Heat and Drought Create Leaves of Change
A morning song of Love resonates throughout the Forest reaching out to open Hearts. ~ Lee Hiller
Where there is water life is lush within Hot Springs National Park. On the Tufa Terrace Trail near the Hot Water Cascade the Trees are a rich green and Wildflowers are blooming. A Juvenile Cardinal sitting in a bush glances over its wing showing me the insect in its beak. Lovely pink Crepe Myrtle blooms on the ends of cropped branches.
On the Carriage Road I stand before a Tree that has dropped its Leaves in a display reminiscent of Autumn. The heat and drought conditions are sucking the life out of even the mightiest of Trees. Near a steam vent a lovely patch of yellow Sneeze Weed stands alone in the dried straw color grass. I stop to admire the beauty of the Quartz veins running through the dark Sandstone outcropping. The contrasting bands of white glow in the early morning light. Above the Rocks Heavenly Bamboo spills out of the Forest in a colorful rainbow of color.
As I hike up the Dead Chief Trail the sun begins to crest the ridge line piercing the gaps in the Forest Canopy. The soft golden light gracefully illuminates the path ahead leading me to the top of Hot Springs Mountain.
Drying leaves are providing a colorful display as I hike down the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. The deep rust color has spread across the Forest floor and up into the Trees above me. Heading home on the Honeysuckle Trail I wonder how much longer we will wait until rain feeds the park.
Note to fellow hikers… Please remember there have been an increasing number of confirmed cases of rabies in the Hot Springs area (including the central city). If you see a nocturnal animal moving about or trying to approach you during daylight hours report it to park officials.
Love to ALL!