If you live in an area surrounded by nature, you’re unfortunately likely to see a number of dead animals when you’re walking or driving from place to place. Predators, cars, and the simple “natural way of things” can lead to animals passing away, and most are simply left to decay on the side of the road while people pass by, maybe looking at the body out of curiosity or turning away from the sight entirely.
While no one would blame you for looking away from roadkill without another thought — it’s an unpleasant reminder of the circle of life, after all — one woman is going out of her way to honor the lives of the dead animals she finds in her day-to-day life in Texas.
Dr. Amanda Stronza, an anthropologist, professor, photographer, and conservationist, takes a unique approach when she finds a dead animal, creating a natural memorial for it with flowers, leaves, and other plants she finds in the area. She embraces death as a part of life, but also wants to honor the lives of animals that would’ve otherwise gone unnoticed and forgotten. The bodies are then left to nature, and since they’re moved away from dangerous areas like busy roads, they become safer and more accessible for predators like foxes, who take away the bodies and continue the cycle of life.
Take a look at some of Dr. Stronza’s beautiful natural memorials below, and be advised that the photos aren’t overly graphic, but do contain images of dead animals: