When our ajuga was blooming this year this is what it was like in front of the spruce trees by the house.  It is called purple-blue ajuga.  The leaves get dark and spread out for a ground cover and then the tall stalks of six to ten inches are full of these lovely blue flowers.  After the flowers fade we cut the stalks off and the purplish leaves are still making the ground pretty with its continual growth.

This picture is not taken at our place.



Fresh Flowers For The Dead

 "One of our seamen, whom we left here with the small pox, died soon after we sailed from Paraiba. I left him in care of the British Consul, who also kindly assisted me in the transaction of my business with the custom house. His chief clerk, a Brazilian, lost a little child about two years of age, which was to be buried the evening after I arrived. The consul was among the chief mourners in the procession. He invited me to walk next to him. As I had never witnessed a ceremony of this kind, I readily accepted his invitation. I now had the privilege of learning from him many things relative to the procession, etc., which I desired to know.  

At about eight o'clock P.M., two lines of people were formed to march each side of the street. Wax candles, about three inches in circumference and four feet long, were now lighted, and given into the hands of each man in the procession. The corpse, which was richly dressed and adorned with fresh flowers, was placed in a little basket with four handles, four little boys carrying it. It looked like a sweet little child asleep. The procession, with the priest ahead of the child in the middle of the street, and two long lines of men with lighted candles on each side, was rather an imposing sight in the dark night. The walk was about one mile

and a half, to an ancient-looking stone church in the upper town. As we passed into the church I saw one of the flagging stones of the floor raised up, and a small pile of bones and dirt beside it. The consul told me the little child was to be put in there. The child was set down by the altar. The priest occupied but a few moments in speaking, then took up a long handled cup or ball, perforated with holes like a grater, through which, as he uttered a few words, he sprinkled the child with what they call holy water, some of which, whether by accident or otherwise, fell on us who stood at the head of the procession. After this part of the ceremony, all but the child returned in order with the procession. Mr. Harden, the consul, on returning, told me how the child would be disposed of. Two black slaves left with it, would strip it of all its clothing, cover it with quick-lime to eat off its flesh, then pound it down in that hole with the other bones and dust, until the stone would lie in its place again, and they would have all its clothing for their labor. In this way they disposed of their dead in this dilapidated charnel house, and place for divine worship. I was told it was one of the oldest towns in South America, being of nearly three hundred years' standing."  

1868 JB, AJB 199