Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Halloween CARD for The Rabbits

At midnight in the museum hall

The fossils gathered for a ball
There were no drums or saxophones,
But just the clatter of their bones. . .

Amid the mastodontic wassail
I caught the eye of one small fossil.
"Cheer up, sad world," he said, and winked ~
"It's kind of fun to be extinct."

~ Ogden Nash ~

Select Image or This [LINK]
To view Video

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Article on the GYR Online Journal

This week in our Rabbit's Review column LisaMary shares her review on Pioneer Cemeteries Sculpture Gardens of the Old West by Annette Stott.

Hop on over and check it out!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2011 GYR Online Journal

Last call...

Hopefully! We have 3 openings in our 2011 GYR OJ schedule. We need someone to contribute articles on the following:

Mausoleums or Columbariums 6/6 and 9/5
A look inside or out

A Rabbit's Tale 11/14
A little of this, a little of that

Please volunteer to share on a cemetery or tombstone in your area.

We have 13 columns rotating in 2011 and are excited to welcome new authors!

A Rabbit’s Review - How a rabbit sees it

Digging for Answers - Your questions answered

Graveyard Guru - Interview with an expert

The History Hare - The Hare of the history that bit you

Tech T.I.P. - Technology you can use

Photo Monument - A Grave photo essay

A Rabbit’s Tale - A little of this, a little of that

The International Rabbit - Rabbits 'round the world

Cemetery Spotlight - Your favorite cemetery featured

Mausoleums or Columbariums - A look inside or out

Famous File - Local or national

Cemetery Art - Beauty you see in the cemetery

Final Word - Epitaphs to share

To volunteer please send an email to your editor

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Article on the GYR Online Journal

This week in our International Rabbit column Henk shares with us about rented graves. Hop on over to the GYR Online Journal to read his article and see some great photo examples.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary Association of Graveyard Rabbits

October, the month when the spirits of the dead are abroad revisiting their former haunts marks the birth of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

October 1, 2008, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits made its first appearance on the internet. Two years ago today the first online invitation to join this Association was posted. In 2009 The Association was honored to be one of Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in the Cemetery category. Where else would you find a Graveyard Rabbit?

In the coming year the Association will expand the Online Journal adding several new authors and columns. I think Father Rabbit would be proud.

The Association Of Graveyard Rabbits – dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones; and the social promotion of the study of cemeteries, the preservation of cemeteries, and the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries.

It is most appropriate that the month of All Hallows Eve is the birth month of our Association. October, the month when the spirits of the dead revisit their former haunts and the month when the Association whose haunts are the final homes of those dead came to life.

Our greatest resource is our members and the work they do in their communities and on their blogs. A very special thank you to Gale Wall, Diane Wright, Sheri Fenley, Henk van Kampen and all the Graveyard Rabbit Online column authors; Denise Olson, Tech T.I.P.; Stephanie Lincecum, Graveyard Guru; Gale Wall, Photo Monument; Randy Seaver, Digging for Answers; footnoteMaven, The History Hare; LisaMary Wichowski, The Rabbit's Review; Various Authors of The International Rabbit and A Rabbit's Tale; for their tireless work in furtherance of the Association.

The Association continues to grow. The members never cease to amaze us with their contributions to their communities and this Association. Well done!

Join us in this celebration as we look forward to the next year in the history of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. The best is yet to come.

Oh, and there is no end to the
Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Article in the GYR Online Journal

This week in our Rabbit's Tale column Joe Whitfield shares with us his random acts in the cemetery. Hop on over to the GYR Online Journal to read his article.

Note from Editor - for some reason I am having my scheduled posts save as drafts. The article posted by this notification didn't.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Call For Submissions - GYRabbit Carnival November 2010


The topic for the November 2010 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is: Genealogy On The Tombstone.

This topic was submitted by Diane Wright, who authors three GYR blogs: The Kansas Rabbit, The Wright Graveyard Stew, and The Grave Yard Rabbit Travels Wright. Does the tombstone tell a family history? Have we found some genealogy clues embedded in stone? Is there a brick wall breaker located in the cemetery? Show us the genealogy. We are all interested, so share with all the rabbits!

Submit your post to the carnival using the submission form. Submissions for this edition are due by October 25. Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Recently we've experienced problems with the Blog Carnival submission form. While you may have received a receipt, no submissions made it to the carnival administrator.

Just to be on the safe side, copy the blog carnival submission information and drop it in an email to me - Better safe, than missing the carnival. Thank you!

