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“Best part of hiking is not know who you’ll meet or what tiny gift nature will give you.” ~ Lee Hiller ©2010
Cloudy skies and birds of prey kept the small mammals and song birds hiding undercover. When I entered the park the only sound was the distant call of a Blue Jay. Not even the Robins were out in force. I looked up to see two large crows fly overhead, the Jay calls became louder.
I hiked up the Dead Chief Trail, the skies darkened and I thought the rains were coming. Some days are meant to be dark so that we can see the beauty often lost to our sight in the bright sunlight. I looked up in the sky and smiled at the clouds. As I looked down I noticed buds were forming on the branches near to where I stood, so sweet the life about to burst forth.
Along the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails Nature wove a beautiful display in cream & white. Delicate fungus fans layered over the fallen logs on the forest floor. Again I looked to the sky, clouds swirled and branches became black silhouettes.
At the Pagoda the skies remained dark and the voice of a Eagle range loudly as it passed over Indian Mountain. Even the Blue Jays stayed deep in the the bushes sounding the alarm. As I scanned the horizon looking for the eagle Geoff and Chris arrived and let me know they had hiked up the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails. They were visiting from Florida and Pennsylvania and needed get down the mountain soon as their car was parked on Central Avenue. I suggested they use the Peak Trail for a quicker trip back down to their car.
I suddenly felt the need to go out to Goat Rock and hiked the Hot Springs Mountain Trail to the Gulpha Gorge Trail. The hike was peaceful but I missed the usual bird song. With an eagle so close who could blame them for staying still within the forest trees and bushes. I connected to the Goat Rock Trail and when I arrived at Goat Rock climbed up to the view platform. In the distance an eagle soared on the wind between North and Indian Mountains. It was so beautiful to watch, the eagle left when a small plane appeared over Indian Mountain. (Would love to know the make of the Aircraft see pictures below).
From Goat Rock I followed the trail heading toward the North Mountain Overlook. A jogger was heading my way and I moved to the side to let him pass. I glanced down at my feet, I saw a beautiful violet colored wild flower. As I was positioning myself to take a photo my eye caught site of a tiny lavender bloom. In the darkness of the day Nature revealed two beautiful wildflowers, a posy for my heart.
The memory of the pretty little wildflowers made the trip to the North Mountain Overlook seem mere seconds. The view up top was spectacular, dark sky made the trees seem greener. A car pulled up and lovely blue color (really a blackish gray) American Pit Bull Terrier bounded over to show me some love, she was a real sweetie. A couple from arrived next and I offered to take their photo with his Blackberry.
I looked at my watch and it was already 1:00pm, yikes I had been out three hours. I walked down Hot Springs Road to connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, on to the Honeysuckle Trail, to the Peak, Across the lawn and out of the park.
Live with Nature in Love and she will embrace you.
Love All, Lee