Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

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The Hiking Serenity of a Snow Covered Trail

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There is an oasis of peace on the Forest trail as snow blankets the ground and muffles all sound.  Snowflakes falling in rapid silence erasing my foot prints from the pristine landscape to create hiking serenity. Bliss… my only companions tiny songbirds foraging for berries on branches and digging beneath the white blanket of winter.

Love to ALL!
Lee

Snow Day on the Trail in Hot Springs National Park

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It was a wonderful snow day in Hot Springs National Park.   I always feel Nature’s Love and today lovely valentines were waiting for me on each trail.

Love to ALL!
Lee

Hot Springs National Park Arkansas Winter Ice Storm 2015

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When an ice storm hits the birds flock in to have a spa day at the hot water cascade in Hot Springs National Park.  They queue up on ice covered branches and rocks awaiting their turn to stand in the hot mineral water and drink.

Love to ALL!
Lee

Beautiful Birds on every Trail

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Lovely birds flocked to Hot Springs National Park on February 05 2015. Only minutes on the first Trail I spotted a Female Cardinal plus a mixed flock of Robins and Cedar Waxwings. All were enjoying the berry laden Trees.  On the Short Cut Trail several Male cardinals were crisscrossing the trail.  A blur of red in the bright morning sun.

At the top of Hot Springs Mountain a mixed flock of Eastern Bluebirds and Pine Siskins land on a Tree next to me.  It was the first time I had seen either of these birds in a flock.  They hung on the side of the Tree fighting for pecking position in the mossy areas.

Bird song filled Hot Springs Mountain Trail during my hike around the mountain.  Juncos, Pine Warblers, Sparrows and Yellow-Rumped Warblers created a beautiful sight with a delightful chorus as they traveled in mixed flock.

When I was changing my camera battery a sweet little Hermit Thrush landed on a branch near my shoulder.  It appeared curious watching me closely as I zipped up my pack.   A perfect end to a hike that was for the birds ;-)

Love to ALL!
Lee

Mockingbird Tales in Hot Springs National Park

I have the blessing of being able to walk through a National Park when I go to the Post Office.  Today when I was returning home several Mockingbirds revealed themselves in heavily laden berry covered Bushes/Trees.  Three Mockingbird Tales…

>>>>> Tale One <<<<<

HSNP Male Cardinal landing lift off

HSNP Male Cardinal landing lift off

Why did the Male Cardinal land and lift off from a branch in nearly a single moment? Because the tiny little Mockingbird below said he should.

HSNP Little Mockingbird returns after chasing off a Male Cardinal

HSNP Little Mockingbird returns after chasing off a Male Cardinal

>>>>> Tale Two <<<<<

HSNP Mockingbird Stare Down aka Falcon Imitation

HSNP Mockingbird Stare Down aka Falcon Imitation

HSNP Mockingbird Stare Down aka Falcon Imitation

HSNP Mockingbird Stare Down aka Falcon Imitation

Sometimes the photographer gets caught…  as witnessed by the lovely Mockingbird impersonation of a Falcon.  Lucky for me Mockingbirds have a sense of humor and are always seem to forgiving (tolerant) of my photography intrusions.  Seconds later it was back to breakfast as if I was suddenly invisible.

HSNP Mockingbird Berry Good Breakfast

HSNP Mockingbird Berry Good Breakfast

>>>>> Tale Three <<<<<

HSNP Mockingbird Grooming Feathers

HSNP Mockingbird Grooming Feathers

Lovely Mockingbirds hanging out on a cold morning in the perfect Tree to groom, chill and grab some breakfast. It is the perfect location for setting up a soon to be needed spring nest.

HSNP Mockingbird Chilling in the Berry Tree

HSNP Mockingbird Chilling in the Berry Tree

HSNP Mockingbird Chilling in the Berry Tree

HSNP Mockingbird Chilling in the Berry Tree

HSNP Mockingbird Chilling in the Berry Tree

HSNP Mockingbird Chilling in the Berry Tree

Have a Lovely Day and get out and play…
Love to ALL!
Lee

Why I hate the 2015 Budweiser Superbowl Puppy Ad

Wolf Budweiser Myth And Reality

Wolf Budweiser Myth And Reality

Everyone is raving about the 2015 Budweiser Superbowl Ad.  Cute Puppy plus noble Clydesdale Horses, what’s not to like? Right?  This commercial also shows a snarling Wolf as the villain and perpetuates the evil Wolf myth. Budweiser, I HATE your commercial!  Wolves are being hunted and murdered because of the “Big Bad” Wolf myth.

In April 2010 I was out for a very early morning hike in the Forest.  Movement on the trail across a ravine got my attention.  In the low light it appeared to me a dog was on its own also enjoying a morning hike.  In approximately 5 minutes we would likely pass one and other so I stowed my camera, waited at the trail bend and got in a crouch position.  My goal was to catch him and find his family.

I am unsure who was more surprised, myself or the Wolf that came around the bend. Only feet away my brain said, “Oh look a beautiful Wolf”.  The Mexican Grey Wolf tilted its head and I imagined it thinking “Oh look a Human.” We looked at each other for about a minute and then he turned on the trail and gracefully leaped over several logs heading down into the ravine.

The Wolf did not snarl, growl or adopt an aggressive stance even though we had both been surprised.  Curiosity on both our parts lead to no feeling of fear apparently for either of us.  I was low to the ground staring at eye level hand out with my palms up.  We were alone if the beautiful Wolf had wanted to attack me there would have been no one to help.

Shame on Budweiser for perpetuating the “vicious always ready to attack” Wolf myth.

Love ALL Beings!
Lee

Rainbow Clouds in the Valley Of The Vapors

HSNP Hot Springs Mt Trail Rainbow Clouds

HSNP Hot Springs Mt Trail Rainbow Clouds

Rejoice in the darkest clouds, they bring life to the earth and all her beings with each drop of rain. ~ Lee Hiller

A long long time ago in what is now called Hot Springs National Park the hot springs Bubbled freely.  Unconstrained by man the vapors rose high above the mountains and valleys creating a rainbow vale. Sometimes when the spring pressure becomes too great stream rises from vents throughout the park to reveal a glimpse of the once great rainbow vale dancing among the clouds and weaving through the Trees.  I feel blessed to have captured photographs of this beautiful display on several occasions.

The rainbow clouds are gentle reminder we were not the first to explore the beauty of Hot Springs National Park… but we are the first Beings to constrain her healing beauty for profit.

Story Of Manutaka
“For thousands of years, this magnificent site was the gathering place of many nations. Tribal leaders and spiritual elders made pilgrimages to the Great Ma-na-ta-ka Mountain to sit in great councils with many tribes. Some came every seven years, others came every eleven years, and others made the journey more frequently depending on local custom.

Tribal leaders prayed and made peace offerings to the Creator, the Great Manataka (Place of Peace) Mountain and each other. They danced and sang around huge campfires in the narrow valley situated between the Manataka mountain and her sister mountain, today called North Mountain. Her other sister mountain, today called Indian Mountain stood guardian to her east. Daughters of the first nations gathered rare medicinal herbs found in great abundance in a large area surrounding Manataka in the shape of a circle. Their sons found precious clear crystals, gold, silver, pyrite, and whetstones.”

Love to ALL!

Lee

HSNP Hot Springs Mt Trail Rainbow Clouds

HSNP Hot Springs Mt Trail Rainbow Clouds

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