Graveyard Rabbit Carnival - October 2010


The topic for the October 2010 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is: An Occupation Or Hobby Memorialized in Stone. This topic was submitted by Diane Wright, who authors three GYR blogs: The Kansas Rabbit, The Wright Graveyard Stew, and The Grave Yard Rabbit Travels Wright. So sit back, let's see what the Rabbits have chosen!

Carol A. Bowen Stevens presents Trucking Through Hillside Cemetery posted at Reflections From the Fence, saying, "Hobbies and occupations are being seen more frequently here in my county, however, BIG trucks are not that common here even though I live in rural community. Have a look at what I found in just one cemetery."

M. Diane Rogers presents GYRabbit Carnival - Occupations and Hobbies posted at The Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada, saying, "Whether Kathleen Booth sewed for love or from necessity, we know she was likely never idle."

Tammi Thiele presents Hobbies and Occupations - GYRabbit Submission posted at Escape to the Silent Cities, saying, "A collage of Hobbies, occupations & sports."

Linda Hughes Hiser
presents Graveyard Rabbits Carnival--October 2010 posted at Flipside, saying, ""I think the "Hog" lovers are my favorite." "

Note: Doreen and Ruth. Neither of your links was for the correct Carnival. I ran a search and could not find either of them. Please send the corrected links and I will gladly add. -fM

That concludes this edition! Thank you to all the contributors. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

And while you're here, take a look at past carnivals, there's so much interesting information to be found when you explore cemeteries with a Graveyard Rabbit:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Meet Sue Jones, author of "Sleeping Gardens and other final resting places . . ."

The seventy first in a series
featuring a member of the
Graveyard Rabbit Association


Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you.........

My name is Sue Jones and I live in Saffron Walden in Essex, England. I have only been a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits since the beginning of this Summer, however my interest in the subject goes way back to childhood.

As children, my cousin and I would slip off to enjoy the peace and quietness of the local cemetery as it was far more interesting and a whole lot less dangerous than a boisterous playground. We would search for the graves of other children to discover their ages and also any headstone that described a particular cause of demise. We also knew, as children so often do without having to be told, that these were places of quiet respect and usually the domain of visiting adults. So we invented an excuse, should we happen to be challenged about our presence there, for we would simply adopt a Grandmother on our way in and say that we had simply dropped in to see her. They wouldn’t deny us that surely ?

For children have a natural curiosity of things of a morbid nature, and love nothing more than to listen to ghost stories and legends of things that ‘go bump in the night’, even though they remained scared of the dark and needed to sleep with the light-on well into adulthood. My Grandfather had a superb sense of the theatrical, and filled my head with all sorts of nonsensical yarns. These tales simply fanned the flames that fascinated and terrified me in equal measure all the more.
But growing up and putting childish things aside, as you do when raising a family of your own takes over for a while. Then after they have grown and leave to raise families of their own, you can indulge yourself in those simple pleasures that strolling through a cemetery or churchyard can bring. Only now that you are an adult, no one will question your motive for being there, even though you arrive with a camera instead of flowers and flit from tomb to tomb taking photographs and making notes, rather than visiting just the one relative.

I am most fortunate that my husband, also enjoys these visits of discovery, although it must be said, that his interest is prone to wane far sooner than my own. However we have a cunning plan, by firstly locating the nearest Pub before entering the chosen ‘Sleeping Garden’ so that when he is done with looking around, he heads off for a beer.
Or two.........

Over the years my family and friends have all gone along quite readily with many of my other quirky little interests, so I think that they have resigned themselves to accept me and my foibles rather than go to the effort of raising a quizzical eyebrow. They are an open minded and tolerant bunch on the whole and my close friends will even offer to stop the car when they spot a tombstone or two themselves, without any prompting from me, even when we are supposed to be on a shopping trip at the time. They think it’s rather cute to see my face light up when I find a little treasure – a Tutankhamen moment - and so they have even accompanied me on a visit at times, at their own suggestion I may add.

I was interested in joining the GYR association, because I had always believed that I was rather alone with my interest in things funereal. I had bunches of photographs, but just like ‘Billy no Mates’ I had no one to share them with, for they were not generally appreciated when shown as a part of your holiday ‘snaps’ collection.

I was quite happy though, just to wander in the tranquillity of the great outdoors and enjoy the monumental masonry, especially that of the Victorian era, for they really knew a thing or two about making a lavish statement.So it was the serene Art of these places that lured me back into visiting them again as an adult and as my husband and I travelled the world, we would often locate a cemetery of interest and go along for a look and take a ‘few’ pictures.
I have not yet been bitten by the personal genealogy bug, but I do find it fascinating to dip into the past of others, like a bran tub, you never know what you may end up pulling out. It’s a bit like being an Historical Detective and good old ‘google’ is a wonderful magnifying glass for revealing some of the stories behind the names on the headstones.

