Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Summer Tanager, Rose Chafer, Chipmunk and Rabbit

Hot Springs Mountain Trail Juvenile Male Summer Tanager

Hot Springs National Park, AR Tufa Terrace Chipmunk

Hot Springs National Park, AR Home Rose Chafer Beetle

Carriage Road Eastern Cottontail

Sometimes Nature comes to your front door and I was on my way out when I spotted a lovely green beetle. Special thanks to @Squirrelbasket on Twitter for identifying it as Cetonia Aurata (Rose Chafer).  On my way up the Tufa Terrace I am greeted by a Chipmunk standing as sentinel in the Park.  It is a beautiful way to begin my morning hike.  As another person approaches it moves to the Tufa Rock to my side.  As I connect with the Peak Trail I watch a Spider Wasp fly up the trail ahead of me.

When I reach the Carriage Road and see an Eastern Cottontail heading up the hill.  I love how it’s ears glow in the sunlight.  At the end of the Carriage Road there is a new patch of beautiful blue Asiatic Dayflowers.  I head up Dead Chief and hear a Male Cardinal singing high above me in the green leaves.  The heat is building and it is so quiet as I hike up the Short Cut Trail to the top of Hot Springs Mountain.

You appreciate the wonderful taste of water when you sweating like I am as I stand in the picnic area.  I hike along the Hot Springs Mountain Trail and I see flashes of red and green above me.  Further along I spot a Juvenile Male Summer Tanager transitioning between green and red.  It is a spectacular sight.  Nearing the Trail Head I hear a loud rustling in the leaves.  My first thought is Chipmunk, often they move leaves for nesting in their burrows.  I finally locate the source, it is a Five-Lined Skink with a giant Moth in it’s little mouth.   The Skink hauls the Moth up to a log and I can see it’s bright blue tail as it weaves it’s way through the leaves.

I hike from the Hot Springs Mountain Trail to the Upper Dogwood Trail, down the Lower Dogwood and Floral Trails.  I stop at the cold spring water station to fill my stainless steel water bottle.  When I arrive a pretty red spotted purple Butterfly and a bright yellow Moth.  They rarely land fluttering frantically around the water spigots.

As I am walking home I notice leaves are falling as if it is autumn.  The park need more rain desperately.

Never miss an opportunity to seek the wisdom of Nature.

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5 responses

  1. Wonderful photos of lovely creatures.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

  2. Your photos are wonderful! It has been many years since I’ve been to Hot Springs, and this makes me really want to go again. Thank you for sharing.

    August 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm

  3. Excellent Photography. I’ve been taking images professionally for 40+ (diagnostic Imaging) yrs. Photography is a hobby, so I really do admire your work.

    August 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    • Thank You Kathy, I love seeing what the camera will reveal when I get home. Nature is very kind to me :o) its allows me to enter the Forest and see the often invisible.

      Kindest Thoughts and Wishes,

      August 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

  4. Tony C.

    Great photos, Lee!
    The green beetle pictured in the
    3rd photo is what we Arkies call Junebugs.
    As a child, we used to catch them and
    tie a kite-string to their leg and let them fly
    while holding the string. …. oh what
    fun in the good
    old days playin with Junebugs….

    August 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm

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