They are replacing all the carpeted hallways with tiles in our building, so there was a standing order either be in or out of your apartment 9am to 5 pm.
I chose an early morning hike leaving just after 6 am. Hiking in via the Floral Trail I expected to hear the rustling of leaves from nocturnal creatures. I was sad to hear nothing. The sun was still a half an hour out from cresting Hot Springs Mountain and it was still dark in several places on North Mountain. I was blessed with 2 sunrises this morning it was glorious.
I know there are mammals I have not seen yet, a skunk left it’s odor on the trails several weeks ago. I hiked the South side of the Lower Dogwood loop first as this is where I had the aroma encounter. I was alone when the sun rose as a large fireball peering through the trees. It was my first sunrise in the Hots Springs National Park.
I had hoped to see a dark shape hopping, running and moving across the forest floor. With the sun rising I hiked over to a spot where there isn’t much foot traffic and it has deep valleys. Even on the back of the Lower Dogwood loop there was barely a bird call and my only companion was a Robin waiting to greet the sun on the North side of the trail. Twenty minutes later the fire of the sun began to show through the trees and the orange leaves appeared to change to a dark blue color. Once the sun began to rise the forest rapidly lit up.
I headed to the Arlington Trail and barely caught a glimpse of a squirrel on a breakfast run. Still, only a few bird calls could be heard as I checked my watch and realized I needed to get back to the apartment for the lock down. On my way out of the park a Northern Mockingbird landed on a near-by bush and a Robin hopped out for a friendly good-bye.
Thank You for hiking with me in the early morning! It’s always wonderful to share a sunrise with a friend!
PS I now have my own private label of coffee with images of my Lee Hiller Designs and Hot Springs Wildlife and Nature Photographs. This is a story for another time.