Lovely Birds of Winter, new favorites are the sweet Yellow Rumped Warbler and the Pine Warbler. Last Spring I caught brief sightings, now my new lens allows me to get higher into the Trees to capture lovely warblers. The beauty of these strong little birds that spend the Winter in with us in Hot Springs National Park is now revealed to me. To look in the highest Trees and marvel at the gorgeous winged friends that stay with me through the ice and snow is a welcome treat. I am blessed to hear their joyous songs and graceful antics.
In a distant high Tree a Juvenile Blue Jay watched me, slowly limb by limb it came a bit closer. Juvenile Blue Jays often follow me at a safe distance, sometimes in silence and other times loudly giving away my presence to the entire Forest. Even though I could barely see my blue shadow I snapped off a couple of shots. Imagine my surprise when I began to edit my photographs and discovered this Forest “Blues Singer” wearing vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I hike in the hippest Forest in the South 🙂
A storm is nearly upon Hot Springs National Park so I decide to revisit the Goat Rock Trail to see all the lovely violets before they get hammered by rain, sleet and wind. These beautiful Springs flowers are a gift I do not want to waste. Their colors vary in each patch or single flower, even the shapes are different from most I saw last Spring. As my regular readers know I adore Wildflowers and these, Bird-Foot Violets are my favorites. Global warming or a semi regular occurrence, I do not have the answer.
I hope to learn more about what has caused Spring to arrive early in the park. I spotted Spring Violets on the Dead Chief Trail on December 11th this year. Two lone blossoms pushing up through the autumn leaves. I went back the next day to see if I had miss others along the trail. On December 22nd I hiked over to the Goat Rock Trail and discover 11 different patches of Bird-Foot Violets. There was snow on Hot Springs Mountain Christmas last year, I do not believe this will occur in 2010. The intense Summer heat that usually arrives in late July or August began early in June this year and did not let up until mid September. Now it appears the park is attempting to skip from Autumn into Spring.
Have a Lovely Holiday Weekend! Merry Christmas 🙂
PS School holidays means trail runners, I wish they would run the park road instead. Runners leave a wake of smashed Insects, trampled Wildflowers, frightened Wildlife and I hate being pushed off the trail. Runner you have miles of road within the park please consider some of seek peace within the Forest, stopping and listening to witness nature’s mircles.