Scenes of Fearrington Village

fearrington_village_122113_2Twice, my plans to explore Fearrington Village, a creative and mixed-used community situated on pastoral land between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, North Carolina, have fallen through at the last minute due to illness. Reservations: cancelled. Hopes of experiencing for the first time the general splendor of Fearrington Village and its acclaimed food scene: dashed.

Third time’s the charm, or so the saying goes. And so it was that this past Saturday, I ventured to the Village determined to at least explore the grounds, peer into shop windows, and photograph some of the things that are uniquely Fearrington.

I arrived as the sun was setting. Greeting me was a set of quirky windmills at the main entrance off of U.S Route 15-501.


I parked and made my way to the fencerow to photograph the Fearrington Belties, which are Belted Galloway beef cattle originating from Scotland. None of the pictures made the cut (pun intended) thanks to an uncooperative bovine, front and center, that insisted on showing me his behind. So instead, imagine a black cow with white bands (or belts) around its waists…and there you have a Beltie!

I then headed toward the gardens, passing signs for Fearrington House and hoping that one day I would taste the acclaim of one of America’s top restaurants. At a couple’s request, I took their picture in front of a fountain, carefully positioning them so that in years to come the live Christmas tree sparkling in the background by The Tea Room would bear testament to the time of their visit.


Simple but pretty tree outside The Tea Room — (Fearrington Village, NC)

This next photo is of the same tree, but the closing daylight casts a completely different color on it from a different angle. Either way, simply gorgeous. And The Tea Room through the doorway? Looks warm and inviting!


By now, the sun was leaving its last marks on the sky, affording me this gorgeous shot further down the brick pathway:


Within minutes, the sunset turned from yellows to blues and pinks, setting off the weathervane atop the Post Office–a busy spot that time of day.


I continued down the path toward the Beauty Salon and honkered down to capture a different angle of the sunset. An elderly couple approached–two silhouettes in the near-darkness holding hands.

It was a striking sight, and I started to take their picture when the gent called out, “Hey! Are you taking our picture?” Before I could respond, he continued, “Or is it a selfie?”

I hooted with laughter, commending his progressiveness.

“Oh, I know all about selfies.” He replied matter-of-factly. “I’m on Facebook!”

Good manners prevailed and I refrained from taking their picture, immortalizing instead this captivating sight:


North Carolina’s Fearrington Village at twilight.

In McIntyre’s Bookstore, I marveled at this original angel decoration, created by a seasonal employee, (who is a year-round public librarian), and made mostly of recycled pieces of paper:


Fully warmed to my adventure and feeling a bit like Trixie Belden, (‘sploring Crabapple Farm and Sleepyside), I crept close enough to the Fearrington Barn to get this picture without interrupting preparations for a reception:


As I was leaving Fearrington Village, I was struck by how the lights on the Fearrington Barn’s silo give it a Christmasy glow:


Driving home, I pondered which part I liked the best. I concluded that it was not any particular sight or place, but rather how the setting sun and the twinkling Christmas lights that illuminated the Village created warmth and nurtured a sense of peace and joy. If “manmade” light and nature’s light can do that, consider for a moment the great power and peace that comes from the Light of the World (Jesus), whose birth will be celebrated on December 25th.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy…
Isaiah 9:2-3b (ESV)

Scenes of Christmas: A Green Christmas Tree

I took a lunchtime stroll through The Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Wednesday and found myself in the Doris Duke Center.  Considered “the information and education hub of the Gardens,” the Center is named for the (late) daughter of Duke University’s (late) benefactor James Buchanan Duke. Among the Center’s offerings are classrooms, a horticulture library, and a large event space that can be used for private, community or University gatherings.[1]

While there, I overheard a gentleman admit that although he wouldn’t have a purple Christmas tree, the Center’s purple tree was beautiful.  As were all the other trees, he added.  My interest piqued, I inquired as to the whereabouts of said trees and found them in the large event hall, of course!

There were four trees, each with a unique theme and decorated with ornaments made from recycled materials. Which tree was my favorite?  Take a look.  I think that the details are absolutely fantastic.

This tree was decorated with items "from Grandma's attic."  The sign encouraged admirers to look for recycled items such as doilies, ladies handkerchief, yarns, feathers, coffee filters, buttons, beads and silver utensils.

The tree in the foreground (was my favorite and) was decorated with items “from Grandma’s attic.” The sign encouraged admirers to look for recycled items such as doilies, ladies handkerchiefs, yarns, feathers, coffee filters, buttons, beads and silver utensils.  The tree in the background is the purple tree that started it all, decorated with intricate ornaments handmade from such recycled paper products as card stock, file folders and pocket binders. –Doris Duke Center, Durham NC

A close-up of the many fine details on "Grandma's Attic Tree." -- Doris Duke Center Event Hall, Durham NC

A close-up of the many fine details on “Grandma’s Attic Tree.” — Doris Duke Center at The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham NC

Have a wonderful Friday!