Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Posts tagged “Cherry Blossoms

Another Wave of Ice and Snow in Hot Springs National Park

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Each note of Nature’s symphony renews my Soul. ~ Lee Hiller

Winter made another visit to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The have open Cherry Blossoms froze and tiny Sparrows puffed up to hold back the 11 degree F temperature.  As I head up into Hot Springs National Park the ice covering the branches and the trails becomes thicker. Lovely ice jewels hang from evergreen fronds and yet to fall autumn Leaves.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Early Cherry Blossoms 2014

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We blossom in the light of our Dreams. ~ Lee Hiller

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 :)


Irresistible Floral Force of Cherry Blossoms and Pansies

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I was drawn this morning out into the subfreezing wind to photograph the Japanese Cherry Blossoms and Pansies… again.  Please forgive me but I don’t think this will be the last of my Cherry Blossom and Pansy photographs.  If you love Cherry Blossoms the Trees in the Historic District of Hot Springs, Arkansas are putting on a beautiful show.  New week they should be if full bloom.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Urban Hike reveals Cherry Blossoms and Pansies

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It always feels as if Spring has arrived when the Cherry Blossoms Bloom.  I spotted them from Hot Springs Mountain a couple of days ago and I noticed the Japanese Cherry Trees were covered in red buds.  Rain, hail and wind had me worried all the delicate flowers would be knocked down… I set out today to see if any blossoms has survived.

A fun way to experience spring awakening if you don’t live near any trails is to take an urban hike.  You probably spot many flowering Trees and gardens when you are running errands or driving to work.  Plan a hike in your neighborhood, town etc. and follow the spring color.   It is amazing what you will discover in planters, gardens and poking out of sidewalks.  Nature finds a way to show her beauty even if at first glance all you see are buildings and concrete.

Love To ALL!
Lee


Spring Weaves Colorful Tapestry in Hot Springs National Park

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Spring is not waiting for the calender in Hot Springs National Park.  New green Leaves and and bright pink Red Bud blossoms are weaving a spectacular tapestry along the Mountain trails. Across the Forest floor new foliage has begun to change the texture and color in the park. Wildflowers push boldly upward seeking the increasing sunlight.  Among the purple, pink and white blooms delicate winged insects stretch their wings to bask in the warmth.

Birds have reappeared and are beginning to work in pairs preparing their nests.  Avian adolescents soar on gentle breezes as they battle for territory, landing only to sing of their triumphs.  A Spring awakening beckons to all who will listen. Have a Lovely day on the trails…

Love to ALL!
Lee

PS: Special Thanks to @JavaJuicellc (Java Juice extract), your organic coffee is wonderful.  Usually if my husband or myself have coffee in our hiking smoothies we have to use nut milk and agave to cover up the bitter taste.  Your product is so smooth and tasty it did not require anything other than fruits and veggies. Energy without the jitters too!  Tastes wonderful in all our favorite smoothie recipes.  We love the individual liquid filled packets, at home or around a campfire a tasty cup of organic coffee will always be at hand.


Wings and Wildflowers Paint the Forest Trails

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Change bursts forth as Leaves and Wildflowers awaken in the Spring Forest.  Delicate Butterflies float on breezes in search of tantalizing nectar warming in the sun.  Once bare Trees are gracefully decorated with blossoms of pink and white.  While the tips of branches begin to unfurl buds to reveal new Leaves. Each birth within the Forest celebrates renewal, change in it’s purest form.

In a few hours storms will be arriving in the park bringing nourishing rain. Change…

Love to ALL!
Lee


A Hike Fraught with Twists, Turns and Beauty

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I am hiking up West Mountain and the unthinkable occurs, one of my cameras dies :(  I thought at first it was the battery but it soon became clear it was the camera.  I turned around and headed home at peace with the problem, thankful I took out the 4 yr extended warranty.    The little monster was eating batteries, so broad landscapes will be on hold for at least 10 days.  It is time to refocus my view of landscapes as I did once before during a couple of weeks in 2010. “Beautiful Birds of West and Music Mountains” “Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Who is the Rock Stacker?

