Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The real and the non-real

with 19 comments

Wildflowers Surrounding Fake Flowers on Tombstone 7803

No, this isn’t my tombstone (have you ever seen a copyright notice on one?). If it were, though, I hope people would know I’d want only real wildflowers and not artificial ones. The actual flowers here are dominated by Indian paintbrushes, Castilleja indivisa. I don’t know what the fake flowers are supposed to be.

As with the picture from two posts back, this one comes from the grounds of the Christ Lutheran Church of Elm Creek on April 4th.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 12, 2014 at 5:57 AM

19 Responses

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  1. I hope to push up flowers like this when I’m plant food. 😃

    Midwestern Plant Girl

    April 12, 2014 at 6:51 AM

  2. I thought you might be starting a new trend in tombstone inscriptions. But, then, I thought perhaps not because today it would more likely be # steve schwartzman or perhaps a QR code http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-25576682


    April 12, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    • Thanks for that link. Old tombstones sometimes used to have a picture of the person buried there (and some new ones do, too), but with a QR code you can learn a lot more about the deceased. What a good idea. How many decades into the future a digital device will be able to interpret a current QR code is another story.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2014 at 7:22 AM

      • Yes, perhaps we will one day need the IT equivalent of the Rosetta stone to interpret the QR code. 😉


        April 12, 2014 at 8:33 AM

        • Well said. The continuing changes in media and formats have already created long-term archiving problems.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 12, 2014 at 10:26 PM

  3. What an incredibly perfect burial place. I wonder if it was intentional and whether they knew the wildflowers would take over.
    Don’t suppose you got close enough to get a date of the grave?
    That’s how I’d like to go.


    April 12, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    • I don’t know whether people from the church have sown these wildflowers or whether they’re spontaneous. I saw so many other floral displays on land in the area that this one could well be natural. Either way, I think it’s great. I wish all cemeteries looked like this.

      This wasn’t a very old monument, and to preserve the anonymity of the family I chose to photograph the stone from the back.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2014 at 7:25 AM

  4. I wonder if anyone has a ®, ©, or ™ on their stone. Kind of a novel idea. Many people arrange their stone before they die. They just leave off the death date until the last minute.

    Jim in IA

    April 12, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    • I’ve seen partially completed tombstones like that. Sometimes they’ve given me the impression that the people are just waiting to die.

      I was joking about the © symbol on a tombstone, but you may be right that somebody somewhere has one of the symbols you mentioned on a tombstone. In our computerized age, the @ symbol would be a likely choice, too

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2014 at 7:41 AM

      • Branding and ownership are a big deal. Do you think God has a Terms of Use policy for heaven? I’m sure there isn’t one for hell.

        Jim in IA

        April 12, 2014 at 7:49 AM

  5. What a great photo. This is the way cemeteries ought to look in springtime. Two years ago (or perhaps three) the old cemetery in Galveston was covered with a thick blanket of yellow flowers. It was so pretty that people were going there to have photos taken, just as they do with the bluebonnet fields.

    Some friends who worked for an Austin tv station once said they wanted a pair of blank screens on their tombstone, with the inscription, “Stay Tuned. We’ll Be Right Back.” If I were to have a marker, there’s no question what line I’d add beneath my name: “She Varnished From Our Sight.”


    April 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    • As you can tell, I agree wholeheartedly that this is how cemeteries ought to look in the spring. I’m sorry I didn’t hear about the Galveston cemetery two or three years ago, because I would’ve made the trip to see those wildflowers. In the last 15 years I’ve known two cemeteries in the Austin area that were covered in spring wildflowers, but in later years I was disappointed to find they’d been mowed down.

      I like your friends’ proposal for tombstones and yours too. May frivolity reign.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM

  6. How lovely. The fake flowers are superfluous.


    April 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

  7. blows my mind with joy, even though it’s a tombstone.


    April 12, 2014 at 10:28 PM

  8. If I could not have my ashes spread in the spot we have chosen, that would work for me.

    Steve Gingold

    April 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM

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