A Frosty Morning

On a crisp-cold frosty-bright morning we drove early to Saint John the Baptist Churchyard to make photographs showing it in a better light than yesterday.

Bramble stems and various leaves in the hedgerows opposite the cross-carved entrance gate were outlined in bright white pigment. The gate picture is Jackie’s.

We both made general views. The more colourful three of the last four in this gallery are by Jackie, who tended to look out to

the views beyond; and up to

a singing blackbird trilling to the crescent moon.

We also photographed each other,

and grazing ponies in frosty fields. Mine is the third image.

I focussed on the colours and textures of the lichen

and moss.

We each had a different take on the ancient yew tree.

A frosted wreath, an autumnal oak, and a fallen stone, caught my eye.

Jackie’s individual tombstones included

that of Hetty Ada Plumbly and her 3 day old son, Frederick. Hetty was the wife of Archibald George Plumbly (1895-1970). Was the death of the mother occasioned by little Frederick’s birth? Did Archibald, who had no more children, never marry again?.

Jackie also found two stones framing death medals: those of Theodore George Cooper, joined later by his father, George; and of Edward Drodge who shared his mother’s grave. Death medals were sent to the relatives of every casualty of The Great War. Given that Edward’s mother, Alice Emily, predeceased her son. we wonder who inserted the medal.

Two among the Canadians who died in the Second World War, namely Flying Officer E Stollery and Sergeant B.W. Turner lie in the war graves section.

We were unable to decipher the wording on the gravestone of an 8 1/2 year old girl also photographed by the Assistant Photographer.

Her last gravestone detail consists of a hand, despite missing two fingers, grasping a feather and a glass ball.

Jackie also produced images of the church roof and weather vane.

On our return home we enjoyed the play of light on Church Lane and the playfully decorated postbox on Pilley Hill.

I spent the rest of the day drafting this, and was certainly ready for dinner consisting of baked gammon and herby pork chipolata sausages; creamy mashed potatoes; juicy ratatouille; crunchy carrots and cauliflower, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Recital.


  1. You both do such a wonderful job with your pictures. The old tombstones tell the old stories, but also raise questions and mysteries.

  2. You and Jackie did an outstanding job today. I really like how you used the light (and shadows) in these photos. The header photo and the top photo really stood out for me, but there were so many other excellent photos. The graveyard and gravestones are full of sadness and mystery.

  3. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing those.
    I walked through our local churchyard this evening just before 5pm on the way to the post office, but it was pitch black and just a bit scary. Must pop out tomorrow if it’s frosty again, nice if it’s foggy also, and see if I can get some good photos.

  4. The frost provided a canvas for you and Jackie to showcase fascinating old gravestones with their shadows, as well as trees, lichen, moss, and bright blue sky. Beautiful!

  5. The crisp morning light on the withered resting place has resulted in an exquisite, brooding gallery. Shadows make the picture doubly striking. Heaven knows why that lady is holding a feather and a glass ball. What message lies buries in her lichened, brittle heart?

  6. I enjoyed the photos from your day, Derrick and Jackie, especially those beautiful frosty morning photos of the old churchyard. I can seethe lichens and mosses are working hard at eroding the histories of the sleeping residents.

  7. You two always find such interesting things to photograph! These are hauntingly beautiful. I especially enjoy the frosty wreath and the next to the last one of the church lane with the rays of light, but they are all wonderful!

  8. I enjoyed seeing the fruits of your combined efforts today. When I have accompanied my husband to sites of military historical significance in some of the more remote parts of this country and we compare our photographs afterwards, you would be hard-pressed to know we had been to the same place! I tend to be attracted to interesting details, while his approach is the broader ‘historical record’ mode πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks very much, Anne. You remind me of the time I went to our Bluebell Railway with a friend – he produced the broad images, I went for the brass details.

  9. Gorgeous and heart-touching photos, Jackie and Derrick. Beautiful light and shadows and amazing textures. Wonderful photos of each other. πŸ™‚
    I love a frosty morning…the frost is so sparkly, glittery, and blankets everything…glistening in the sun. πŸ™‚
    The gravestone of the little girl is very touching. πŸ™
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS…Why would you never see Keith Richards picking lichens?
    Because a rolling stone gathers no moss.
    (Okay…I know moss and lichens are different…but I think the joke is funny! πŸ˜€ )

    1. Thanks very much from us both, Carolyn. Interestingly, neither of us could really catch the glitter. We must go back and try to read the little girl’s stone again. As for the joke – there is no accounting for taste πŸ™‚ X

      1. You’re welcome!
        Yes, so many of the tombstones bring up questions…wondering more about those people’s lives…children especially.
        Ha! Okay! I should strive to a higher class of jokes! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  10. Those frostymorning images are lovely and from both cameras.
    I love looking around old graveyards and imagining the lives of those long passed.

  11. From my point of view – your best post of the year. However, I am aware that this is because of the subject matter and that some people prefer ponies and waves to graves. πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work and both of you keep well wrapped up.

  12. I had a quick google for these two men.
    E Stollery is at
    (with photos)
    BW Turner is
    Note: There are two BW Turners, with one buried in France.
    They should have taken the Canadians back home, in my opinion.

  13. Such lovely, peaceful photos! I especially enjoyed the lichen closeups (and, as always, the ponies!). I love studying their patterns on rocks and tree trunks. We have had one or two instances of icy windshields to scrape here, but no beautiful hoar frost yet.

  14. Sad that the stone of the young girl lost two fingers, I wonder what the feather and marble symbolised. Lots of graveyards have to put the stones down flat now so its good you capture them now.

  15. Gisteren dacht ik: Zijn ze met ze tweeΓ«n al die grafstenen aan het fotograferen: Getverderry! Jezus, zo weinig te beleven in die uithoek?
    Maar vandaag, 9 december … , vind ik die oeroude ,bemoste graven toch wel artistiek, met dat mistige mistrooste en ijzige weer.
    Vlug naar de open haard met een beker chocomelk … Fijne dag verder! Liefs uit Amsterdam, 9 – 12 – 2020

  16. These photos are wonderful and the graves do bring such questions to mind. I love seeing how you and Jackie notice and focus on different things – or on the same things in different ways. Do you think that glass ball was a part of the original statue? It certainly looks to be. But I think the feather must have been put there recently. Is that your thinking, too?

    1. I agree about the feather, but not so sure about the ball. Since I didn’t see it I don’t know whether it could be prised out of the hand. Jackie thinks it has been added. Thanks very much, Jodie.

  17. We haven’t had a frost yet this year. Frost makes for beautiful photos, especially in the morning light. I like the frosty brambles.

  18. I agree with JoAnna, “These are hauntingly beautiful.” Frost decorates leaves and grasses in marvelous ways and you captured it perfectly, Derrick. I especially liked the images of bramble stems and the cross-carved entrance gate outlined in bright white pigment. Cemeteries are wonderful sources of history, aren’t they? Your commentary was lovely – and your dinner sounded scrumptious as usual!

  19. A fascinating series. I loved the lichens and the textural effects and the leaning of the stones, but my favourite was the wreath with the frost.

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