I start my morning hike at 7:45 am with only a skiff of clouds trailing across the blue sky. The sun is still behind Hot Springs Mountain as I enter the park. A bush at the foot of the Tufa Terrace has beautiful pink blossoms, if anyone knows what it is I would love to know the name of the flower. (Special Thanks to @melisheath of Twitter for identifying this as Pink Peonies Flowering Bush). As I cross over the Promenade I look up and see a sweet baby Squirrel in the tree above me. It is still wanting to stay hidden form the crowds moving below.
I continue up the Tufa and am delighted to see the lovely bunnies together in the grass. They do not stay long as the lower park is busy with joggers and dog walkers. Saturdays are often busy in the lower reaches of the mountain. The clouds are increasing as I make my way to the Dead Chief Trail via the Carriage Road. A single blue Asiatic Dayflower is blooming in the green grass, I Love seeing their delicate shape and spectacular blue color.
Near the top of the Dead Chief Trail a lovely little yellow Moth is flitting from leaf to leaf. It rests for a few seconds then is is on its frenetic journey again. As I reach the Short Cut Trail the sun is beginning to rise above the Trees. This is the last I will see of the sun on my morning hike. As the clouds move in the sunlight forms a rainbow ring, a glorious sight as the rain begins to fall.
When I reach the top of the mountain the rain continues to fall as I continue my hike on the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. In a Tree I try to shelter under a lovely little Hutton’s Vireo is also trying to keep dry. I am so happy to see it as the last time I saw a Hutton’s Vireo was this past winter on the Short Cut Trail.
I try to protect my camera from the rain as I am hiking the east side of the Hot Springs Mountain trail. As the rain fall increases I cannot tell if the sounds I hear is the rain on the branches or a large creature moving through the Forest. Thunder rumbles through the park and it startles a Deer, for a brief moment we look at each other. Another clap of Thunder and we both head off to find shelter. I reach the rest hut at the trail head as the skies open up with a heavy downpour. So much for less than a 20% chance of rain.
half an hour later the rain lessens so I make a dash for home as Thunder echos in the distance. I am so happy to finally arrive home before lightning reaches the Mountain.
Respect Nature :o)