Thanks for the well wishes for my April birthday! My Dad has a birthday coming up soon and so, this morning, I visited the gift shop at the Monastery to buy my Dad a few presents....
There was a misty rain falling and as I walked near the gift shop building, there was a sight that stopped me in my tracks. It was a tree, not just any tree...but it was the same tree that I had seen blooming on the top of Arabia Mountain! It was a fringe tree. Oh my, what a beauty. You may read more about the fringe tree in an article that I found in the Southern Living Magazine, it is entitled "The Best Native Tree That No One Knows", you may read it here. (Chionanthus virginicus, Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard or Grancy Greybeard...whatever you call it, I think it is lovely.)
When I was admiring the tree, one of the monks walked past me and I told him how pleased I was to see the fringe tree given such a prominent spot. He told me that he didn't know what kind of tree that it was and that it was there when they built the building! (The Monastery was built in the 1940's but the Gift Shop is fairly new.) I love that they saved this native tree and gave it such a place of honor, very close to the front door! You see, the monks are like me...we might not know all the names of plants and trees but we know beauty when we see it!
Okey dokey, I told you it is a beautiful tree. See if you agree...
|Fringe Tree On Arabia Mountain-photo taken in the sun on April 11th.|
This is a close up of the blossom on the fringe tree-taken in misty rain on April 12th.
If you are wondering what I got for my Dad at the gift shop from the Monastery... it was stone ground grits, some Virginia peanuts and a jar of FROG jam! In case you think that last one is some kind of strange Southern food, it is simply jam made of Fig, Raspberry, Orange and Ginger! The monk in the shop told me that the jam is one of their biggest sellers!
If you notice, I have a post about the Monastery on the side of my blog...it is my most viewed post! The Monastery is a place of great beauty and peace and I am thankful that it is close to me ...and the Monastery is just down the road from Arabia Mountain!