Memento mori: Te Henui detail

Te Henui detail, New Plymouth. 11.07 am, 6 May 2011

This scene is how I found it, except for removing a fallen twig or two. Beside a grave a cherub sits on a plinth, under an elm. An artificial vine crosses her feet and a plastic wreath is nearby – I doubt that she will still be in the same position today, as, sadly, cemetery vandalism is common.

This was the main cemetery for New Plymouth; I have two grandparents and a great-grandfather buried there. The oldest part goes back to the 1860s and includes headstones related to the Anglo-Maori Wars;  there is also an extensive section for returned soldiers. Some areas are hilly but these are also nicely planted or fringed by trees and shrubs.

As a cemetery Te Henui offers an unusual variety of scenes, topographies and chronologies. It would warrant a high place in the Lonely Planet guide to NZ cemeteries, come the day. That’s a jest.

1/4 sec at f16. Nikon 85mm; ISO <200

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