As I mentioned in last week's Thankful Thursday post, I spent another magnificent day at the Washington Park Arboretum in mid May. Apparently I have never taken a thorough journey through the Arboretum at this time of year, as there were a multitude of things I had never seen blooming before. I had 4 hours to wander the grounds, and I still didn't see everything! But it was fun to stop and examine all the interesting plants and take note of their names. For those of you who read my post last week, I am sure you are dying to know what Aristotelia chilensis looks like. Well, here it is: It caught my attention because of the combination of fall-colored leaves, new green leaves, and blooms on the verge of opening. It reminded me of the way growth doesn't always happen in neatly defined stages. We can be growing in one area, staying the same in another, and falling behind in still another. How thankful I am that though we must be active participants in our growth, we are not the One who ultimately brings it about. And this tree reminded me that our lives can still be beautiful reflections of God even when we are very much a work in progress and all of our growth is occurring at different paces. I also enjoyed seeing the myriad of dogwood species hidden in various places throughout the Arboretum. When most people think of dogwoods, they think of this: But what about this? And this? Or even this? Dogwoods can certainly be diverse in their appearance, but it is fun to look closely and take note of the similarities, too. Well, it's fun for me anyway. You may already be bored silly! In any case, I have finished sorting my pictures from this most recent recent trip to the Arboretum and have posted them to my Shutterfly site HERE. I hope you enjoy them, and if you haven't taken a trip over to the Arboretum lately, you are really missing out :o).