“Blue Ridge Night”

A New Leaf Gallery
A multi media framed print by Cielo Sand


I, Cielo Sand, am an artist, a lover and painter of trees and a long-time advocate for protecting our native forests. I was captivated by one particular Black Birch tree on the Blue Ridge Parkway and wanted to paint it. I am not alone in noticing this magnificent tree. As a testament to its dramatic presence, there is a well-worn foot path winding thru tall grasses to the magnificent tree. How many deep-rooted connections must this Black Birch have made with its many admirers! The following story of a family’s relationship with this tree is likely one of many meaningful stories from travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Floyd community benefits from its close proximity to the Parkway from its pastoral ridge top beauty along with the financial benefits from visitors, even in these difficult times. One example is a heartwarming story about couple traveling thru on a motorcycle who stopped at our A New Leaf Gallery and spotted a print of my painting of this Black Birch. With much excitement they shared their family’s history and relationship with this iconic tree.

Over the years the Corkey family has traditionally gathered at the Black Birch tree on the Parkway to document the family’s growth and changes with ‘family tree’ photographs. Nancy Corkey spoke to her daughter by phone as the couple admired the framed print, which was later purchased. The daughter was as excited as the parents about the print and agreed to plan another family photo beneath the tree that would accompany my art on their wall. Not only did the Gallery benefit, but The Maggie Gallery, Floyd’s local gallery and frame shop where I have prints and frames made, also profited from the Parkway travelers.

Each year the family has gathered at this tree on the Parkway to mark the family’s growth and changes through their ‘family tree’ photographs.




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