The cemetery is in Great Falls, Va. I drive past it several times a week.
A few years ago I noticed that one of the plots, closest to the road, was being attended to. There were fresh flowers occasionally, and around holidays, special decorations or children's toys would mark the gravesite.
I thought about trying to photograph the site from the same spot, monthly, to get a sense of the seasons and the obvious love there was for Brittney Rae Ellis.
I tried a few shots. I wasn’t happy with the results. The headstone is in such a position that the sun frequently washes out the detail or blinds the camera. My “time lapse” idea has fallen to the side.
A week ago, the display at the grave could not be ignored. Brilliant red roses brought color to a black-and-white winter landscape.
You’ll see from the engraving on the headstone that Brittney Rae Ellis passed away 10 years ago. She was 17. "Princess" is cut into the stone and there is also a carving of the words “Best Buddy” and a figure of a German Shepherd. A Web site suggests the dog’s name was Shep.
Sometimes I see a man sitting on a stone bench by the grave site. I have not stopped to approach and tell him how moved I have been by his obvious devotion to, I must assume, his daughter.
Next time I see him, I will.