A beautiful spring day awaited Rick and I when we stepped out for a late morning hike. As we headed into Hot Springs National Park I noticed reddish orange buds on several Trees. The park lawn above the wall on Fountain Street was beautifully decorated in white and pink Spring Beauty. I thought about those little Ground Hogs and their accurate prediction of an early Spring.
Normally during the Audubon bird count I am constantly pulling out paper to write down what I see. From the Floral Trail to the Goat Rock my entire list only contained 1 Turkey Vulture. I tried to console myself by reveling in the beauty of the variety of Birds Foot Violets. A glorious sprinkling of violet to white wildflowers decorated the lower part of the Goat Rock Trail. As we hiked higher up North Mountain a flicker of yellow crossed the trail ahead of us. Moving slowly I got close enough to see that the sunny wings belonged to a Variegated Fritillary Butterfly. It is more yellow than the vibrant orange it sports in summer and early autumn.
When we reached the top of the trail I looked up in time to see a tiny Bird landing in the Tree above us. We froze as I tried to get a shot so I could identify it later when I edited my photographs. Suddenly it turned its head revealing a buff crest and black mask. More Birds landed on the same Tree, so Rick and I quickly counted the plump visitors. We agreed on 12 Cedar Waxwings for the Bird count. It was a spectacular gift from Nature to have these beauties land in a Tree next to us. We stood for 20 minutes enjoying the sight of these lovely Birds.
The joy of being in Nature carried across and down North Mountain. When we reached the bottom a single male Robin stared at us then continued digging for worms. After taking a photograph there was a commotion high in the Trees and I glanced up to see 2 Turkey Vultures circling above. Another wonderful hike for the Birds :)
I hope you will all visit the All Hell Has Broken Loose blog to see their really nice interview along with a selection of my photography.
Much Love to ALL!