I spent so much time hiking, taking and editing photographs that words will be kept to a minimum. I must begin by mentioning my delight in seeing Stubby, she is a sweet Squirrel who is missing nearly half of her tail. It has been many weeks since our last encounter, I was concerned that she might have been killed or injured.
Wildflowers are bursting open across the park with purple, pink and yellow being the predominant colors. I discovered one lonely battered Birds-Foot Violet with a teeny tiny grasshopper sitting on its bottom petal. The new park arrival abundant on both the Gulpha Gorge and Goat Rock Trails is the Pink Ouachita Blazing Star. Lovely bell shaped pale purple Smooth Petunias are blossoming on nearly every trail in the park. The spectacular array of Wildflowers are attracting a variety of colorful Butterflies. There colors rival the flowers on which they are feeding. A nearly invisible Prairie Lizard is frozen on an old log resting within a field of Pink Wildflowers.
My biggest surprise was discovering a patch of Cactus hidden among the Wildflowers I was photographing. Yes, Cactus! I had no idea they could grow and survive in this climate. I must return soon as they will be blooming soon.
My final comment is about the Male Cardinal I photographed today. This poor fellow is molting in on one spot, his head. He has a receding hair/feather line and looks as if one of his parents was a vulture. To learn more about molting please read this great article by The Cornell Lab. Embarrassed to say I had no idea this was happening to my feathered friends in the park. I Love learning something new everyday, Nature is the best teacher!
Love to ALL!