I feel as if I spoke to soon when I said Springs had arrived. I had to go back to gloves and a coat today, the wind had a real bite to it and sky was a dull gray. It seemed the cold strong gusts of wind had the small forest creatures hunkering down for a second day. It was odd not hearing the bird song filling the park as I enter.
At the park entrance I noticed a beautiful saucer Magnolia has huge buds forming, the pink is glorious. I can’t wait to see how the tree looks at each stage of the buds opening. It looks so lovely barely lit in a soft shade of pink. The glow of new color in the park each day is enchanting. Soft pinks and greens coating the once bare winter limbs of the trees is a feast for the eyes.
I decided to hike up the Peak Trail to the top and then connect with the west side of the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. The park is so quiet, I miss the bird song and rustling of leaves. I hear a familiar Kaw Kaw Kaw and look up to see eight Crows flying overhead, followed by two less speedy crows. It had not been the wind after all, it was the hunting party in the sky keeping the wildlife under cover.
Each tree I pass on the trail has the beginnings of spring growth. Tiny green leaf sprouts delicately unfurling and shooting forth from once bare branches. Flower buds appearing in pink, red, peach and white. I try to imagine what the trails will look like in a few weeks bursting forth with new color.
The last rain storm has revealed new rocks and old rocks have been painted with more lichen. The damp wood appears to have more texture and new moss and lichen growth are abundant. All Nature’s vibrant details are popping out and I hardly know where to look on each trail.
I hike the Upper Dogwood and Lower Dogwood Trails then connected to the Floral Trail to exit the Park. As I walk down fountain street I can see white buds forming in the Magnolia Trees that line the street and continue on to Central Avenue. It was going to be a spectacular first spring in Hot Springs Arkansas.
Rick and I would like to invite you to join us on Twitter @HikeOurPlanet to celebrate the launch on March 14th of the International Hike Our Planet Day!