Take a hike with me across two Mountains in Hot Springs National Park. This morning a cool breeze is traveling across my skin as I enter the park. I am greeted by a tiny sparrow dusting itself in the dry soil below a Magnolia Tree. No longer in bloom the elegant Magnolia seeds sleep in a velvet cocoon high in the dark leaves.
On the Carriage Road I look up to see a beautiful moon rise over West Mountain. As a Cancer child moon rises always make me feel happy. When I reach the Dead Chief Trail I see a beautiful large blue rock perched next to the stairs. Early morning light often reveals beautiful details.
When I reach the top of Hot Springs Mountain the clods are clearing and the sun is shining brightly. On the Hot Springs Mountain Trail I can hear the song of a Tufted Titmouse. I Look up to see it hopping from branch to branch in the tree above me. It is beautiful to see it’s beautiful wings as it flies across the the higher branches. Moving along the trail I reveal in the green that will soon give way to the colors of Autumn. Nearing the trail head I spot a sweet vireo peeking out of the leave of a tree far below me.
I Love the hike down the Gulpha Gorge Trail and onto the Goat Rock Trail. It rough rocking pine strewn landscape always reminds me of central Oregon. All along the Goat Rock Trail I can hear the rapid scurrying of lizards. As Goat Rock I finally spot a Five Line Skink and further up a Prairie Lizard. The last remaining wildflowers decorating the trail are Oxeye Daisies in white and lavender. Now the trail is painted with lichen covered rock and the violet berries of Callicarpa Bush.
My hike across North Mountain via the Upper Dogwood and Lower Dogwood Trails is peaceful and meditative. I listen to the distant songs of warblers and finches, it is the perfect song for this lovely summer morning. When I reach the bottom of the Floral Trail a Red Spotted Purple Butterfly lands on the Rock before me. It gracefully turns and flexes it’s wings as the breeze pushes against it. Thank You for traveling through the Forest with me this morning.