Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Beautiful Creatures in the Park

At Home Foggy View Over Hot Springs Mountain

Promenade Northern Mockingbird

The weather changes in Hot Springs are rapid, I awoke to deep fog and into the park in an hour.   As I enter the park it is a ghost world.  On the Tufa Terrace ramp I hear a noise to my side and can see a squirrel nearly on my shoulder.  We both look a bit surprised at our proximity, 30 seconds pass before either of us moves.  As the sweet Squirrel heads up the Tree it nearly collides with another one on the way up. Visibility is very limited in some places.

In the grass new Fungi are mushrooming, brown glossy tops look as if they are floating in the fog.  Lovely pink Wild Roses are glowing along the terrace as streams of sunlight pierce the gray mist.  A beautiful little Chipmunk is leaping on the Tufa Rocks and I am surprised to see it in the half light. I love watching it’s graceful moves.

From the Tufa Terrace I connect with the Peak Trail and begin my hike to the top of Hot Springs Mountain.  As I near the top the fog begins to lift as the sun crests the Mountain.  The explosion of light on the Trail is breathtaking, I wonder if  I could possibly have witnessed such a glorious event. At the top a tiny Downy Woodpecker it hopping up the side of a nearby Tree. I am always amazed at how tiny they are.

From the top I take the Hot Springs Mountain Trail to the Upper and Lower Dogwood Trails. I hike down the Floral Trail, and head back to the Promenade via Fountain Street. Along Fountain Street I spot a large crow in a Tree across the street near North Mountain.  It is soon chased off by a Blue Jay, an event which surprised me.

On the Promenade a Northern Mockingbird appears above me on a lamp post and looks directly at me.  From there it flies down to a tiny new Tree for a morning berry feast.  As I move toward the Tufa Terrace ramp I hear a noise above me and look up to see a Male Cardinal preening in the sunlight.  He looking spectacular in the bright early morning light.

When I reach the bottom of the Tufa Terrace I spot more newly opened Magnolias all along the edge of the park entrance.  Their sweet perfume follows me home, showing me Nature is never far away.

Take a break from the electronic age and play for a while in Nature.
Love to you ALL,
Lee

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