Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Archive for March 5, 2010

Chipmunk, Squirrel, Lizards, Rocks and Wildflowers on the Hot Springs Trails

Hot Springs Mountain Trail Chipmunk Standing

Sunny skies welcomed me as I entered the park and the bird song was spectacular.  I was greeted on the Carriage Road by a Robin who had a now healed chest wound.  He sang a beautiful tune as he foraged for berries. He was reminder of how tough it can be living in the wild.

I decided to go up the Dead Chief Trail and was treated to the sighting of a lovely little squirrel watching another squirrel climb up a tree. Eventually they ended up in the up too near each other and a lively chase ensued. As I connected with the short cut trail I was treated to a beautiful display of colorful rocks.  The earth pushed up the perfect canvas for lichen and mold to paint, the hike up to the top was like an art gallery.

Next I traveled along to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail at the top and was treated to a beautiful chorus of songbirds. Not far into my hike on the eastern part of the trail loop a tiny head popped up next to me in the leaves.  I froze and a few minutes later the sweetest little chipmunk stood up looked around and headed out in search of food.

When I reached the halfway point  I was happy to get a phone call from my new friend Deb Dobson (Twitter @DebDobson).  She kindly chose me for her next blog, it is a cool series called “Meet a Tweep” and it a great place to check out people to follow. I thought it would fun for her to interview me while I was hiking.  Deb was having a hike with me and it was really fun to have someone along form the journey.

Part way up Hot Springs Mountain Road on my way to the overlook Deb and I parted company, I continued my hike.  I dropped down to the Goat Rock Trail and was treated to one of many delightful surprises.  I heard a noise and looked down just in time to a Pretty Ground Skink. I think Lizards cool, I realize I have have another subject to read up on.   Further along I spotted several new Bird-Footed Violets along the sides of the path.  I found another violet and as I leaned over to look, another lizard appeared.  I tiny little thing I could not believe I spotted it. It was little female Prairie Lizard.  The Goat Rock Trail was a feast for the eyes Painted rocks, tiny lizards and wildflowers.

Next I took the Gulpha Gorge Trail and was happy to see a  black-capped chickadee working on it’s new home.  It appeared to be the same on I had seen a few days before.   A few yards from the top I spotted a larger lizard darting up a tree.  It was a mature male Prairie Lizard with beautiful Blue and Turquoise scales on his belly.   What an amazing adventure I was having meeting so many wonderful creatures of the forest.

I connected again with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, then to the Honeysuckle and over to the Floral Trail.  As I was leaving the park a Northern Mockingbird with an unusual beak landed on the bush next to me.  It turned, looked me straight in the eye then performed and a series poses.  It was an impressive disiplay to end my day in the  park.

Love to You ALL!  Get out and play everyday!


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