Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Day

My Fiance’ Rick and I had an amazing Christmas meal at the Historic Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas! A glorious Christmas buffet of Roast Duck, Prime Rib, Wild Rice, Salmon & Caviar… Oh the Desserts Pies, Cakes, Fruit, Cream, Petites! We eat mostly fish and salads during the year so it was a delicious treat just to let go and try everything. I know where we will be dining next Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As I was relaxing back at home I looked up at the mountain and knew she held a secret :o)  So instead of settling in waiting to snooze I decided to hike to the top… it had snowed ever-s0 lightly and created a white Christmas up the top.

Peak Trail - White Christmas

Peak Trail - White Christmas

Wrong Path Best Adventure

Until today I would climb to the top tag the ground and go back the way I came. Feeling adventurous I thought it would be fun to get to the top and take in this case take the peak trail back down as I had not been on it since they refurbished the trail. I went up the Dead Chief to the Short Cut trail and ended up on top at the picnic area. took the path across the top and noticed there were two trail down. I was not sure which one I had emerged from on the day I first climbed up so I took the one closest to the cross walk.

Many discoveries were made on this day…

  1. The wrong path turned out to be the right one literally and figuratively.
  2. I needed to do this more often.
  3. There are distinctive climate changes on this side of the mountain ie pronounced cold spots.
  4. unusual white rocks are everywhere… there are unusual rocks of every color everywhere
  5. I found a place that would be perfect for our wedding (Rick thinks so too)
  6. I Love this Park she never sets me on the wrong path

Tufa Terrace Trail Squirrel

I had a lovely hike to the top of the mountain but had not found the shot I wanted.  Heading out of the park I decided to take an extended trail to the Promenade.  Just when you think  you might not have a chance at a great photo nature smiles your way.

Wildlife Promenade and Honeysuckle Trail

Short trip out this morning trying to build my strength so I can begin to hike to top on a regular basis. The Peak Trail is still closed for repairs and I struggle on the Dead Chief incline. Short Cut Trail is my nemesis, but will be my friend soon. Even though I am hiking in a limited area I manage a few shots of birds that I will have to identify later.

Now identified as a Northern Mockingbird thanks to Audubon Arkansas Website.


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