Cycle Of Life and a Squirrel Heat Dump on a Twilight Hike
We brave the 90 degree temperatures for a twilight hike up then around Hot Springs Mountain. As Rick and I head up the Peak Trail we encounter a juvenile Mourning Dove bobbing along in the the dimming light. I decide it is best to back away when I realize it was not going to fly off. The young ones are often much too trusting. It is always a blessing to see the beauty of new Life in the Forest.
From the mountain top we hike along the east side of the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. It is a peaceful journey listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waking nocturnal residents. Hidden from sight Hawks and Owls began to call to the impending night.
On the Fountain Trail a lovely baby Squirrel ventures out under the watchful eye of Mom. It is a joy to watch its delicate leaping, digging and foraging success. So beautiful standing to scan the horizon of it’s new world, we are spellbound by the sight of innocence.
Nearing home Rick spots a squirrel stretched out on it’s belly in the shade near a fountain on the Promenade bricks. We creep closer in the fading light and at first it appears the unmoving Squirrel is injured. We learn later this behavior is called “Heat Dumping”, a method for reducing body temperature. A minute later the male Squirrel spots a dog and springs into action. Once on his feet he begins chasing his mating chase of a female who has been watching him from behind the fountain. A delightful way to end our evening hike.
Love to ALL!