A Day For the Birds: Cardinals, Woodpecker, Sparrow and Cedar Waxwings
Sweet song of birds brings joy to my heart, as soft feathered wings in flight dance on air above me. ~ Lee Hiller
Overcast day on Hot Springs Mountain with an expected storm tonight or tomorrow, I race to get ready for my hike. The air was cool and mountain was silent until I reached the top this morning. As always a pair of Cardinals were waiting for me and graciously allowed a few photographs. I could hear song birds and the elusive woodpeckers, but was unable to see them against the dark sky.
I continued my hike along the Hot Springs Mountain Trail and still the sky worked against me as I tried to photograph the many Red Bellied Woodpeckers that flew into view. I did manage to get a Lovely picture of a White Throated Sparrow. The Mountain trails were empty and it’s on days like these I feel as if it’s my own private park. Bird song filled the trail and I hiked on the wings of their music.
When I reached the road crossing I decided to hike up the North Mountain Overlook. I called the cell phone number on the sign and listened to the description, reception was not clear and I had to replay it when I returned home. Hot Springs National Park is in the Zig Zag Range in the eastern edge of the Ouachita Mountains. The forest below is a mix including Short Leaf Pine, Oak, Hickory, Dogwood trees. The recording stated Redbud and Dogwoods would begin to bloom in the early spring. There were no eagles were in flight so I decide to head back down to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail.
The decision to hike back to the top and go down the Peak trail proved fortuitous. As I walked the last few feet of the Peak trail a large flock of birds landed in a nearby Juniper tree and began feasting on the berries. The frenzy was an amazing site and I later discovered they were Cedar Waxwings. A Robin moved to a higher tree to watch the the show unfold below.
I met an wonderful local couple Rickey and Ginger Cate. They were visiting the park to view the work they had done earlier to restore the Promenade and Tufa Terrace areas. A special thank you to them for taking time to speak with me and for the superb work. They also suggested I need to eat at Rolandos Nuevo Latino Restaurante on Central Avenue and world famous McClard’s Bar-B-Que on Albert Pike. The people of Hot Springs, Arkansas are always wonderful it’s the best place to live… or at the very least visit.