Storms raged for nearly two days knocking down much of the beautiful fall foliage on Hot Springs Mountain. When I leave for my hike the rain has stopped although the clouds are still dark. The deep red, rust and yellow of the autumn leaves appear to glow in the dim light. From the Tufa Terrace to the Dead Chief Trail I am still not sure if the storm has past.
Near the Short Cut Trail the sun begins to shine and I remove the rain covers from my cameras. The warmth of the sun on my face is rejuvenating and taking a deep breath I feel a lightness in my step. Hiking up the trail I love the soft sound of my footfall on the damp rust leaves now vibrant in the bright late morning light.
At the top of the Mountain I glance up to see two small juvenile Blue Jays perched among the autumn Leaves. I am surprised they are without an adult and that they have not alerted the Forest to my presence. They are a lovely sight after the storms of the past days and a sight to fill my heart with happiness.
My hike along the east side of the mountain reveals that most of the autumn foliage has been blow free of their branch perches. The leaves create a rust brick road and I think to myself “Lions and Tiger and Bears, Oh My”. I know I am somewhere over the rainbow when I look up to see a colorful sundog in the sky above me.
Heading down the Mountain on the Floral Trail I see clear glinting ice-like objects on the path. Thinking they are ice I reach down to touch one piece only to discover they are jelly blobs. I wonder if they were dropped here by a human traveler or a natural phenomena produced during the lightning storms.
Leaving the park I am surprised by a sound to my side and I look up to see a sweet young Squirrel on the branch above my shoulder. It has been wonderful hike in the park.
Much Love to ALL!