Doves Silhouette

I was leaving my house the other day when I noticed these two doves in a tree near the end of my driveway. They were quite a long way away and I had a 45mm lens on my camera, so I knew I would have to crop quite a lot. Luckily the camera has a resolution of 33 megapixel so I could crop quite a lot and still have a decent picture. While I was taking it I “visualized” a silhouette so the post-processing was fairly simple except for the rather lengthy processing of removing small, distracting branches.

I’m quite pleased with the way it came out.

Taken with a Sony A7IV and Samyang 45mm f1.8

Lodge Gates

Once up a time the gates below stood at the entrance to a magnificent luxury hotel in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Built in 1902 It was called the Briarcliff Lodge (see above) and was destroyed in a fire in September 2003. Although the lodge had gone the stone pillars that held the gates remained, apparently not damaged in the fire. However, the gates themselves had disappeared. They were a long way from the Lodge and were, in all probability, not destroyed in the fire. So, what had happened to them?

According to a local newspaper (See: Historic Briarcliff Lodge Gates Find New Home):

The two ornately designed gates, which stand over 8 feet high and 16 feet wide, were salvaged by the village after a major fire destroyed the main buildings on the site in 2003. At the time, the property was abandoned and had been the campus of the King’s College. For the past seven [the article was written in 2011] years the iron gates have been stored at the Village of Briarcliff Manor DPW [Department of Public Works] facility on Pleasantville Road.

It’s good to see them back where they belong.

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GX85 and Lumix G Vario 14-140 f3.5-5.6

Another Cemetery in Mount Kisco

According to Patrick Raftery:

The entrance to the Saint Francis Cemetery, Mount Kisco is on the west side of Lexington Avenue opposite its intersection with Smith Avenue. The cemetery adjoins the northern border of Oakwood Cemetery. The cemetery has been active since 1908.

The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi was found in 1868 to serve Roman Catholic residents of Mount Kisco, Bedford, Pleasantville and part of New Castle. During the late 19th century, the Catholics of the Mount Kisco area would have interred theire deceased friends and family at All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville, St. Augustine’s Cemetery in Ossining or the small burial ground near Succabone Road in the Town of Bedford. After the church in Pleasantville became its own parish in 1894, however, the parishioners of Saint Francis no longer had a cemetery of their own. This dilemma was solved in 1908, when James Wood and his wife, Emily, donate a parcel of land on the north side of Oakwood Cemetery to the Reverend Francis X. Kelly, pastor of the Church of Saint Francis. Interestingly, the Woods were not the parishioners of Saint Francis. However, James was a “founder and trustee of Oakwood Cemetery” and may have “felt that a Catholic cemetery would be an appropriate neighbor”. Today the cemetery still serves the parishioners of Saint Francis of Assisi. (Patrick Raftery, “The Cemeteries of Westchester County, Volume II“. Westchester Historical Society, 2011.)

“The picture below shows a monument, which does not have the name of the family on it. It marks the grave of several young people who died in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to containing a Pietà, it also contains an engraving of a motorcycle, perhaps reflecting the interest of one or more of the deceased.” (Patrick Raftery, “The Cemeteries of Westchester County, Volume II“. Westchester Historical Society, 2011.) I particularly liked the wasps/bees/hornet’s nest at the top right of the picture.

Taken with a Canon EOS Elan and Canon EF 35-70mm f3.5-4.5

A Cemetery in Mount Kisco, NY

A fellow resident of Briarcliff Manor recently gave me box and a suitcase full of old cameras (but that’s a story for a future post). I decided to take one out to see if it was working. But where to go? Anyone who reads these posts will know that I’m fascinated by cemeteries. My friend and colleague at the Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society, Karen told me that she’d recently been in nearby Mount Kisco and had spotted some cemeteries. So I decided to go and check them out.

There are actually two cemeteries right next to each other. St. Francis Cemetery (the subject of a future post) and this one, Oakwood Cemetery.

According to Patrick Raftery:

The Oakwood Cemetery in Mount Kisco is located on the East side of Lexington Avenue opposite the intersection of Moor Avenue. It has been active since 1872. From 1872-1883 its official name was Locust Hill Cemetery.

Oakwood Cemetery was mentioned briefly by Joseph Barrett in Scharf’s History of Westchester County, New York: “Oakwood Cemetery, a very beautiful tract of land of fifty-five acres, is in the Village of Mount Kisco. It was laid out by Mr. Chauncey Smith, then the owner of the land, and given the name of Locust Hill about 1872. It was incorporated January 9, 1883 by its present name.”

The first burial in the cemetery “was that of a little girl, the daughter of Mr. Martin Hubbell.” According to the New Castle Town Historian, Chauncey Smith was a real estate entrepreneur who developed land he owned on the east side of Lexington Avenue into a residential neighborhood, while converting his property on the west side of that street into a cemetery. The cemetery had been in operation for barely four years when the “panic of 1876 forced Smith into bankruptcy,” a situation which jeopardized the future of the burial ground. The cemetery was reorganized on November 21, 1882, when “nine local citizens (including some of the original plot owners) for a new corporation…to own and operate the cemetery.” The new corporation changed the name of the burial ground to Oakwood Cemetery, “planted 100 oak trees to validate the name” and offered plots for sale ranging from $25 to $350 per lot. At the present time (Note: this is from a volume printed in 2011), the management of Oakwood Cemetery is planning the construction of a new Mausoleum/columbarium to provide alternatives to the traditional method of in-ground burials. (Patrick Raftery, “The Cemeteries of Westchester County, Volume II“. Westchester Historical Society, 2011.)

“This advertisement (see below) for Oakwood Cemetery appeared in ‘Sketches and Views of the Old and New Villages of Katonah, N.Y’., a booklet that was published in August 1900. The ad targeted Katonah residents who were required to to remove the interments of the relatives from Whitlockville Cemetery as a result of the expansion of the Croton Reservoir.” (Patrick Raftery, “The Cemeteries of Westchester County, Volume II“. Westchester Historical Society, 2011.)

Taken with a Canon EOS Elan and Canon EF 35-70mm f3.5-4.5