The leaves are still falling and the sky is a perfect “Arkansas Blue” (you have too come to Hot Springs to see what I mean) that makes photos seem unreal. They are preparing the lower park Arlington Lawn for the Holiday light show. November 23rd will be the chili cook-off and tree lighting this year. As I head up into the park I realize it is MUCH colder now and the steam from the vents is more visible. When I reach the Carriage Road a sweet squirrel is digging up some breakfast which it proudly displays as I move closer. As I reach the Dead Chief Trail I look up to see a another squirrel heading across a branch to reach a large nut.
Traveling up the Dead Chief Trail I look up to see amazing red, yellow and green leaves highlighted in the first morning light. The sunrise is spectacular as the light radiates through the multicolor leaves. I feel rejuvenated bathed in Nature’s Autumn colorful rays. Along the Short Cut trail it is silent except for the light crunch of the rust leave covering the path. Moments later a LARGE dog rounds the bend roaming free and ahead of it’s owner (please see ongoing park dog problem).
On the Hot springs National Park Trail I hear the lovely chatting chirps of an old friend as I near the Pagoda. Peeking at me from the side of a tree is a wonderful Carolina Wren. In a sweet game of peek-a-boo it pops out on the side on the tree then hides for several minutes. Autumn reveals many winged friends hidden in the lush greenery of spring and and summer. I Love the transition of the Forest into winter.
When I reach the Floral Trail the Autumn Leaves are glowing in the late morning sun. The happy pip of a Tufted Titmouse is echoing before me. It is a joy to spot the delightful bird in the last of the green leaves to my side. Vibrant yellow rimmed in rust leaves are spectacular against a perfect “Arkansas Blue” sky, maybe that should be a perfect “Hot Springs Blue” sky. Its hard to keep from staring upward at the dazzling contrasting colors. I am blessed to be on this trail to see the beauty today.
Get out and crunch in the Autumn Leaves.