Cemeteries boast lush landscaping, quiet spaces and a sparse human presence – living humans, at least – making them ideal havens for wildlife to hang out in.
A Red Squirrel strikes a gravely respectful pose amidst the lichen-encrusted tombstones at Oulu Cemetery in Finland. Don't be fooled by the bushy-tailed beastie's calm demeanor: you've got to be a bit squirrelly to hang out in a cemetery. (cemetery wildlife image via Estormiz - Wikimedia)
Gravestones warm up on bright days, offering cold-blooded creatures such as insects a cozy resting place that won't dampen their metabolism. Carole Tyrrell spied this striking Jersey Tiger moth showing off its gorgeous striped upper wings at Brompton Cemetery in London, one of the UK's oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. (cemetery wildlife image via Shadows Fly Away)
When the wind howls in the depth of a Chicago winter, the coyotes howl back. Indeed, the sight of a coyote in suburban Chi-town – in this case, Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park – isn't as rare as it used to be. They're probably just following the Roadrunners. (cemetery wildlife image via Ann Fisher - Flickr)
If you had to cross a cemetery to get where you want to be, wouldn't you want to cross it as fast as you possibly could? And if you were an animal making that crossing, you'd want to be a Jackrabbit like the long-eared galoot above. Hey, there might be coyotes in that cemetery, amiright? (cemetery wildlife image via Chris Hartman - Flickr)
Here There Be Gobblin'
We're guessing most Wild Turkeys would rather give thanks than Thanksgiving, if you know what we mean, and we think you do. This fine feathered friend was snapped while making tracks across Sheridan Municipal Cemetery in Wyoming. (cemetery wildlife image via Mehitable Days)
There's not much doe in the cemetery biz and not a lot to fawn over... wait, we take that back. Douglas M Rife of Gravely Speaking found some unexpected life at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana one fine spring day in 2011. Thanks to his quick reflexes (and a single lens reflex) we can share in his discovery of a surprised White-Tailed Deer doe and her fawn. (cemetery wildlife image via Gravely Speaking)
A Jungle Crow enjoys a morning meal atop a tombstone in Tokyo's Aoyama Cemetery, as captured by Flickr user Kitty Kono in December of 2013. Why eat breakfast in a cemetery? Just beak cause. (cemetery wildlife image via Kitty Kono - Flickr)
Fox On Blocks
This Red Fox cub gazes out at the photographer from behind the time-worn and tilted tombstones of a West London cemetery and why not? The odds of encountering horses and hounds are rather low in such a place. (cemetery wildlife image via Get Fun Here)
Who was that masked mammal? Oh, just a Raccoon roaming through Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County, Missouri. (cemetery wildlife image via VOA)
Where Eagles Dare to Dream
Amateur photographer snapped this ethereal image of a lone Bald Eagle perched atop the grave of a veteran at Fort Snelling National Cemetery one misty morning. According to one cemetery employee, eagles visit the cemetery “all the time”. Maybe old warriors just like the company of their kind. (cemetery wildlife image via Minneapolis Star Tribune)