My day is starting with a spectacular sunrise, the fog is blowing across Hot Springs Mountain creating a frosty looking wide rainbow. I am practically tripping over my sweats trying to pull them on and get out the door to take photographs. I love the morning and sunrises like this make it even more amazing.
I begin my hike under a Magnolia Tree on Fountain Street wondering why stuff is falling on my head as I take out my camera. When I look up a Squirrel is sitting on it’s perch eating breakfast. It is the first time I have seen a Squirrel in a Magnolia Tree. It’s a perfect start to entering the park this morning.
As I head to the North Mountain side of the Floral Trail, nearing the trail I look down and see a Big Red Fungi nestled in the grass. When I reach the Floral Trail I hike up to the Lower Dogwood and then connect with the Upper Dogwood. The north side of North Mountain is still in twilight as I reach the Trail head. I am surrounded by hidden creatures who are moving in the leaves out of sight in the low light. Well not all, a noise to my right reveals a lovely female Box Turtle slowly moving down the bank. She slides forward startling both of us, she pulls in her head in case I am not a friendly entity.
As I moved further along the trail I see what appears to be burning embers. I raced up to the area and cannot smell smoke or feel any heat. It makes me wonder if the strange fiery glow is from insects. The sun is in fact slowly rising over North Mountain and the rays are lighting the now tissue thin Autumn Leaves. The effect in the Twilight is an appearance for glowing embers. Nature is full of surprise, I Love it!!!!
The Goat Rock Trail is bursting with Wildflowers in yellow, orange and purplish pink. At the top of the trail I see my first Woodland Sunflower, a beautiful sunny yellow drifting over the trail. As I reach the lower area of the trail I am greeted by and incredible orange Butterfly Weed, no Butterflies but the Bumble Bees love it. Further along I spot an unusual purplish pink Scaly Brazing Star, I love the tendrils coming out of each bud. Nature has painted an amazing garden in which I can hike.
From the Gulpha Gorge Trail I connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. On the trail I spot little orange fungi next to a bigger creamy ruffle edged fungus. It occurs to me I need to step carefully, not just to avoid the small creatures but the amazing fungi popping up everywhere.
At the Honeysuckle Trail I head toward the Wedding Chapel, a gentleman is inside praying. I offer to pray with him, after praying I head down the Floral Trail. The edges are all decorated in yellow wildflowers, it’s like beacons of sunlight. At the bottom of the Trail a lovely yellow Moth is delicately perched on leaf. It has been another perfect hike in the park thank you for coming with me.
Nature is the tuning fork for our souls.
Love to You All!