Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

The Sun Shines Briefly in Hot Springs National Park

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Spring hiking this year in Hot Springs National Park has become a weather divination nightmare.  Storms have been raging in Hot Springs and across the south, lives have been taken and communities destroyed. Please take a moment to say a prayer and donate to the Salvation Army to help those who are struggling to rebuild their lives.  This weekend Lightning Storms, Flash Flood Warnings and Tornado Watches have returned to Hot Springs, Arkansas and many other areas across the southeastern United States.

While others were glued to their televisions watching the Royal Wedding I went hiking.  I feel blessed to be able to enter the park to commune with Nature, sunshine and the chance to get outside must not be wasted :)  This hike fulfilled my goal of traveling someplace new in the park this spring.  After photographing Ricks Pond in its new greenery I headed up the Sunset Trial to the junction that leads to the Fordyce Peaks.  This time I headed left and explored the Sunset Trail that encompasses the third leg of the Sunset Trail and connects the old Fordyce Estate to Sugarloaf Mountain.

The spring rain has greened the bare winter forest and decorated it with vibrant colorful wildflowers and previously traveled parts of the trail seem new. Dragonflies in blue, brown and yellow buzzed up and down the trail, one stopping to have a snack in the sunlight.  Warblers sing beautiful tunes tucked safely under the lush spring leaves. Although I heard several deer I only caught a teasing glimpse of the tops of their ears bobbing below the ridge line on both side of the path.  Last year I did not hear frogs along the trails, today in distance there were faint ribbits echoing in the Forest.  I discovered a bight green Katydid eating the pollen covered stamen from the center of a purple Spiderwort. The Trail heading toward Sugarloaf Mountain has knee high grasses and resembles an overgrown road more than a traditional trail and on several occasions completely vanishes.  It is a lovely hike along a trail that meanders through mixed Forests of Pine and Oak.

Recent rains have exposed roots and rocks, sturdy boots will help save your ankles from twits and turns.  The storm water cut trenches into the center of sloping paths and there are many loose rocks on the inclines.  Note to hikers and NPS there are downed Trees on the Sunset Trail midway between Ricks Pond and the Fordyce Peaks Junction.

Love You ALL!
Lee

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One response

  1. These are gorgeous pics. I can always find my mind at Ric’s pond. It never lets you down because the whole place is alive. Great pics too. Love ur Rick x0xx0x0

    May 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

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