This left me with one camera so after I arranged for repair service with Sony I headed back outside to console myself with photographing Wildflowers.  As readers of my blog may already know I love Wildflowers, so my mission was a wonderful way to spend the rest of my morning.  While I searched the grass for tiny blooms I heard a noise above me, I was not alone.  Slowly stepping back I turned to look up and find the source of the scraping sound.  Peering down at me was a sweet Squirrel whose lovely color was transitioning from winter silver to spring rust.

As I was moving through the park searching for spring flowers when a Cedar Waxwing landed on a Tree in front of me. Soon it was moving off with other birds and I decided to try and follow them.  The truth, I lost ground pretty fast so I ended up on Bath House Row in the park going to see if a favorite Tree had blossomed.

When I reached the Yellow Spanish Style Hot Springs National Park Administration Building  I could see a the large Saucer Magnolia Tree blossoms were beginning to open.  The freeze and snow last weak changed the outer petals from a pink to a pale beige gold.  At first I felt sad to have lost the chance to capture perfect pink blossoms.  When my mind adjusted to the different colors I realized Nature had presented me with a new version of beautiful.  Gold accented the pink making the shape and definition of each blossom a unique floral sculpture.  Spring has arrived in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Less than a block from my goal I glanced to my side and saw two lovely rows of blossoming Cherry Trees.  To see the spectacular Cherry Blossoms visit my last blog entry “Beautiful Cherry Blossoms Herald An Early Spring“.  You will also see the beautiful wings waiting for me in the blossoms.

Much Love to ALL!
Lee


Beautiful Cherry Blossoms Herald An Early Spring

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I had started hiking on West Mountain this morning and ended up on Hot Spring Mountain ( I will post that blog tomorrow).  After a series of strange events I then found myself standing in front of 2 rows of pink.  Spectacular pink Cherry Blossoms have burst forth in the Hot Springs Historic District.  As I began taking close ups of the blossoms a lovely Cedar Waxwing landed on a branch above me.   A quick glance my way and my winged morning companion was its way.  Another winged beauty arrived moments later, an Eastern Comma Butterfly.  It like many other insects was feeding on the tempting nectar of these glorious pink blossoms. A beautiful spring is unfolding in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Happy Spring, Much Love to ALL!
Lee


Spring Arrives with Cherry Blossoms and Magnolias

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Spring arrived in Hot Springs yesterday Cherry Blossoms, Saucer Magnolias, Wildflowers etc. exploded along city streets and Hot Springs National Park.  Please enjoy my photographic journey of a lovely day out with my beloved husband Rick.

Sending this photographic bouquet to all my readers.
With Love,
Lee


The Birth of Spring in the Forest

Dead Chief Red Leaves Green Insect

As I begin my hike there are signs and tents proclaiming it is “Discover Nature” Day. It is exciting to think many people who might not visit the park regularly are having an adventure here today.

It’s in the details that we witness the birth of spring in the forest.  Today the park has a light green glow of the baby leaves sprouting from once barren branches. I head up the Dead Chief and connect to the Short Cut Trail, stopping along my journey to view the delicate green and red emerging.  For the second day I see two young men plotting out different hiking routes to complete with friends.  I am happy to see another generation enjoying the park, most of the hikers I see are are my age or a bit older.

The Wildflowers are spectacular up top at the Pagoda, the jewel tones of the Spiderwort still draw me to them. Their beauty stands out against the new rich spring greenery.  There are still a few glorious Cherry blossom left on a tree near the Rocks along the trail.  The new leave frame the last of the blooms, they are so beautiful.

I am just starting to hike along the east side of Hot Spring Mountain Trail when a tour group of  thirty comes up from behind me.  A young scout is trailing behind, I suggest he look up just as a Turkey Vulture flys low over the Trail. Sometimes we have to follow a new path, so I head over to the west side of the trail and am greeted by a sweet Tufted Titmouse high in the Tree above me.

