Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Wildflowers Everywhere and a Surprise Discovery

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I spent so much time hiking, taking and editing photographs that words will be kept to a minimum.  I must begin by mentioning my delight in seeing Stubby, she is a sweet Squirrel who is missing nearly half of her tail.  It has been many weeks since our last encounter, I was concerned that she might have been killed or injured.

Wildflowers are bursting open across the park with purple, pink and yellow being the predominant colors. I discovered one lonely battered Birds-Foot Violet with a teeny tiny grasshopper sitting on its bottom petal. The new park arrival abundant on both the Gulpha Gorge and Goat Rock Trails is the Pink Ouachita Blazing Star.  Lovely bell shaped pale purple Smooth Petunias are blossoming on nearly every trail in the park.  The spectacular array of Wildflowers are attracting a variety of colorful Butterflies.  There colors rival the flowers on which they are feeding.  A nearly invisible Prairie Lizard is frozen on an old log resting within a field of Pink Wildflowers.

My biggest surprise was discovering a patch of Cactus hidden among the Wildflowers I was photographing.  Yes, Cactus! I had no idea they could grow and survive in this climate.  I must return soon as they will be blooming soon.

My final comment is about the Male Cardinal I photographed today.  This poor fellow is molting in on one spot, his head.  He has a receding hair/feather line and looks as if one of his parents was a vulture.   To learn more about molting please read this great article by The Cornell Lab.  Embarrassed to say I had no idea this was happening to my feathered friends in the park. I Love learning something new everyday, Nature is the best teacher!

Love to ALL!

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5 responses

  1. Again a gorgeous blog. I had a feeling the molting cardinal….I saw it driving a tiny red lamborghini with a chick under each arm. Oy, it was disgusting. But these things happen. The moths and wildflowers are always gorgeous; the pentunias and cone flowers particularly. Seeing the wide view of the trails is gorgeous; especially that I got to travel a few of them with you today which was really a treat. Love ur DH Rick x0x0

    May 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

  2. Lee,
    Some of these floral shots are among your very best!

    You may ask the Park Service about this, but I’d bet the cactus wound up there “by accident” more than any other reason (maybe hitched a ride with a hiker!) – but it can be invasive and slowly spread. I have that same kind in several places in my yard, and as I understand it came from someone dumping a potted one out there – and it just took and spread. Keep an eye on it, and you should see it put out big yellow flowers sometime soon…

    … and again, excellent job capturing the beautiful Spring flowers in the National Park!

    May 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    • Mark you need to get up the Goat Rock Trail it is is full bloom with more to come… perfect for you camera and easel :) I remember last year you emailed the Cone Flower painting. Thank You for your kind comment, I was in heaven with all the beautiful Wildflowers… it was hard to stop taking photographs.

      Let me know when you want to hike Rick and I would love to meet you… and I have a book for you too!

      Kindest Thoughts and Wishes,

      May 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

  3. WOWWWWW!!! I thought I posted way too many photos on my own travel blog because I just can’t decide which not to post but yours were way more than mine, and GORGEOUS, with a capital G:) Why choose when they are all so lovely? Post ’em all, I say!!:D

    May 20, 2011 at 1:40 am

    • Hi Christy,
      Thank You for visiting and for your lovely comments… I shot 700 images so narrowing it down to 165 was pretty good :o)
      Kindest Thoughts and Wishes,

      May 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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