Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Archive for March, 2013

The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring Tra La

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My Father use to sing softly as we tended the garden together.  A favorite was the Gilbert and Sullivan tune “The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring”  (Mikado)

The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Breathe promise of merry sunshine —
As we merrily dance and we sing,
Tra la,
We welcome the hope that they bring,
Tra la,

The day before he passed away my 82 year old Father sent my 66 year old Mother a note containing a pressed Violet (her favorite flower) from their garden.  His only message “The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra la”.  Love, Joe

Whenever I see Violets along the trail I am reminded of their Love and Friendship.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Glorious Spring Birds and Wildflowers on West and Music Mountains

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Earlier this evening a bad combination of key strokes triggered the publishing of my unfinished empty blog…  instead of typing madly and waxing poetic this will be a “Wordless Wednesday with Wings” Blog.  The photographs were taken on my five mile hike across/around West and Music Mountains in Hot Springs National Park.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Spring paints with a broad pallet of color along the trails

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Spring is a chaotic rapidly changing slideshow of color.  Wildflowers, Rocks, Birds, new Leaves and flowering Trees are glorious eye candy along the trails.  Nature always has surprises waiting for me to share via my lens.  Yesterday’s surprise was the return of a favorite hiking partner, a male Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  His vibrant red head glowed in the sunlight high above me.  Before the drought of 2012 it was rare not to see one every day I hiked,  sometimes on every trail across Hot Springs and North Mountains.  This sighting was beautiful gift.

Love to ALL!
Lee


My Official First Day of Spring 2013 Photographs

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HSNP Dead Chief Trail Colorful Spring Growth

HSNP Dead Chief Trail Colorful Spring Growth

I hear Nature sing her ode to spring and am drawn into her arms.  Her beauty is found in the tallest Trees and the tiniest sprouts.  Spring is an awakening love rejuvenated after silent slumber.

Love to ALL!
Lee

PS The sequester has limited the budget of our National Parks.  In many ways this is a bad thing… on the other hand in Hot Springs Nationals Park it may be a good thing.  Let me explain… our Park managers seem to view Wildflowers as weeds and they mow them down even on Earth Day.  Thankfully since the budget cuts began the Wildflowers in many of the easily accessible tourist locations are flourishing.  Wildflowers are NOT weeds, they are beautiful and visitors would LOVE to see them. I say let them grow and paint the park.  A manicured lawn is boring, a lawn with wildflowers creates beauty, attracts Butterflies and smiles.  I am also thankful they announced they will not be grooming the trails during the sequester.  Let the Forest have the opportunity to grow and flourish, the Wildlife will appreciate the extra food.   I always feel cheated when I go for a hike and it looks like the edges of a city sidewalk instead of a wilderness trail.

PPS For those of you who Love Rocks (like me)… The mountains in Hot Springs National Park (Hot Springs, North, West, Sugarloaf, Music and Indian) are part of the Zig Zags which are the end of the Ouachitas. They were formed when the earth rolled a million give or take years ago and we have the cool diagonal layers you see in the image below.  When you hike you will see a spectacular array of rocks including Crystal, Sandstone, Tufa, Novaculite etc… and the occasional Diamond too!

HSNP Upper Dogwood Trail Rock Layers

HSNP Upper Dogwood Trail Rock Layers


Spring paints with new leaves, wings, rocks and flowers

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It’s Spring!
It rained for two days feeding the parched land across Arkansas and Nature is painting every surface with new life.  In Hot Springs National Park the Forest reveals the delicate unfurling of spring Leaves.  Soft green pods slowly opening to release green fronds from the sleeping sentinels.  A tiny Titmouse flits from Tree to Tree stopping to sharpen its beak on a branch above me.  Rain dampened Rocks create a soft pallet of colors on the surface of the trail cradled in fallen Leaves and Needles.  Tiny Bluets create a purple haze hovering on willowy green stems above the rust colored Forest floor.  Flowering white Wild Plum Trees call to winged pollen collectors with their glorious blossoms.  Question Mark and Variegated Fritillary Butterflies Spread orange wings wide warming in the afternoon sun.

Today is Spring and it is calling your name so come out and play…
Love to ALL!
Lee


Spring Serenade Begins in Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

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The soft serenade of Songbirds fills the air with a familiar melody as we head out for our hike along the Goat Rock Trail.  Tiny reddish-pink maple blossoms have fallen in to the awaiting arms of the soft green moss below.  On graceful limbs Leaf buds glow on tips reaching to the sun as others are putting on a floral show.  Hopping, flitting and flying the tiniest of birds move in mixed flocks among the awakening Forest. A male Prairie Lizard lays still within the shadows striping the bark of a nearby Tree. Newly blooming Wildflowers spread petals of pink, purple, yellow, violet and white weaving their ground tapestry.  Sweet scents fill the air luring winged beauties soaring above to taste nectar warmed by the sun. Spring has pulled us into her embrace.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Wildflowers and Birds among the Tree Sculptures

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Each hike reveals an ever changing open space art gallery.  The winter Forest of Hot Springs National Park is filled with beautiful Tree sculptures.  You can see a struggle for life in each trunk curve and branch bend.  Pushed by storms, twisted by high winds, battered by ice and snow each Tree has a story to share.   Colorful Rocks are a canvas for the lichen, mold and fungi to paint their glorious abstracts.  Awakening wildflowers push through the leaves, twigs and seeds reaching for sunlight.  Their late winter petal pallet of purple and violet dot the landscape.   Lovely Birds are beginning to build homes in the branches that will soon be sheltered by new leaves.  They sing sweet songs to visitors about the promise of spring.  A living art gallery near you is waiting for you to visit… get out and play!

Love to ALL!
Lee

PS A storm is on the way so I took a detour after my hike to see the Cherry Blossoms :)


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