The rain finally stopped in the dark of the early morning hours. Slowly blue skies crept into Hot Springs, Arkansas, my eyes squinting at the sight of long missed sunshine. As gentle breezes fill the park as my husband Rick and I slip into the Forest for a late afternoon hike. As we head up the Peak Trail we catch sight of a juvenile Summer Tanager in the green before us. It drops down from the branch to drink from the now flowing water from the spring rains. A wonderful sight to begin our hike through the spring Forest of Hot Springs Mountain.
Further up the trail a sweet Tufted Titmouse sings a beautiful song as it follows us higher into the park. We are surprised to see a Tree shattered from a lightning strike, it is so sad to see this old Short Leaf Pine ripped apart and laying across the trail. A Tufted Titmouse lands in a Tree next to us singing loudly. I wonder out loud if it is telling us of the moment that took down this beautiful Tree that was surely was home to many Forest creatures.
Do you ever wonder if you are being followed? On the Hot Springs Mountain Trail it was not long till another Tufted Titmouse appears on a branch that reaches across the path. It is a wonderful feeling to have so many lovely birds serenading us as we hike in the park. As I listen to the songs of the Forest I notice the sides of the trail have been worn away by the heavy rains which swept through the park the past 15 days.
Heading home along the Hot Springs Mountain Road a small beaked face appears as we reach the gates of the park. It is a blessing to see yet another Tufted Titmouse has come to see us safely from the boundaries of the park. The gift of a sweet song to fill our hearts and carry us home. It has been a lovely hike in the park with my husband.
It is not hard to imagine the fear these storms created for the many nesting birds in the park. Flooding would have filled the burrows of many of the small mammals that make there home in Hot Springs National Park. My heart aches for the many lost lives in the park this spring.
Love to ALL!