Dim with patches of sun and pouring rain, it is a perfect day for a hike. As I reach the top of the Tufa Terrace entrance I am greeted by a lovely Chipmunk having it’s breakfast. It is a heart warming sight and a happy start to my hike. As a brief moment of sun appears I can see the Moths on the Peak Trail Tree are sill battling the Yellow Jackets. A pretty Sycamore Tussock Moth is inching it’s way up the the Tree past the activity.
The Rain is back as I reach the Carriage Road and I spot a tiny Chipmunk. It is making a dash to get out of the sudden downpour. The sweetie dives into a burrow hole and them pops it’s head out to see if the rain has stopped. As the rain continues I hike up the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails to reach the Mountain top. The skies are darkening as rain increases and a flock of Tufted Titmouse fly into the pines above me. As I move through the picnic area a Blue Jay lands in a Tree nearby.
When I reach the Pagoda the clouds above the valley are darkening as rain continues. I decide to continue my hike along the Hot Springs Mountain Trail in the lush new green. It is a peaceful hike listening to the drops of rain hitting the leaves. The occasional large drop bouncing up off the path like tiny missiles striking the earth and gravel. I am surprised to find a Fungus the size of a “ladies” bicycle seat growing between the ferns. It is a spectacular apricot color.
I connect with the Upper Dogwood Trail as the Rain lets up a little. Further up the trail I spot a log covered in False Turkey Tail Fungi. I love how weather conditions change the colors with the help of algae. The trail is quiet as I hike in the Forest, a squirrel moves in the Tree above me cause a cascade of water for the leaves above. I connect with the Lower Dogwood Trail and hike down the Floral Trail to the Hot Springs Mountain Road to Fountain Street.
I head up the Promenade and encounter a beautiful dark blue and turquoise Butterfly. It is spectacular as it turns and gently opens and closes it wings. A light rain begins to fall and the Butterfly gracefully flies away. As I make my way out of the park a Male Cardinal lands in a Tree ahead of me. He is a glorious red and I feel blessed to end my hike with this beautiful sighting.
Get out and play, dance in the wind and roll in the grass.