Another night of storms and I wait until late morning before I leave for my hike. Although the skies are dark and cool winds are blowing I cannot wait to reach North Mountain. As I near the Floral Trail I hear a familiar voice and turn to see a spectacular male Cardinal in the Tree to my side. His glorious red color seems all the more fantastic in contrast to the gray Skies and green Leaves.
As I reach the Floral Trail I notice the bird song is flowing through the Tree tops. Every time something above me moves large drops of water splash onto the Leaves on the edges of the path. The restless breeze is tugging at my hat as the last of the rain is shaken free from the Trees above me. When I reach the Lower Dogwood Trail I stop, place my hand against a large Tree, close my eyes and take a deep breath. I give thanks to for the blessings of being here at this moment.
I head up the trail and spot some wonderful False Turkey Tail Fungi on an old log. The colors are beautiful, bands of glowing gold, olive green, rust and tan. The entire log is covered with this spectacular fungi display, Nature’s artistry make me pause to enjoy the pallet of algae upon the fan shapes.
As I hike to the top of the Trail reaching the backside of the Lower Dogwood Loop I am mesmerized by the foliage. Nestled in the green I feel a million miles from the city I know looms below me. I understand the words of Emerson in a way that sitting in a University classroom never afforded. To hike in the peaceful green, hear myself breath and my heart beat to the rhythm of the insects buzz and birds song.
I hike over to the Park entrance and head down the stairs and ramps, I move to the side to allow a group of tourist pass. Movement on the Tufa Rocks at my side catches my eye, a sweet Chipmunk has been watching the progression of people entering the park. I raise my camera to take a couple of photos, as I focus each shot I realize the little Chipmunk is moving closer, much closer to me. I half expect to feel it touching my hand. Another running passer by and poof my companion vanishes into one the many Tufa Rock openings.
To live in a city surrounded by a National Park is rare and there is no place on the planet I would rather call home. I am thankful that my Beloved Rick shared his Mountains.
Thank You for coming into the Forest with me,
Play in Nature…
Love to you ALL,