When I entered the park maintenance was out with a large tractor mowing and flattening grass. A Cardinal landed in a Tree near me but the noise from the tractor sends him off into the twilight Forest. Beautiful Asiatic Dayflowers are forming a wildflower bouquet at the base of the Dead Chief Trail.
The heat and humidity are rising so I decide to hike with purpose up the Dead Chief Trail and connect with the Short Cut Trail. The heat has most of the mammals laying low and I only hear the occasional bird as I make my way to the top. As I near the Mountain Top I spot a sweet Lizard hanging on a Rock behind a Tree. It looks up at me but does not run off, it has the perfect sun spot so why move.
The Hot Springs Mountain Trail is peaceful, a beautiful hike as a light breeze dances along the trail. I hear lovely bird song and stop under a leafy green Tree. A small bird is high above me in the leaves and I do no recognize the markings (Looking for help in identifying it hint, hint). When I reach the trail head a beautiful dark blue Butterfly is flitting around the rest hut. A moment later it flies off as a lovely Orange Moth appears.
I cross over to the west side of the Hot Springs Mountain Trail and the heat has me feeling a bit soggy. A brown Moth lands on the bark of a Short-Leaf Pine, it is dazzling in the sunlight. The site of it mentally unmelts me. On the lower bends I see a cute little black beetle speedily crossing the trail ahead of me. Further along a vocal Black-Capped Chickadee is peaking at me from the Tree above. It’s sweet face and song lightens my feet as I head to the Honeysuckle Trail.
I hike along the Honeysuckle Trail to the Peak Trail and down to the Promenade. As I reach the bottom where it meets Fountain Street a beautiful battered brown and turquoise Butterfly lands. Nature’s beauty is often fragile, the battered wings of the Butterfly make me wonder how it is still able to fly with such grace. Heading home I check the Arlington Lawn and spot one of the cute baby Cardinals foraging in the green grass. A lovely way to end my hike.
Dance in the sunlight and play in the grass.
In less than a week I am getting married so I took a “me” day to do some girlie things and to help my beloved Fiance’ Rick with a project. While I was relaxing I began thinking about the beautiful Wildflowers I have discovered this year in Hot Springs National Park. Here are a few of my favorite Wildflower images including the one that started my love affair with these little beauties. My first Wildflower photo is a Birds-Foot Violet which bloomed in February just before the second round of ice and snow storms in Hot Springs. No one bothered to tell it winter was still underway.
To be honest until I saw my first violet pushing it’s way up and out of the leaves and twigs I did not pay much attention to the details of the different Wildflowers. When I can home with my first photo I had to find out was it was. From that point on I was hooked, on each subsequent hike I hoped for a new discovery.
I hope you enjoy the beauty of Nature’s colorful display in the photographs.