I’ve decided to begin my writing about something other than the absolute details of my hike. The photo above will be familiar to anyone who enters the Forest early in the morning and is first on the trail. I know this look, the Ugh as you find your face covered in spider webs. You get home and your clothes are covered in the silk of multiple webs that once crisscrossed the trails on which you were hiking. Webs you did not even notice as you were hiking. This Chipmunk is a casualty of the unexpected web. As you will note in my first photos it is part way up the rock and not until it turns it head that the snare coats it’s head.
I began my hike heading up Fountain Street to the Floral Trail. On the lawn above the wall a sweet squirrel is foraging for a sweet breakfast treat. It’s a blessing to see it has survived the storms of the past few days. A little further along I spot an odd pink flower, it turns out to be a pretty tangle of mohair yarn.
I hike up the Floral Trail to the Lower Dog wood Trail. When I look at the Trail side I see a strange fungus growth, it looks like a white ear. My first thought is that the Forest really has been listening to me LOL. I wonder if it hears me giggling as I head up the Upper Dogwood and hike over to the Goat Rock Trail.
On the Goat Rock Trail I can hear lizards diving into the leaves, but none stands still long enough for me to get a good look. A sweet Chipmunk appears on a rick to my side, our encounter is as described above. It’s sad little face stays with me through the rest of my hike. The Orange Butterfly Weed is still vibrant and today the insects are a wonderful orange and black. It makes a spectacular visual display.
I continue my hike on the Gulpha Gorge Trail, beautiful little bright orange fungi dot the sides of the trail. They look like tiny wildflowers sprinkled in every direction. Nearing the top of the trail the song of the Tufted Titmouse rings out and it looks sweet singing in the Tree above me.
I connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, then on to the Honeysuckle and Floral Trails to exit the park. It has been another glorious morning in the park.
Even in the largest cities Nature will find you, if you let it :o)