When I entered the park this morning I was greeted with an amazing serenade. To be honest I believed I was hearing Northern Mockingbird with a phenomenal repertory of songs. It is a Brown Thrasher sitting in the Tree above me greeting the morning with a spectacular serenade to the sun. According to Cornell Lab All About Birds “the Brown Thrasher has one of the largest song repertoires of any North American bird”.
The Brown Thrasher is also the size of the large Blue Jays that live in the park as you will note in the photo below. It chases the Blue Jay off the Peak Trail, diving at it and striking until it succeeds. I will assume it is a good idea to stay a safe distance from the Brown Thrasher.
As I reach the gates to the HRC Hospital on the Carriage Road I wonder if someone will unlock the gates and allow the patients to access the park. Hiking up the Dead Chief Trail I notice the lack of Robins in the area since the arrival of the Brown Thrasher. Will this territory grab continue? I will observe the the status of the Robins and other birds in the lower Peak Trail area during the next few weeks. The recently ousted Blue Jay escorts me up to the Short Cut Trail and I am happy to have the company.
The Short Cut Trail is changing rapidly, beautiful green leaves add texture to the forest. The Trees are wearing their new Spring attire, it is enchanting. Winter has truly given way to Spring. Even the Valley view from the Hot Springs Mountain Trail is lush and green loosing the pale gray of Winter.
My journey along the trail is gorgeous, Twinkling green Leaves and Wildflowers decorate the Forest. A loan Hawk dips and soars riding the breeze above the Trees. For the second day the Chipmunks are murmuring their warning, it echoes loudly all along the Trail. I feel fortunate catch site of a sweet Chipmunk with full pouches gathering food during the high alert.
From the Hot Springs Mountain Trail I head to the Honeysuckle and over to the Floral Trail. I can see numerous bulbs sprouting broad leaves and I cannot wait to see what Flowers will be blooming. It is a delight to see my first Chipmunk on the Floral Trail, it pops up from behind a leaf surprising me. The trail edges are covered with lovely lavender Oxalis, as always a beautiful site. It is a perfect way to end my hike in the forest.
Love to You ALL!