Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Chipmunks, Speckled Kingsnake, Mockingbird and Butterfly

Hot Springs National Park, AR Tufa Terrace Chipmunk

Hot Springs National Park, AR Short Trail Speckled Kingsnake

Carriage Road Northern Mockingbird

Hot Springs National Park, AR Tufa Terrace Chipmunk

I always feel blessed when I enter the park, to live across the street from a National Park is a gift.  This morning as I head up the Tufa Terrace a lovely Chipmunk is having breakfast sitting upon a Tufa Rock.  I am extremely still as I watch this little sweetie forage for seeds.  Suddenly it dives into a burrow hole and I am about to leave when I see a man with a dog has passed behind me.  As soon as they are out of site the sweet Chipmunk reappears.  I notice a head wound and can understand why it might be cautious of the dog.

I head up the Carriage Road then up the Dead Chief Trail and onto the Short Cut Trail.  I have barely begun my hike up the Short Cut Trail when I spot a lovely green surprise on the trail.  It is a young Speckled Kingsnake, the little beauty coils as I approach.  I approach with caution although this is a non-poisonous snake that feeds on mice and often venomous snakes.  Once it decides I am not a threat it gracefully slithers off the trail and into the undergrowth.

When I reach the top I connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail a cool breeze is ruffling all the leaves.  As the sunlight peeks through the moving leaves I see a lovely butterfly.  It flies over my head and I follow it back up the trail.  It lands on a sunny leaf and as I am taking a photo I hear the crunching of leaves, after the second photo the loud snap of a twig.    I Keep looking to my side expecting to see the lightning fast body of a Chipmunk, but still nothing in sight.  I hike further up the trail and on closer inspection I spot a box turtle that appears to have slid down the bank.  As I am trying to get a photo I get a first hand experience, ending up on my butt next to the Turtle.  Not sure which of us is more surprised.

I connect with the Honeysuckle Trail and head down the floral Trail to Fountain Street.  When I reach the Arlington Lawn I am so excited to see a Squirrel, since the series of heatwaves sightings have been rare.  As I am about to take a photograph a Chipmunk shows up and scares the Squirrel. LOL I have never seen a Squirrel being chased away by a Chipmunk, until now.  Everyday my knowledge is expand by lessons from Nature.

Dance, sing and play in the outdoors today!
Love,
Lee

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