Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Summer at the Fordyce Ricks Pond and Gulpha Creek

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My beloved Rick is off for the morning getting therapy for his ankles at the wonderful Levi Hospital.  He is much stronger and I am thankful for the expert medical care they provide.

I went to Ricks Pond in Hot Springs National Park expecting to see water fowl.  Sadly there were no ducks, swans or geese were in residence.  The Hawks, Herons and Kingfishers I saw in the winter months were nowhere in sight either.  Although the sunrise is spectacular and everything looks beautiful I felt a lonely in the silence.  The smooth surface of the water is broken by a fish seeking the many moving insects hovering above the pond.  I miss the Hawks and Kingfishers teasing me with their loud calls and staying just out of lens range.

As the sun crests the Pines a light mist is traveling through Tree tops and all is sill quiet.  With the sun at my back the still water of the pond reflects the beautiful summer greenery.  It is in stark contrast to the bare winter Trees this past winter.  New Trail, Ricks Pond, Colorful Fungi and Birds

I hike into the Forest along the sunset trail and in the distance a lovely song is filling the air.  Further along the path I see to tiny birds flitting between small Trees and Bushes.  They are a pair of young Red-Eyed Vireos, the first I had seen in the park.  Although I could hear rustling in the distance I was never able to see the source of the many cracking sounds paralleling my movements along the trail.

As I left the pond I decided to pay my respects at the wonderful Purple Heart Peace Memorial located in DeSoto Park.  The parks gardeners were replanting the Purple Heart shaped flowerbed, I will have to come back in a few days to see it’s beauty.  Sadly as I was leaving the park I noticed oil had been recently dumped into the Gulpha Creek

At the Gulpha Gorge Campground I noticed the creek is extremely low and several gravel islands have formed.  Taking into consideration the heavy rain the day before this was surprise.  A lovely Blue Jay lands in a Tree above me, unlike those found on the west side of Hot Springs Mountain this one has both aqua and royal blue feathers.  As I turned I noticed a Squirrel standing and observing my photographic endeavors.  A beautiful butterfly landed at my feet when I began to unlock my van, a perfect end to a beautiful summer morning.

Love to You ALL!
Lee

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