Whether you are Democrat, Green, Independent, Republican or non affiliated please thank President Obama… why? He increased funding for national parks and forests by 10%! No matter your political leaning don’t let you government representatives overturn this as they wrestle to control the budget. It is a VERY VERY VERY SMALL piece of the budget pie, but is so important to preserving our environment.
I hiked over to the Goat Rock Trail and finally saw a very elusive color changing lizard. Surprisingly the Northern Green Anole allowed me see it moved slowly among the leaves. I was so excited to this little beauty and feel blessed to share these photographs with you. A delicate creature moving with grace.
The Autumn Leaves on the Upper Dogwood were spectacular, color was bursting forth all along the trail. I felt like I was in the movie “What Dreams May Come” a surreal world of changing color filled with bird song. I hope in some small way you can feel the beauty of Forest path via my images.
Purple Aster are decorating almost every trail in the Forest. They vary in size and intensity of color throughout the park. These tiny wildflowers are sprouting in single blossoms and in clusters on long stalks. A beautiful but rare sight are multiple clusters and patches of these purple flowers. It is amazing how their delicate petals have held up against the rain and blowing winds. The contrast of the purple petals and yellow centers are irresistible.
On the Hot Springs Mountain Trail I was excited to see the return of a favorite winter friend, a female Dark-Eyed Junco. In January to April 2010 they were constant companions during the harshest winter days when I hiked on Hot Springs Mountain. Mid way down the Gulpha Gorge Trail I saw Male Prairie Lizard sunning it self on the side of the path. You can see a glimmer of bright blue just below his chin.
At the Hot Spring water cascade I stood on the Tufa Terrace watching a Northern Mockingbird and Male Cardinal. Both stood in the therapeutic water as if they were visiting a spa and drank the mineral elixir pouring over the tufa rocks to the pool below. This is a spot I will have to spend more time as the weather cools off as it attracts those that winter in the park.
Thank You for venturing into the Forest with me.
Much Love to ALL