The trail is spectacular, large pods are opening on branches to reveal wondrous clusters of new leaves. Elusive squirrels are darting about like small rockets, nearly running each other over.  Several Trees along the trail have delicate white blooms that appear to flicker in the light breeze.  Sweet Pussy Toes Wildflowers are sprouting up all over the park, today I spot them on both the Short Cut and Hot Springs Mountain Trails.

Once I reach the Honeysuckle Trail I connect to the Peak Trail and head down to the Promenade.  I am fascinated by the unfurling of the Leaves on several of the Trees in the lower part of the park.  Each Tree has a unique way giving birth to baby leaves.  It has been a lovely Spring Day in the park, the rains are expected later to renew the forest.

Thank You for sharing my journey, with you along I am never alone.
Love to You All!
Lee


Spring is Budding and Blossoming on the Hot Springs Trails

Hot Springs National Park Promenade Henbit or Deadnettle

Spring has arrived in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas! Well, not just in the Park, everywhere you look plants and trees are changing.  From the lovely colors of tiny little wildflowers to the magnificent blossoms on trees Nature has been painting a magnificent world.  When I entered the park today the beauty to the eye was matched by the fragrance in the air.  So beautiful, each step drawing me toward a new discovery.

The weather was turbulent sunshine to darkness, mixed with gusts of icy cold wind.  One moment the landscape was a vibrant splash of color the next covered in gray.  As I was headed up the street to enter the park on the floral trail I noticed a tree at the road entrance to the park had exploded with pink blossoms.  It was early and there was no traffic so I hiked up the road to take a few photos.  It was dramatic to watch as the sun burst through the clouds to illuminate the pink emerging on the branches.

Heading back toward the Floral Trail I could hear but not see warblers.  The heavy gusts of wind were grounding most of the birds including a frequent visitor at the entrance a Northern Mocking bird. As I hiked up further on the trail the only bird I could hear was the distant tap tap tap of a woodpecker.  As I connected with the  Lower Dogwood Trail I came across two woman walking a big dog.  I knew this would mean I would not see any small mammals or birds on the trail for at least an hour.  I decided it was a perfect time to enjoy the the lovely wildflowers and tree buds along the trail.

When I reached the Lower Dogwood the clouds were becoming heavier and I thought at one point I was going to be caught in a downpour.  The wind was getting colder and stronger, pushing the cloud rapidly across the sky, it was like a flicker show hiking along the trail. The sudden dark to light must have been confusing to both the birds and small mammals.  For a few minutes the sun peeked out of the clouds and illuminated a single white bud at the end of a branch.  It would be wonderful over the next week to come back to see what unfolds.  A  hiker passed me and we both smiled, she too was enjoying the peaceful morning on North Mountain.

I reconnected with the Upper Dogwood Trail and over to the Hot springs Mountain Trail.  I headed to a place where two creeks join together in hopes of seeing one of the many song birds that live in the trees and bushes along it’s banks.  All I could hear as I neared the area was loud screaming and giggling.  Several people were “Short Cutting” hiking off the trails and cutting through fragile areas of the forest.  I wondered if they realized they could be destroying the homes of  many small creatures.

With no chance of listening to any birds singing I decided to hike over to the Honeysuckle Trail and head over to the Promenade to see the lovely wildflowers I notice when I was walking with Rick yesterday.  I hoped to catch them when the sun would occasionally escape the veil of the heavy clouds.  The earth was covered with both Ground Ivy Henbit or Deadnettle (Thank You ArkyMark)  and Birds- Eye Speedwell.  It was so beautiful and the ivy filled the air with a minty aroma.

Rick and I had notice Cherry Trees Blossoming when we drove through town last night and I decide to go down the stairs and leave the Park via Spring Street so I could take some pictures of them.  The blooms were gorgeous, with variations of  color, deep radiating out to a pale pink.  Spring was truly here in Hot Springs.  I hurried along the street back home, I could not wait to see all the beautiful blossoms I had captured in my magic box.

Dreams can die without Love and can be crushed with a single word or deed from those who think it is theirs to take.  I am blessed to be with my beloved fiance’ Rick London as he not only believes in my hike and photography, but supports me everyday with his Love and defends my Dreams.

Love All Nature shows you, they are rare gifts.
Love,
Lee


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