The highlight of our walk in Mt. Auburn Cemetery on Saturday was getting buzzed by a huge red-tailed hawk, diving so low over our heads that it ruffled our hair in its wake. I was left with an impression of the giant bird skimming by just above my skull, and I saw its downy body and talons up close. At first I thought it was an owl and, since I'm rereading the early Harry Potter books, I wondered if it was going to drop a letter or a Howler on our heads. No such luck, but it returned later and swooped low over us again.
The trees were all over the map, autumnally speaking. Some were in full color, others had lost all their leaves, and some still thought it was August. A few, like this one below, couldn't make up their minds and went half green and half gold on the same branches:
The larger specimen trees, like the beeches, were in their glory:
The giant beeches always look amazing no matter their leaves are up to:
More vivid fall color:
We noticed some amusing monuments on this walk. What would it be like to stand for eternity next to someone who thinks she has all the answers — a marble Hermione Granger, if you will? The resigned expression of the lady on the left says it all:
We came across the tomb of Senator Charles Sumner, a little way off of one of the main paths. We didn't realize that he had a connection to Congressman Anson Burlingame, whom we'd passed earlier. We'd never heard of him; we just liked his name and his impressive monument, at left. I just found out that, in 1856, Burlingame gave a scathing speech in Congress, denouncing the beating inflicted on Sumner by Preston Brooks, who'd objected to Sumner's criticism of slavery and President Pierce, and nearly killed him with a cane on the Senate floor. After Burlingame called him a "coward," Brooks challenged him to a duel. Burlingame eagerly accepted and chose rifles as weapons. Brooks was a no-show.
Right on, Anson!
On a lighter note, do you suppose that whoever chose the monument below, on the left, wanted to be known in perpetuity as "That Old Fossil"?
This lady's trip to eternity required the assistance of not one but two guardian angels. Perhaps she was reluctant, and understandably so. She certainly doesn't look enthusiastic:
The inscription on the cross below puzzled us: "Their Strength Is to Sit Still."
Really? I can't give dead people much credit for sitting still. It's simply What They All Do. I'd say that it's uniformly their weakness. Since the time of Christ, or rather, Osiris, it's been front-page news whenever one of them had any gumption to rise and walk again.
Okay, I'll be quiet now, so you can enjoy a little peace and scenery:
We were too lazy to climb the tower:
Hot pink is not a color I'd previously associated with autumn, but here it is: