Field Notes January 09 2011:
One of the great gifts is leaving across the street from a National Park is being able to get in there the minute the snow starts to fall. (see video Hot Springs National Park First Snow of 2011) I had been prepped and ready to go since 9:00 am LOL A few flurries as I entered the park quickly became rapid snow fall as I reach the Short Cut Trail. At the top of Hot Springs Mountain White-Throated Sparrows and Juncos were frantically digging in the snow covered leaves for seeds. There were several territorial disputes over digs sites that included diving and shoving. I noticed this behavior last winter between Warblers and Sparrows on the Hot Springs Mountain Trail.
When I reached the Pagoda the snowfall was increasing to near white out levels so I put chains on my boots and checked my camera covers. While I was making a video of the snow and lack of view I noticed the Park Police kept driving past on the mountain road. After several passes I realized they were in the process of closing the road. That was my cue to head back down the Mountain and of of the park. The hike was visually impaired by the increasing snow fall and I only paused to take the occasional photograph including my Wedding Chapel on the Honeysuckle Trail.
By the time I reached the bottom of the Floral Trail the Park gates were closed and locked. The snow was falling so hard 3:30 pm looked like 6:00 pm as I neared home and the only other people out were teens in the park having a snowball fight.
Love To You ALL!
PS Prepping now for today’s snow outing!