Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

My Climate Change Canary in the Coal Mine is Purple

HSNP West Mt Canyon Trail Birds-Foot Violet

It is October, the insects are still biting :( and the afternoon temperatures are still reaching into the 80s. The occasional cool morning in the upper 50s has caused a few of the Trees in Hot Springs to begin their Autumn change.  This is the warmest of the four Autumns I have experienced since I moved to Arkansas.

Each year I wait for the arrival of beautiful Birds-Foot Violets.   They usually appear in mid January and into February often in-between snow storms.  Today I was surprised to find these two Violets  nestled on the edge of the Canyon Trail on West Mountain. Nearly 3 months ahead of their normal arrival time or 9 months late as I did not see many this past Winter/Spring. On the Sunset Trail I found large patches of Blue Sage Wildflowers,  they usually arrive in March and April.  Beautiful Butterflies were all over the trail attracted by the variety of Wildflowers. Autumn Beauty on Music Mountain Butterflies and Wildflowers

Last winter temperatures lasted no more that 2 weeks then we were thrust into Spring.  Summer temperatures began in late April, the drought and 100 degree temperature continued into September.  If the temperatures don’t fall I would not be surprised to see Spring Wildflowers throughout the park.  The rain that never fell last spring has arrived this evening, can’t wait to see what blossoms in the park.  Is climate change real? In Hot Springs National Park and Arkansas I would have to say YES!

HSNP West Mt Canyon Trail Bird-Foot Violet

HSNP Music Mt Sunset Trail Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Blue Sage

HSNP Music Mt Sunset Trail Blue Sage

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3 responses

  1. ricklondonsyndication

    The leave change and beauty of the mountain was, as usual, a delight. The fact that the wildflowers don’t understand their blossom season is disturbing, as it is a typical common sense symptom of climate change/global warming. I’m still glad to see them arrive; but I have to ask “for how long”? Now that they have blossomed, whatever kind of intelligence or mechanism they have to keep them growing or wilt; will immediately tell them to wilt (more common sense) as its too hot for them). But glad we got to see them. Beautiful shots. x0x0x00

    October 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm

  2. cal

    NY Times called warming the most ignored issue of the elections. Good work Lee and hope this can go viral

    October 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

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