I always feel blessed when I enter the park, to live across the street from a National Park is a gift. This morning as I head up the Tufa Terrace a lovely Chipmunk is having breakfast sitting upon a Tufa Rock. I am extremely still as I watch this little sweetie forage for seeds. Suddenly it dives into a burrow hole and I am about to leave when I see a man with a dog has passed behind me. As soon as they are out of site the sweet Chipmunk reappears. I notice a head wound and can understand why it might be cautious of the dog.
I head up the Carriage Road then up the Dead Chief Trail and onto the Short Cut Trail. I have barely begun my hike up the Short Cut Trail when I spot a lovely green surprise on the trail. It is a young Speckled Kingsnake, the little beauty coils as I approach. I approach with caution although this is a non-poisonous snake that feeds on mice and often venomous snakes. Once it decides I am not a threat it gracefully slithers off the trail and into the undergrowth.
When I reach the top I connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail a cool breeze is ruffling all the leaves. As the sunlight peeks through the moving leaves I see a lovely butterfly. It flies over my head and I follow it back up the trail. It lands on a sunny leaf and as I am taking a photo I hear the crunching of leaves, after the second photo the loud snap of a twig. I Keep looking to my side expecting to see the lightning fast body of a Chipmunk, but still nothing in sight. I hike further up the trail and on closer inspection I spot a box turtle that appears to have slid down the bank. As I am trying to get a photo I get a first hand experience, ending up on my butt next to the Turtle. Not sure which of us is more surprised.
I connect with the Honeysuckle Trail and head down the floral Trail to Fountain Street. When I reach the Arlington Lawn I am so excited to see a Squirrel, since the series of heatwaves sightings have been rare. As I am about to take a photograph a Chipmunk shows up and scares the Squirrel. LOL I have never seen a Squirrel being chased away by a Chipmunk, until now. Everyday my knowledge is expand by lessons from Nature.
Dance, sing and play in the outdoors today!