Hot Springs National Park is in the middle of a heat wave, 105 with the heat index reading of 110. It is HOT HOT HOT in Hot Springs. I was debating whether it was safe to hike in the early morning (6:30 am) with a temperature 84 heat index at 88. I couldn’t stay away and a beautiful series of surprises was my reward.
I have only seen two Box Turtles on Hot Springs Mountain since I began hiking in Winter of 2009. Today I saw two, each on different trails, a female on the Carriage Road and a male on the Peak Trail. They were on the move but allowed me to take their photograph creating wonderful portraits. I wonder if they will find each other 🙂
The Eastern Cottontail couple from last spring made themselves visible to me today. First the nicked ear female is pregnant or has recently given birth, she looks so lovely and plump. Second the male is wonderful and made himself a target to draw me away from his partner. Once I moved away from the female he sat and cleaned his paws while I photographed him. I am so happy to see they survived the winter.
It was a perfect hike (although far too hot) in the park this morning.
Love to You ALL,