Each thought holds the promise of becoming reality. ~ Lee Hiller
In April 2011 a Tornado ripped across Lake Ouachita State Park in Arkansas. It uprooted Trees all along the Caddo Bend Trail which is a 4 mile loop on a peninsula that reaches out into the lake. As you can see in the photograph above it razed several sections of the Forest on both the north and south side of the trail. I had not hiked the trail since the winter of 2011 (Lake Ouachita State Park – Caddo Bend Trail Pt 1 & Pt 2) and now I found myself in what felt like an alien landscape. It is dramatic to step from dense Forest into places devoid of Trees. One moment cradled in leafy beauty then suddenly out in the bright sunlight surrounded by fallen and snapped off Trees.
Change is always present in Natures plans so I look forward to the future rebirth of the trail flora and fauna. The new open space on the trail will eventually be covered in Wildflowers each spring. The Wildflowers will bring Butterflies, Bees, Dragonflies and other beautiful Insects. New small mammals and reptiles will build their homes in the snags created by the fallen Trees. There are many new lake view locations as well. Nothing stays the same…
Love to ALL!
It is October, the insects are still biting 😦 and the afternoon temperatures are still reaching into the 80s. The occasional cool morning in the upper 50s has caused a few of the Trees in Hot Springs to begin their Autumn change. This is the warmest of the four Autumns I have experienced since I moved to Arkansas.
Each year I wait for the arrival of beautiful Birds-Foot Violets. They usually appear in mid January and into February often in-between snow storms. Today I was surprised to find these two Violets nestled on the edge of the Canyon Trail on West Mountain. Nearly 3 months ahead of their normal arrival time or 9 months late as I did not see many this past Winter/Spring. On the Sunset Trail I found large patches of Blue Sage Wildflowers, they usually arrive in March and April. Beautiful Butterflies were all over the trail attracted by the variety of Wildflowers. Autumn Beauty on Music Mountain Butterflies and Wildflowers
Last winter temperatures lasted no more that 2 weeks then we were thrust into Spring. Summer temperatures began in late April, the drought and 100 degree temperature continued into September. If the temperatures don’t fall I would not be surprised to see Spring Wildflowers throughout the park. The rain that never fell last spring has arrived this evening, can’t wait to see what blossoms in the park. Is climate change real? In Hot Springs National Park and Arkansas I would have to say YES!
Nature teaches our Hearts to speak without words and our Souls to erupt in silent song. . ~ Lee Hiller
I went on a journey to find Autumn Leaves (more about this in my next blog) on West Mountain and then kept hiking until I found a wonderful surprise on Music Mountain. All along the mountain top ridge I was surrounded by colorful Wildflowers and Butterflies. It was surreal after a summer drought devoid of these glorious gifts from Nature. After my 8 mile hike I was still floating upon the joy of seeing the beauty of the Forest.
Love to ALL!
This was a visit to Hot Springs National Park that was filled with unexpected sightings…
A rare sighting of Park Rangers… the first I have seen on the Mountain in over a year. Usually you only find them at work in the Historic Bath Houses along Central Avenue. I had to document this rare event with a photograph.
On the Tufa Terrace Trail the small Trees that lost their leaves in the brutal summer heat now have lovely Spring growth. I am relieved to see the young Trees did not die because of the 30+ days of temperatures over 105.
After the big summer storm that raged through the park last month many of the birds that inhabited the lower park of Hot Springs Mountain vanished. Today we saw a Female Cardinal, a molting Blue Jay, a juvenile Northern Mockingbird and the return of an old friend. Perched atop his favorite Tree along the Promenade was Hook Beak the Northern Mockingbird. During the spring and early summer Hook Beak would exchange whistling tunes with my melodic husband Rick.
The House Sparrows took over the roofs on Bath House Row and there was also the Running of the Caterpillars on the Promenade… see video below.
Much Love to ALL!