Monday, December 26, 2005

Another Strange Maine Christmas

Well I hope everyone had a good holiday. We here at The Hive made our way 5 hours north to Presque Isle to visit with Tristan's family up there. It was a good time though it did involve eating far too much in the way of cheese, potatoes, eggs and bread for us vegetarians. Christmas Eve morning we hooked up with Kris LeVasseur in Fort Fairfield and proceeded to spent the strangest holiday ever with him doing a photo shoot in a small graveyard behind his father's property.

The photo shoot involved Tristan in full zombie makeup and full winter regalia (bomber hat, et al) snowblowing in the graveyard. How very ludicrous and wonderful. This seems to be the usual result of Kris finding willing participants for the things his brain cooks up.

The graveyard was a bit of curiosity in and of itself. It is tucked off the main road in a sparsely wooded area, on a small hill overlooking rather watery land. The purity of the Northern Maine landscape in the winter is magnificent. The air was cold and still and grey-bright. The graveyard is home to a small group of late 1800s graves. There are 5 or so upright stones, and a handful (I am told) of flat inset stones that were hidden by the snow.

I took photos of all the uprights, including this one which is remarkable in that it hearkens back to H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Thing on the Doorstep." This take takes place in part in Maine, and the villainess in the story is named Asenath Waite. Asenath is a remarkable name, one which I have not heard in any context before or since reading the story. Yet here in a remote location in Maine I found a stone with the name Asenith inscribed on it. An interesting coincidence. I wonder if Lovecraft found this very graveyard in his taphophilic wanderings?


Chris said...

There were actually quite a few "Asenaths" running around Maine in the 1800s. 175 of them were living here in 1880, only three of them in Aroostook County.

The name is unusual in another sense: it comes from the Egyptian for "gift of the sun-god" -- one of the few old New England names derived from Egyptian ("Moses" and "Phineas" are two others).

Ironic that a "gift of the sun-god" would be living so far from the equator.

I see that there is also a carnivorous plant called "Utricularia 'Asenath Waite'," so named because of her "interesting propensity for shallow plantings in soft soils."

Michelle said...

I see that there is also a carnivorous plant called "Utricularia 'Asenath Waite'," so named because of her "interesting propensity for shallow plantings in soft soils."

I must worship at the foot of this crazy carnivorous plant breeder! Wow. Wow. Anyone who hasn't yet followed the link should by all means check it out.

In addition, may I also recommend exploring further (at the risk of your very soul) by venturing into Mr. Barry Rice's Galleria Carnivora.

Thank you Chris, for finding such a fantastic aside!!!

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a photographer by the name of Kris LeVasseur who I met in Portland, Oregon about a year ago. Could this be the same Kris? If so I'd love to find a way to contact him!

Michelle said...

Wow! Yes, that's him alright. :)

Just go to for his contact info!