Before winter comes to an end and the leaves begin to create a canopy of green lovely Wildflowers delicately paint the Forest floor. The first Wildflowers to appear this year are Violets and Bluets. Their varying shades of purple with accents of yellow, pink and white are spectacular against the dried rust colored autumn Leaves along the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. The tiny blooms created a treasure hunt as I sought their delicate petals along the trail edges. At the top of the mountain a flash of red lead my eye to a Male Cardinal that landed on a branch above a newly revealed egg shaped rock. The rock reminded me of the eggs in the film Alien. It was another lovely winter hike with my husband.
Love to ALL!
This is my third Spring hiking in Hot Springs National Park and as in years past a glorious experience. Nature is unfurling in a colorful display of blossoms from the tops of Trees to the Forest floor. During our hike my husband Rick and I are looking up into the Trees at one moment and then down to the trail edges. Each branch has newly forming leaf buds or delicate blooms. Autumn Leaves on the Forest floor are splashed with color as Wildflowers push up into the sunlight. I feel as if the Forest is in that beautiful time between a deep sleep and being fully awake. A moment hovering between two worlds delicately balance on the edge of time. A nursery filled with new life waiting patiently to spread their Leaves, Petals and Wings in celebration of spring.
We move through the Forest taking care not to disturb the grace of the spring renewal.
Much Love to ALL!
When I woke up this morning I looked out the window and discovered the clouds were low on the mountain. I knew I would have to hustle drink my lemon with honey, get dress and get up there before they started to lift. Less than an hour later I was across the street and heading into the park. No birds were in the air, but I heard a Carolina Wren in a nearby bush and caught a glimpse of a male Cardinal in a tree before he slipped up under the leaves.
I hiked non stop up the Dead Chief to the Short Cut Trail trying to reach the top before the fog lifted completely. There is something magical when you are in the forest when it’s foggy. Sound is softer and the winter colors seem more intense in contrast the to gray. My hike on the Hots Springs Mountain Trail was serene in the fog and silence, hiking meditation.
As I neared the Gulpha Gorge the fog was lifting and I decided to hike up the Goat Rock Trail for a bit of cardio in the drizzle. The dark sky made taking detail photos near impossible, it was frustrating as thee were so many Wildflowers blooming. When I reached the top of the 1.1 mile trail the wind picked up and the clouds began to clear. Yes, I decided to hike back down the trail and photograph all the lovely Violets.
Today I saw my first Common Dog Violet, it was so small I nearly missed it’s delicate bloom. So few are out I was excited one had survived the battering wind and rain of the night before. Further down the trail were clusters of beautiful Bird-Foot Violets. Spectacular Purple blossoms that looked so Sstriking spreading out down the side of the Trail. Of course I had to stop and look at each new patch of them.
I hiked back up the Gulpha Gorge Trail and reconnected with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. I passed two birders as I headed toward the Upper Dogwood Trail, both never stopped looking up binoculars scanning the trees. I glanced at my Watch, realized I had been out nearly four hours and needed to pick up the pace. From the Upper Dogwood I took the Lower Dogwood then the Floral Trail down to Hot Springs Mountain Road. Along the road side I spotted more white Wildflowers, gorgeous Sleepy Beauty. The wildflowers are so wonderful, Nature creates a new garden of blossoms each day.
Thank You for taking time to come with me on my hike.
Love to You ALL!