Up until I became a member of the association of GYR, my collection of tombstone pictures had been no more than a collection of images. It was only through reading the fascinating blogs of others and what they had discovered, that I realised that each headstone was like the first page of the novel of someone’s life story. So I felt that I should really know a little more about the owners of the gravestones that I had taken photos of and now I’m hooked, line and sinker.

And if you were wondering where my blog name Holisticrocs comes from, it is because of the work I do, as I am an Holistic Therapist and I’m currently training as a Shamanic Practitioner, so please feel free to have a look at my other blog ‘Banging the Drum’ which has a link on ‘Sleeping Gardens’. And if you should care to follow my blog, then I look forward to meeting you then.


New Article on the GYR Online Journal

This week in our Photo Monument column I bring you a photo of memento mori and its location. Hop on over to the GYR Online Journal to read all about it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet Jezebel, author of "Just An Untamed Taphophile"

The seventieth in a series

featuring a member of the

Graveyard Rabbit Association


When I received the invitation to have me and my blog, “Just an Untamed Taphophile”, spotlighted here on GYR, I was blown away. “Wow… how cool is THAT?” Yet, after a brief happy dance (we all have one - don’t deny it!), I kind of panicked. How in the world was I going to discuss my blog – myself! – for the Rabbit readers? Self-promotion? Definitely, not one of my strong suits. So, with Sheri’s unwitting help (Would you believe I actually considered for a nano-second trying to compete with Johan Mathiesen's post - as if anyone could! That was absolutely stellar!), I decided to take the coward’s way out by pretending that some invisible phantom was interviewing me. So, after quite a bit of time trying to think of questions/topics said phantom might pose that I hadn’t already covered over on “…Taphophile" the end result is this post.


Well, I’m not a comedian, yet I can, and will, find a reason to laugh every day. I’m not a singer, yet you will always catch me singing with abandon at every red light. I’m not a dancer, yet I do dance down the aisles to that tired old, supermarket music – every time. I’m not an artist, yet you can find the story of my life inked across my flesh in images torn from my own soul. I’m not a writer, yet I find comfort in the very act of unlocking the words within me and physically strewing them about. I’m not a photographer, yet often I would much rather observe the world through the camera’s lens than with harshness of my naked eye. I think that’s my personality in a nutshell – let’s move on, shall we? I do so hate delving THAT deep into myself!


I did… and I don’t KNOW what she was thinking. No, seriously, I grew up in what used to be a very small, close-knit community in New Hampshire (where I still reside, although it's not so small anymore). Our neighbors, the ones that weren’t related to us, were all friends and no one thought a thing about being gone on our bikes from dawn until dark. The cemetery in question was not far from home and, in truth, had become a favorite spot of mine well before I was “old” enough to ride solo or felt the need for a private sanctuary of sorts. Now, over 25 (fine… 35!) years later, it remains a favorite of mine both as a Cemetery Trustee and a crawler.


Besides being a Cemetery Trustee, I do kind of work in the public eye and visitors to my office are subjected to the trappings of my obsession all around my space. My favorite shots hang on the wall, and even my mouse pad and coffee mug are taphophile friendly. It is also so at home – with cemetery photos interspersed with pictures of my kids. My family has never taken issue with it or found it bizarre, nor have my friends, and all enjoy browsing through my photo albums (well, at least they pretend to find it enjoyable!). In fact both my daughters on occasion, out of view of their friends, openly share my affinity and have been known to accompany me on crawls. Similarly, my co-workers are not overtly weirded out by my choice of decor.

Everyone else? As is the case for most us, I’m sure, the reaction of others to my penchant for cemeteries often leans heavily toward disbelief and the all-too-common “ick face” as I affectionately call it. I'd like to think, however, that as time passes and the number of blogs, articles, Associations, and the like continues to swell out here on the interwebs, a shift in perception will follow. Crawling is, in my humble opinion, as universal an activity as, oh, I don’t know – bird watching - despite being less recognized or accepted. I think it's fair to say that there are taphophiles on every continent and that they range in age from pre-schoolers to great-grandparents. They also span all social classes, and all manner of personalities from “Emo” to “CEO”. Not too shabby statistics for a purportedly ghoulish past-time.


