It is a glorious morning, a little cooler and a light breeze tugs at the edges of my hair. The Sun is kissing the top of the cloud sending rays across the blue sky. I head up the Tufa Terrace and am greeted by a lovely male Eastern Cottontail. He begins to dig in the dirt, rolls around and then lays flat against the earth. I have never witnessed a Rabbit rolling in the dirt and wonder if this is a normal activity.
I head up the Mountain via the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails reaching the top in record time. A quick drink then I head over to the Hot Spring Mountain Trail, a juvenile Cardinal awaits me as I step onto the path. I love how its new voice joins the forest choir. Further along the trail I hear a lovely tapping sound far off in the green. I follow the sound and spot a sweet male Downy Woodpecker. I love how it beeps and hops then stops and taps on the wood. It is tiny and delicate with a mighty beak.
When I reach the trail head I decide to enjoy the cool breeze and hike down the Gulpha Gorge Trail. Next I head over to the Goat Rock Trail for an extra workout while it is a relatively lower in temperature. I enjoy the quiet beauty as I hike along the trail. The Goat Rock Trail is empty and I wonder if the joggers and hikers are still waiting for a colder day. Hidden in the heated rocks I find Wildflowers still struggling to survive. Beautiful Oxeye Daisies look glorious, they are some of the last flowers still blooming in the park.
From the Goat Rock Trail I connect with the Upper Dogwood Trail. My hike is quiet and peaceful, a wondrous breeze is delicately moving through the leaves. The Forest appears to be sparkling as the sun twinkles between the leaves. I see a lovely little Vireo staring down at me. When I reach the Lower Dogwood Trail I literally skid to a halt. In the middle of the trail is a male Box Turtle. He has a glorious red head and large yellow spots on his front legs. This it the first time I have clearly seen the sharp nails on the front feet and the large claws on the back feet. I move down the trail and watch to make sure he safely makes it to the side. I want to make sure he does not get run over by a jogger.
I hike down the Floral Trail and over to the park fountain to fill my water container. A lovely brown moth keeps landing on me and I am trying not to bump it as I get some water. I put a little water on the wall in hopes anything needing a drink can get a little water. It as been a glorious morning in the park.
Find a moment of peace in Nature.