PILGRIMAGE: Monastery & Bluebonnets

PILGRIMAGE: Monastery & Bluebonnets April 11, 2007

At risk of becoming a photo-blog, here’s some pictures from yesterday’s
Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Monastery & Bluebonnet Tour.

Hover your cursor over the pics for captions; click to enlarge.


That's me in the midst of a sea of bluebonnets (the state flower of Texas) beneath the windmill that pumps water for the women's Monastery of St Paraskevi.Though still over 4 years away from eligibility, I was blessed to travel with these good folks, the Seniors of St George.Another shot of this cool windmill.  Look like Texas or what?The natural (but it takes a lot of work to look this natural) beauty of the Monastery.Grape vines will soon produce the wine for Communion.The Monastery pond.Bluebonnets at water's edge.Obviously, the Monastery barn.Light shines forth -- through a newly installed window in the Monastery Temple (under construction).An outside view of the new construction.The beautiful architecture of the existing house, where the nuns live and pray, gives one pause.For instance, this is the view of the manse coming up from the pond.The front door view of the Monastery.The hospitality house where -- during Bright Week -- you can gain 10 pounds in 30 minutes!  In addition to the wonderful hospitality of the monastics, there's also a nice icon & gift shop.The interior of the dome in the narthex.Even the air handling vents are wonderfully done!Men working of the outter dome's construction.Back inside, the main dome.The interior view from what will soon be the altar -- looking back toward the narthex.On March 7, 1901, Lupinus subcarnosus (also known as Buffalo clover) became the only species of bluebonnet recognized as the state flower of Texas. However, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) emerged as the favorite of most Texans. The flowers' deep blue blossoms can be seen from March through May in many areas of Texas. As a result of this popularity, in 1971 the Texas Legislature made any species of bluebonnet the state flower, including L. subcarnosus, L. texensis, L. concinnus, L. plattensis and L. havardii. Lupinus texensis remains as the iconic Texas bluebonnet. (Wikipedia)A popular spring pastime in Texas is photographing children, family members, and pets among the bluebonnets. Many families return to the same spot every year for photographs as part of a family tradition. (Wikipedia)Another Texas tradition was started by Lady Bird Johnson, after her return from Washington, D.C. as First Lady to President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Lady Bird persuaded the government of the State of Texas to seed bluebonnets and other wildflowers along the highways throughout the state. Every spring the flowers return as a legacy of the First Lady. (Wikipedia)

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