I do tend to stay away from “new” graves/sections, and I also don’t photograph my own family’s plots. I know the latter could certainly be construed as hypocritical, and I make no excuse for it other than it’s a weird superstitious, personal "thing" I have. The former is simply because the pain of loss is far more palpable there and that, for me, is not what I’m seeking during my crawls.


I love to see babies remembered decades after they pass. The picture below, which I’ve creatively dubbed “Flowers for Baby”, is one of my personal favorites. Over thirty years gone when I snapped this photo, and someone still cares enough to bring him fresh flowers. That, to me, just surpasses sweet.

Hate? The only thing I could say I hate to see is vandalism. Grief is a keenly personal emotion, and I could never imagine being offended by or disliking anything placed on a grave to memorialize a loved one. I can also stomach neglect to a great extent, but malicious acts drive me nuts! Stone tipping, spray paint, and even innocent “chalking”, which some photographers do to raise the lettering on older stones; all make me crazy. For the record, a spritz of water and a mirror to direct the sunlight works as well, if not better, to make the stone legible and ultimately does no harm (thus ends my rant... my apologies lol).


It’s very hard for me to choose from the thousands I've shot, as all of them “spoke” to me for one reason or another – or I wouldn’t have photographed them. I'm as fickle as a toddler when it comes to favorites, and they change like the wind with each new cemetery I enter. If I had to pick today I would have to stay with the “Dane” monument below. I must confess, though, it was not the easiest overall capture given the lighting when I visited (read: lame excuse for a bad photo). Beyond that, I don't believe the expressiveness in her face CAN be fully grasped in a photo - she is a monument that needs to be seen in person.


There is no single answer to this question. My dream vacation crawl would start at Bonaventure, travel to New Orleans, extend overseas to Augsburg, and end with a leisurely stroll through each of the Magnificent Seven in England. THAT would be heaven!

WHAT ABOUT GENEALOGY? (Ha! Always a popular GYR question so I threw it in here for good measure.)

I am, in fact, the keeper of my family’s history. I became obsessed with it years ago after hearing the story of how my Great-Grandfather stowed away on a ship bound for Nova Scotia from Germany and, to date, have compiled obnoxious amounts of data (that doesn't even pertain to my elusive Great-Grandfather :sigh:). Similarly, I have sorted and chronicled boxes of old family photos and letters into some semblance of continuity. In short, yes, I’m equally obsessed with tracing my family’s roots and preserving whatever I can for those who come long after we’re gone.


Indeed, I have a boatload of them. Amongst others, I find the paranormal incredibly interesting and love stumbling across abandoned places/buildings. I also adore “Sleeping Beauty” photographs, although I don’t currently have any in my collection. Unlike crawling, that last obsession DOES seem to creep out not only my daughters but others, as well... but that's an entire other post!


Soon… very soon! I mean, really, how can I let it lie idle now?

AND THAT, MY FRIENDS IS THAT. Thank you to Sheri, GYR, and you, the readers of this post, for letting me take up a bit of your day.
Until we meet again... crawl with care.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shades The Magazine - Mourning Issue - 2010

This issue of Shades Of The Departed, The Magazine is dedicated to an area near and dear to the hearts of Graveyard Rabbits.

Table Of Contents:


The Year Was
The Year Was 1871

Appealing Subjects
Death Upon The Record

The Future of Memories
At The Cabin

Captured Moments
Record and Share

Saving Face
Professional Development

Penelope Dreadful
A Dreadful Coincidence

The Evidence Of Life


A Revolutionary Pursuit
Maureen Taylor

Celebrating Dead Fred
Joe Bott

In The Gloom & The Gleam
Photographs In The Cemetery

Photography & Mourning

Behind The Camera
Post-Mortem Photography

MoĆ­ses Rojo of Sinovas, Spain
Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Graveyard Rabbit Carnival Isn't Working!

I received no carnival submissions through BlogCarnival and only one by email. I know of several, but the submissions are not being received.

If you submitted to the September 25 GYRabbit Carnival, please leave a note in the comments with the url of your post, your blog, and remarks.

Thank you!

2011 GYR Online Journal

The 2011 schedule for the online journal is looking good. We have a great list of authors that will contribute articles on 13 topics.

We still have 3 openings to completely fill our weekly schedule. Please consider writing an article on the following:

Mausoleums or Columbariums
6/6 and 9/5

Rabbit's Tale [pretty open topic]

Thank you to our great volunteers!

If you have questions or interested in one of these openings please send your editor an email at

Gale Wall
GYR Online Journal Editor
Cemetery Walk: An afternoon of discovery.
Every stone has a story. And they are waiting to be told.