past week's sunny muggy weather, down in in the southeastern town of
Westminster. Tonight was the first evening I'd had the opportunity to get down
to that part of the state, but the weather had changed, and the Nighthawks were
not mine to be had.
But I did take the opportunity to explore the nearby
town of Dummerston, seeking an area for my 'official' birding location.
Eventually, I settled on the Dummerston Center Cemetery along the East-West
Road. The cemetery sits on a short hillside road, and faces a large meadow.
Maple trees line the route of the road. The cemetery's setting seemed like a
good spot for some woodland's edge & meadow birding.
wasn't too special: a family of Eastern Bluebirds and a loose flock of Chipping
Sparrows were the most notable sightings, but what really caught my interest
were the tombstones.
Many were of slate, the stone of choice during
the 1700s and early 1800s. These early tombstones are in very good shape
considering most are 200 years old; very few have flaked or collapsed. The
stones are large - often 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall - with inscriptions in
fine, bold fonts. The early settlers of this town were very well esteemed. One
prominent tombstone from 1799 noted that the deceased was the "Major of the 1st
Company of the 1st Regiment of the State of Vermont" and passed away in his 41st
I want to go back to Dummerston Center Cemetery on a sunny day,
and photograph some of these tombstones in better light.
Eastern Bluebird (adults & juveniles)
Chipping Sparrow (a loose flock of 32)