Some of you have noticed the part 1 in the title, tomorrow I will be staying home and will post the 2nd part then. I am writing a book and a highly published author has offered to look it over and make suggestions. This means I need to prepare more of my book for review. I hiked over 9 miles today so I will have plenty to write about and photos to show you.
When I woke up Hot Springs Mountain was covered in fog so I was out the door in less than an hour. I spotted both Brown Thrashers and Female Cardinals preparing nests as I head from the Tufa Terrace to the Peak Trail. On the Carriage Road one maybe two, Male Cardinals were flying from Tree to Tree singing a song that echoes in the lower areas of the park.
Hiking up the Dead Chief the foliage is bursting forth everywhere and as I connect with the Short Cut Trail fog descends down the path. As the fog increases the new green in the forest is spectacular and my hike has a magical quality. I spot a Red Bellied Woodpecker, but in the fog he is a bit of a ghost.
When I arrive at the Pagoda on the Hot Springs Mountain Trail fog blankets the valley below me. Only Indian Mountain is piercing the fog and it is an amazing sight. A Brown Thrasher sits high in a Tree singing a medley of songs as it faces the foggy now invisible valley. I notice the Toadflax joins the Spiderwort and Henbit in covering the slope below the Pagoda forming a colorful Wildflower garden.
Along the Hot Springs Mountain Trail Wildflowers are appearing in increasing numbers. Beautiful Spiderwort and Birds-Foot Violets in rich blue, pink, purple and lavender travel from the trail deep into the forest. I am cradled in the new green and increasing fog, I Love my Forest.
I head over to the Gulpha Gorge Trail and connect to the Goat Rock Trail. The Spring Rain the night before has left shiny coating on Rocks, Wildflowers and Leaves. As the sun peeks through the clouds everything in the forest shimmers. Drops of rain still hang from leaves and cover delicate wildflowers. A small Chipmunk is perched on a rock on a the slope leading up to the next Trail incline. In the high Trees Warblers and Cardinals are filling the forest with a song of life.
At the top of the Trail The forest begins to obscure the North Mountain Overlook. I decide to head up to the overlook path and head to the Hot Spring Mount Road, then hike down to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail (to be continued)…
Much Love to You all
PS: I had a Love evening walk with Rick on the Promenade, we were blessed to see a Northern Mockingbird, House Sparrow and glorious flowering plants.