Recent rides have taken me to Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Franklin County, Kansas. This is a small rural graveyard with monuments that date into the nineteenth century. An old hedgerow provides a little shade, and the headstone for an infant who died in 1901 at the age of 21 days provides some perspective. The hedgerow is true to Kansas, being an actual row of hedge trees (Osage Orange).
This stop, almost exactly thirteen miles out, is a halfway marker for a nice twenty-six mile ride, especially when the wind is from the south, pushing one north on route 1029 into Douglas County. But, more than a milepost with some history, perspective and hedge trees, the Pleasant Hill Cemetery ride brings back memories of bicycling near Iowa City over twenty-five years ago, when I would routinely visit the Oasis Cemetery, a similar mile-marker with its own share of history and irony.
Ensor would have enjoyed etching either of these cemeteries, even without an ocean nearby. He did, in fact, do an experiment with a sulfur ground once, which pretty well corroded the plate, resulting in an all-over pockmarked darkness when printed. He rescued this plate with the addition of a few etched headstones, turning the grey scene into a starry night.