When I entered the park today I was greeted by a screeching Squirrel, actually it’s a cat like sound. I don’t remember ever hearing Squirrels in Oregon or Pennsylvania making this noise. They are definitely a vocal group in Hot Springs National Park. On the Tufa Terrace I am treated to the site of a male Cardinal pecking for food. The past couple of weeks the Cardinals had been chasing each other out of Trees. It seemed odd to see one relatively still.
The Carriage Road was a delight with blossoms in bushes and Wildflowers along the path. I was surprised to see a Mourning Dove exit a bush, I had never seen one in the lower park areas. On the Dead Chief Trail a Carolina Wren waited patiently for the sun to crest the trees and then broke out in sweet song to greet the day. The song was spectacular and it was worth waiting to hear it.
On the Short Cut Trail I looked over at some leaves and noticed a little face peering out. A lovely little blond Chipmunk was staring at me. After a couple of photos I moved on quickly as I had heard a crow earlier and I did not want it to see the Chipmunk because I was standing there. A bit further up the Trail Nature had hung out another Valentine for me to see.
Today the Pagoda had a lovely surprise, a wedding party. Brittany and Jason were having pre wedding photos taken, later today they would be Mr. & Mrs. Anersen. Best wishes for your new life together as husband and wife.. Thank You Jason for your service to our country.
The Hot Springs Mountain Trail was so quiet, no birds, no small mammals and no fellow hikers. My hike along the Trail had a meditative quality and before I knew it I was at the Hot Springs Mountain Road. I decided to hike up the Road to the North Mountain Overlook. As I was passing a parking area an SUV pulled up a man got out followed by a large dog, the dog darted out into the road and was nearly hit by a car. Then he bolted down the trail as the owner casually strolled across the street.
From the overlook I dropped down to the Upper Dogwood Trail, now that the weather was warm the trail was becoming more active. Small birds were darting about squirrels were chattering, the normally quiet Trail was so full of life. It is so exciting watching the park change each day.
From the Upper Dogwood I connected to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, hiked back up the Mountain and traveled down the Peak Trail to the bottom. On the way down I passed two groups with children and it made me happy to see families out enjoying the park. The next generation of fellow Nature lovers.
Thank you again for sharing my adventures.