Hiking with Squirrels and Butterflies on a Perfect Spring Morning
As I enter Hot Springs National Park I notice a canvas tent pitched on the Arlington Lawn. A nearby Squirrel having it’s breakfast in the early light seems unfazed by the new structure. We both look at each other and then head off in separate directions. As sign on the lawn indicates the tent is related to a Civil War history display. I head up a path leading from fountain street to the promenade and notice how beautiful the landscape looks in the early light . The nearly 100 year old Fountain Street Lawn stone wall gracefully curves toward the path leading to the Promenade. I often wonder what happened in 1914 that caused so many man-made features to be added to park.
Nearing the end of the Tufa Terrace beautiful pink blossoms glow in the dim morning light. A perfect Mothers Day Weekend bouquet of Wild Roses are growing along the path. Although the sun is barely up their pollen is a temptation to a large Bumble Bee. I stop for a moment to enjoy the simple beauty of these blooms.
At the bottom of the Peak Trail a Squirrels stands and watches me as I pass by on my way up Hot Springs Mountain. A lovely brown Butterfly (or moth) flies past brushing my face and lands on the path ahead. The Peak Trail wall looms above me as I reach the edge of the Forest. The hike up Hot Springs Mountain is wonderful in the cool breezes and fanning of the new leaves. As I near the top I see a sweet squirrel perched on a branch enjoying a tasty morsel. Lovely tiny white Alpine Bluets line the edges of the upper trail.
At the top I take the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, a beautiful blue gray Butterfly dances gracefully over bright green clover. I stop to close my eyes and enjoy the warmth of the Sun kisses my forehead through a gap in the Trees. I am surprised at the empty trails, usually on a perfect weather weekend there are many people hiking. Crossing over to the North Mountain side of the trail I can see many tiny pastel blue gray butterflies hovering above the last of the Blackberry Flowers. They delicately perch and turn on each blossom to find sustenance.
At the bottom of the Floral Trail a lively Carolina Wren peers out at me from beneath the leaves of a nearby Tree. While I am looking into the creek flowing at the bottom of the trail a wonderful American Snout Butterfly lands on the opposite bank. I think of reader Lara Buford who kindly often helps me identify the lovely Butterflies I post in my blog.
I decide finish up my hike by checking out Civil War Day in the National Park, something new for this northerner. As I head down the Tufa Terrace ramp another event draws my attention… please read Park Wedding Reveals A Moment of Humanity.
Sadly there were only two reenactment displays in the park, I had hope to learn more about Hot Springs National Park during Civil War Era. Special thanks to those who did bring a bit of history to the park.
As I leave the park I look up to see a couple of large white Southern Magnolia have fully opened. They look so beautiful glowing in the last of the rising morning sun.
I Love hanging out with the Squirrels!!!!
Love to You ALL!