The sun rise is spectacular as I head into the park, rays of light beaming between the forest giants. The lower reaches of the park are quiet so I head over to the Dead Chief Trail and connect with the Short Cut Trail. As I near the top I see both a Male and Female Hairy Woodpecker flying from Tree to Tree. They are a beautiful site high up in the Tree Tops.
When I reach the top of the mountain I hike over to the Pagoda. As I head up the Trail a squirrel hangs off the side of a Tree showing me it’s lovely Nut treat. When I finally reach the Pagoda a Male Cardinal is sitting in a bush in front of me. I believe he can see me and I am surprised he does not fly away, instead he hops around on the bush. Much later he flys up into a Tree above me to sing a song to the sunrise. His coloring is glorious in the bright sunlight.
The Hot Springs Mountain Trail it is very quiet and I begin my hike in the eerie silence. I am surprised when a Chipmunk pops up looks at me, ignores my presence, looks away and sounds an alarm. This alarm is echoed by other Chipmunks all along the Trail. Even as I move closer the Chipmunk continues to ignore me. Suddenly up off the forest floor a bird rises up and lands in a Tree. I cannot make it out in the distance what type of bird it is other than knowing it is larger than the birds I normally see flying in this area. It is not until I see the images on my computer I discover it is a Peregrine Falcon. It is an unexpected site.
I cross the Hot Springs Mountain Road and continue my hike on the West side of the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. I am so happy to see a sweet White-Throated Sparrow flying among the lovely new green forming along the Trail. I find another patch of Birds-Foot Violets, a bee is busy collecting pollen from each flower.
I continue on the path until I reach the Honeysuckle Trail then connect with the Peak Trail. Squirrels are busy foraging for nuts in the leaves and I watch as they find their burred treasure. I can still hear rustling of leaves, looking up I see a squirrel pushing a pile of leaves up a Tree. It is the first time I have witnessed this.
From the Peak Trail I connect to the Promenade and it’s a beautiful explosion of wildflowers. Henbit and Dead Nettle are blooming everywhere, a big Yellow and black Bumble Bee is pollinating the Wildflowers. As I exit via the stairs a lovely little House Sparrow looks down at me from the Hospital Steps above.
Let your Love carry you to Nature.
PS I had a lovely hike with my Love Rick this evening. I showed him all the glorious new wildflowers, a lovely Northern Mockingbird paid us a visit and we stopped a woman from abandoning her dog in the park. It was wonderful night out!