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Saint Gregory of Sinai

The twisted almond tree with the Chapel of Saint Gregory of Sinai in the early morning sunlight.

Twisted Almond Tree

I was able to spend the first three days of the fast at the Chapel of Saint Panteleimon. The twisted almond tree at the Chapel of Saint Gregory of Sinai was in full bloom.

Almond Blossoms 4

The almond trees are all the more beautiful because they are in such contrast to the surrounding granite mountains.

Almond Blossoms 3

The almond trees bloom during the first warm days, heralds of spring.

Saint John Climacus

Today, the Sunday of Saint John Climacus, we celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the little chapel below the cave of the saint. Afterwards, we climbed up to the cave and lit candles. The day was already hot outside, but inside the cave, it was cool and refreshing.

Sinai Butterfly

A butterfly takes nectar from the almond blossoms. Seen up close, butterflies have iridescent spots on their bodies, and the coloration on their wings is in tiny patches, more like a mosaic.

Almond Blossoms 2

Some blossoms are white, others pink, but most have white petals with red at the base of the flower.

Almond Blossoms 1

For a few weeks in the spring, the almond trees are covered with beautiful blossoms, and the air is filled with a subtle fragrance.

Almond Tree in Bloom

The almond tree at the edge of the garden is in full bloom, heralding the arrival of springtime in the Sinai.

Shelter from the Rain

The bell tower and minaret. Rain clouds hang over the surrounding mountains.

A cross carved into the granite ashlars on the west end of the sixth century basilica. If you look at the higher resolution photograph, you can see a pigeon that has taken shelter from the rain.