy for you, Dan. You are taking good care of your heart and soul.

        (it did occur to me that lovely brick structure might make a perfect craftsman shed with a few modifications … Or a writing library … )

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    1. I don’t know, chasing after school bus must have its moments. Actually, there’s a commercial for something where a parent tosses their kid in the car and races the school bus to school. Now I’ll picture you in that car. Thanks for the comment :)

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  6. I don’t remember seeing your original post so I peeked just now, but seeing the backside of the chapel makes me think this design is out of place. It is truly so quaint and lovely (with tangle windows) but looks like a Swiss cottage or a cozy mom & pop main street bookstore. Love the fog photo and the reflective photos are quite other-worldly as dawn or dusk can often seem.

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    1. I think Norm mentioned that too. The chapel does look out of place. I’m trying to remember if it was moved here or recreated but I don’t think it was original to this cemetery. Actually, this isn’t even the original cemetery, they outgrew that one. I love fog and reflections so this made my day.

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  7. I love the tour of the cemetery you’ve given us with your photos. The doors are so different from one another, yet each holds its own beauty! And thank you for the reminder to slow down and accept what life gives us. Sometimes life knows what its doing!

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    1. Thanks! My mother lived for a while next to a cemetery and talks about playing hide and go seek among the tombstones. I like stopping there when it’s getting light. I’m not sure I’d like being there as it’s getting dark.

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    1. Thanks Lois. He was going to get breakfast out of that river. I wonder if the reflecting sun helped him sneak up on his snack. I was surprised by how fast he moved to strike.

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  8. I am so excited that you included two buildings but the final photographs were absolutely gorgeous, Dan. I could not believe the water’s shimmering and the heron is breathtaking. I love birds, have collected many due to my name over the years, but no herons or cranes. I was married to a “Crain,” my first college sweetheart and father of my two oldest, I used to joke my name is Robin Crain, two birds in one name! ha ha

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    1. Thanks Robin. I love birds but I really don’t know a lot about them. I felt so lucky to have been able to see this and to get our onto the dock in time to get a picture. I wish I could have gotten an action shot. I have a very blurry picture of him landing. There were ducks in the water and he splashed in like a rocket returning to earth. I saw him snag the fish, but he was so fast that I didn’t even think about my camera. I like the two bird name thing, that’s cute.

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      1. This story could have been in a whole other post. Edit and separate from the doors post, Dan. Tell this additional part about the ducks and his “crash” landing. I know your wife usually gives you editing assistance so forgive my commenting in constructive way. More people concentrated on the heron than the neat back door of the presently utility shed.

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        1. The two stories started out as separate tales Robin. I combined them because I couldn’t stop thinking about the timing issue. I may revisit the Heron in the future. There’s often a lot of bird activity in the river when I’m there. Thanks for the advice, I do appreciate it.

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            1. Oh my! I respect your writing and just had to throw my 2 cents in. I have been trying not to have as many posts but this means I am guilty of packing too much into the ones I do get written. It may even sound like I an the “pot calling the kettle black.” Which I asked a farm, country girl if she felt this was possibly a politically incorrect expression, by the way. She laughed and asked me, “If you burn food in a pan does it turn black?” Okay to still say this and I am very long winded and may need a tutorial on dividing posts and comments up. Lol

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  9. Great pictures, Dan. I am a sucker for sunsets and sunrises, so I was pulled in. The door, too.
    Well, in case you’d like to share more photos, I nominated you for the 5 Photos 5 Day Challenge, but, of course, no obligation whatsoever. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m guessing it is a shed today but it seems odd that they would have had a carved keystone in a utility building. I wish I knew more of the history. Thanks for stopping by Jean and thanks for sharing on Twitter.

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