A perfect start to my morning hike, a mother House Sparrow and her babies are having flight school. Mom lands, babies arrive and she flies off to a different branch. It is one of my favorite parts of spring. The trail is wrapped in the new green brought forth from the storms of the past few weeks. Further along the Canyon trail a lovely Black-Whiskered Vireo makes a quick visit on a limb above me. Do birds know when they are out of their habitat boundaries as defined by humans?
My hike along the Oak Trail begins with a small obstacle course. Two Trees have succumbed to the recent storms and fallen blocking the path ahead on me. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind climbing over the Trees, but I have to take great care as I am carrying two cameras. If NPS is reading removing them would be a good safety activity.
Male Cardinals seem busy in the park today, they are present on my hike on both the Oak and West Mountain Trails. Their glorious red coloring against the new spring greenery is a wonderful sight. I am beginning to appreciate how much easier it was to spot the smaller birds in the bare winter Trees. I am thankful Nature gives some of them contrasting plumage that allows me to see them in the lush foliage.
At the top of West Mountain the warmth of the sun mixes with a cool breeze creating a perfect spring morning. I tip my face to the sun for a moment of peaceful meditation. Slowly I open my eyes and turn toward a patch of greenery covered in Yellow and White Flowers. What I first thought to be a Butterfly hovering above the Japanese Honeysuckle is in fact a Hummingbird. Its metallic body glistens briefly before it rapidly vanishes into the Forest.
The Sunset Trail is draped in its spring finery and I almost miss seeing the rest hut ruins slowly vanishing into the Forest. As reach the top of the first rise I hear a familiar song. As I scan the Trees following the melody I am unable to spot the crooner. Sun flashes on a wing, suddenly a Black and White Warbler appears on the protruding perch of a dead Tree. It sits in full view loudly proclaiming it’s greeting to the morning sun.
When I reach Music Mountain I decide it is time to see where the Trail that slits to the right leads. In the past I have traveled left which leads up to the towers, there I would watch the Black and Turkey Vultures flying. Today I am hiking down then back up and them back down into the mixed Forest which is accented with Rock formations and Wildflowers. I stop briefly to pay my respects to a Red Spotted Purple Butterfly which has folded it’s wing and passed away among the leaves on the trail. When I reach the Trail head I realize several hours have passed and it is time I returned home to my Beloved Loving Caring Patient Husband Rick.
It has been a glorious day hiking the trails in Hot Springs National Park.
I Love to play in Nature!
Love to ALL,