Nature’s Palettes

On a bright and sunny afternoon we drove to the Parish Church of St John the Baptist on Church Lane, Boldre, where we met Elizabeth for a wander round the cemetery. These two images are Jackie’s.

She also pictured largely lichen-covered arboreal delights, and

various gravestones and crosses,

including the Burton family memorial to father, mother, and five year old son. Col. William Henry Burton (late Madras), according to the London Gazette, retired on an Indian pension and extra annuity in December 1890.

She finally focussed on the Chisman Brothers’ lichen-splashed memorial bench. Cecil died suddenly aged 40. I don’t know about William.

I, too, focussed on various flora;

on general views; on individual lichen and moss layered stones;

and on the House family monument of which Jackie had featured the semi-profiled lilies.

We still cannot make out the identity of either this little girl photographed on our last visit or the person watched over by this spotted angel.

Nature has converted wood and stone into palettes on which to apply her own gentle hues.

Unfortunately I have to report that, despite the warning sign, dumping even occurs on hallowed ground.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s creative cottage pie flavoured with cumin and thyme, and topped with potato and parsnip slices; flavoursome Brussels sprouts; crunchy carrots and meaty gravy with which she finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017.


  1. Jackie and Derrick…your photos are spectacular…they bring joy! 🙂
    Nature is terrific at creating masterpieces! Thank you for capturing so many for us to see! Delightful! 🙂
    The angel and little girl sculptures are so memorable and moving! <3

    Oh, gosh! 🙁 and UGHS on the trash dumping anywhere, but there…even worse! Makes me sad.
    (I've been known to pick up stuff like that in public and take it to the nearest dumpster or garbage bin.)
    (((HUGS))) and <3 to you two! 🙂 🙂

  2. Loved that, Derrick. Wonderful shots – and I have some fairly special memories of Boldre. Why would some pillock want to dump their rubbish there? – it’s appalling. I suppose neutering isn’t an option?

  3. These are beautiful as well as artistic photos of the cemetery and residents. The lichen covered memorial bench is almost like a tombstone itself. That one gravestone with the moss growing up it is very interesting. The moss pattern almost looks like a green-hooded ghost! Rain, snow, sun, and the Lilliputian forests of lichens and mosses eventually cover Man’s handiwork, returning it to whence it came.

  4. Your post title is perfect. I love the combination of stone, moss and lichen, Jackie’s perspective of the splayed gravestones, and the spotted angel. The gravestone on the right in the row of three looks like it has a moss man (or woman) rising from the grave.

  5. The sense I have from the photographs is that each person has rested in his or her grave undisturbed since the day they were buried, as nature welcomes them home. The cross with the lilies is very beautiful.

  6. That is an assembly of graceful departed, stony and grim in their disposition, standing still in an other-worldly communion, dressed in moss and lichen and fabric of fungi, spotted with memories and barbs of weather, testament of ephemerality of everything living. The overall aura is majestic, even if melancholic. The composers of those pictures are blessed with a unique eye for detail.

  7. These are peaceful, tranquil scenes which illustrate the passing of time so well. It is a real shame that many of our oldest cemeteries have been vandalised and are no longer cared for by the respective municipalities. The trend to use polished granite for headstones makes me wonder what they will look like in a hundred years from now.

  8. I wonder how the hundreds and hundreds of English parish churches finished up with a particular saint. Boldre has St John the Baptist, our church was St Stephen and when there are so many St Marys, who decides which church gets the franchise?

  9. Everyone else has already highlighted all of the salient points I would have made. Suffice to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed this delightful visit – the photography is engaging, your writing comfortably lyrical and the meal you enjoyed at the end of your day, quite mouthwatering.
    I am always drawn to mosses, lichens, aged stone, trees, bark! You ticked all the boxes for me, Derrick. Thank you!

  10. I know how interesting old cemeteries can be. I haven’t been to one in about 2 years, but I remembered going from stone to stone, taking pictures and working my way so far away from the car I was panting when I got back.

  11. I echo the comments above. Such beautiful, peaceful images of light and dark, soft and hard, and the cycle of life.
    The towering black silhouette of the tree against the grey sky depicts winter’s chapter of the pattern of the seasons poignantly, too.
    So sad to see the bag of rubbish. But the deep respect, love and nature’s beauty in that churchyard is what will endure – not the thoughtless transgression of the litterer. 🙂

  12. Oh! Ik ben weer the outsider from Holland en hoef ik géén é-mailtjes meer te hebben . . . Nee, ik studeerde géén Engels in London, of weet ik veel in Oxfort … Computers en tante Friet … , nee voor géén meter, hè …
    Maar, ik wil u niet missen ook al woon ik in Amsterdam. Als u in Amsterdam bent vang ik u en Jackie op! Zo . . . , dat beloof ik u! Elfriede * * Amsterdam, 16-1-2021, 21.11 uur … Amsterdamse wintertijd *

  13. In the set just above the lily-adorned cross, the bright green, moss-covered stone looks remarkably like an Orthodox icon. it really is unusual and eye-catching.

  14. I am drawn to that lichen-splashed memorial bench. Don’t want to sit on it, though. Great photo! That last cross is quite beautiful, too. Cemeteries certainly hold a lot of history and tell interesting stories, don;t they?

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