I had not hiked to the Goat Trail for many weeks, with spring bursting open throughout the Forest it was time to visit a favorite place in the park. A perfect start to my morning, I spot a sweet Squirrel eating breakfast on my way to the base of North Mountain. The sun cannot compare to the light in my Heart as I begin my morning hike.
As I reach the Floral Trail a male Robin stands as lookout for a female collecting nesting material. She does not stop until she has a beak full of building materials. They fly off to work on repairs after the recent storms that buffeted the park A light breeze causes the leaves to flicker creating a sparkling green glow. In the distance a warbler is singing to the morning light and it softy travels along the trail. It is a great day at the office.
The Goat Rock Trail is glowing with the golden buds of Potato Dandelions. As I near the overlook pink, fuchsia and purple Spiderwort are blooming on tall stalks in glorious bunches. Sunlight illuminates the colorful wildflower display below the newly green Trees. I stop to listen as a variety of bird songs combine into a glorious Mountain symphony. The wind lightly moves through the bright green spring Leaves carrying the beautiful fragrance of the many blooms along the Trail.
A Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly leads me further up the Trail, lands on a vine before vanishing into the Trees. The upper section of the goat Rock Trail is a peaceful hike. The silver of bare winter Trees and exposed Rocks has been replace by a radiant green. Spring growth creates a beautiful canopy above me, below the Earth and Rocks are vanishing in the undergrowth. An orange and yellow Butterfly feeds on the nectar of blooming Wild Hyacinth. A heavy breeze does not budge a Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly clinging to a leaf.
When I reach the Upper Dogwood Trail the once open spaces are giving way to rapid growth. The leaves make a lovely rustling sound as I hike along the trail. A flash of orange crosses the path, it is a spectacular Angelwing Butterfly. Highly adept at camouflage when its wings are closed they often go unnoticed in the dried autumn leaves that cover the Forest floor.
On the Lower Dogwood Trail I have to hop over a tiny park resident as I head down the Mountain. A shining metallic green Six Spotted Tiger Beetle is slowly crossing the path. As I reach the bottom on the Floral Trail a field of Wildflowers is alive with colorful Insects. Brown and yellow Dragonflies hover silently above the green as a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth seeks Nectar in the pale lavender blossoms. A brown and orange moth lands on a leaf spreading its wings to capture the warmth of the sun. A tiny green and yellow Moth moves in and out of the undergrowth below the Wildflowers.
A perfect day can only get better when experienced with someone you Love. My afternoon hike is with my beloved husband Rick and I cannot wait to show him the rapidly changing spring beauty in the park. We are greeted at the base of North Mountain by a spectacular Purple Spotted Butterfly. Wild Strawberries decorate the trail edges as we head up to the Upper Dogwood Trail. The red is a spectacular contrast to the bright green vegetation of Spring.
Our Journey down the Mountain is filled with a duet provided by a male and female Cardinal that are nestled in the Leaves above us. Long after we have passed them a wonderful breeze carries their song as we head toward Fountain Street.
Nearing home on the Fountain Street Lawn an energetic Blue-Merle Border Collie comes over to visit. After several kisses I am able to take several photographs of this lovely blue-eyed dog and its sweet Golden Retriever friend. It has been another wonderful afternoon hike with my wonderful husband.
Lets get out and Play
HSNP Goat Rock Trail Ea
As our planet Earth gently spins tragedy and turmoil seem to be on the rise. The people of the Middle East struggle for freedoms we take for granted, risking their lives daily. In Japan an unthinkable triple blow of destruction (Earthquakes, Tsunami and Nuclear Leaks) has taken lives and leaves an uncertain future for an entire nation. I was thankful to learn Mercy Corps have a longstanding partnership with Japanese charity Peace Winds. Donations are getting to those on the ground in Japan rapidly without having to wait to be cleared through government channels. Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away this week, had she not lived I would never have met my Beloved Husband Rick. We met on Twitter when I was asked to help with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Campaign to honor her work to find a cure for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS via AMFAR.
Please pause for a moment and take a stroll around the Fordyce Ricks pond and find peace in its beauty, gather strength from its calming waters.
Much Love to All,