I Love the bare Forest, it reminds me the Trees living in the park are strong and adaptable. Beautiful dark sculptures rising upward toward the sky, their delicate limps spread like fingers to touch the clouds. Survivors of past winter storms bent, twisted and missing limbs still guardians of the Mountains that surround my home. Often wound in an embrace two Trees forever hold one and other as they did long ago to withstand the fierce winds of winter. Graceful dancers creaking and moaning in the Autumn breezes.
Today I had a close encounter in the Forest, a near miss (or Deer Miss) traffic accident on the Peak Trail. I was watching the little birds flying above me in the Trees and caught sight of a white tail. A White Tail Deer, a young buck. Once it spotted me it headed down a slope so I headed up the trail hoping to get a photograph. What I did not count on was it’s decision to double back and jump across the trail nearly knocking me over. In baseball this would be the pitcher brushing me back from the plate with an inside pitch. Not sure who was more surprised. Considering I did not see any last winter this might be a sign the population has expanded it’s winter territory. I will stalk my photography subjects with greater care 🙂 Thinking back I wonder if this is he same young buck I saw several months ago not far from here peering at me over the ridge. At that time his curiosity was greater than his fear.
When I reached the top of Hot Springs Mountain the air was filled with small bird songs. A mixed flock of little birds was flitting from Tree to Tree. I was not sure where to point my lens and I felt a bit dizzy when I was finished. Pointing up, then down, then over to another Tree it was hard to keep up with these tiny beauties. A sweet Black-Capped Chickadee was searching for breakfast in the leaves. A Pine Warbler was strolling on the ground and flew off as a Brown Creeper landed with a seed. A beautiful pair of Red Breasted Nuthatches were hopping up down and around on a short leaf pine. As the flock was moving away a Yellow Rumped Warbler landed in the Tree above me and a Pine Warbler waved good-bye.
Thank You ALL for hiking with me in the Mountains of Hot Springs National Park.