Sometimes Nature comes to your front door and I was on my way out when I spotted a lovely green beetle. Special thanks to @Squirrelbasket on Twitter for identifying it as Cetonia Aurata (Rose Chafer). On my way up the Tufa Terrace I am greeted by a Chipmunk standing as sentinel in the Park. It is a beautiful way to begin my morning hike. As another person approaches it moves to the Tufa Rock to my side. As I connect with the Peak Trail I watch a Spider Wasp fly up the trail ahead of me.
When I reach the Carriage Road and see an Eastern Cottontail heading up the hill. I love how it’s ears glow in the sunlight. At the end of the Carriage Road there is a new patch of beautiful blue Asiatic Dayflowers. I head up Dead Chief and hear a Male Cardinal singing high above me in the green leaves. The heat is building and it is so quiet as I hike up the Short Cut Trail to the top of Hot Springs Mountain.
You appreciate the wonderful taste of water when you sweating like I am as I stand in the picnic area. I hike along the Hot Springs Mountain Trail and I see flashes of red and green above me. Further along I spot a Juvenile Male Summer Tanager transitioning between green and red. It is a spectacular sight. Nearing the Trail Head I hear a loud rustling in the leaves. My first thought is Chipmunk, often they move leaves for nesting in their burrows. I finally locate the source, it is a Five-Lined Skink with a giant Moth in it’s little mouth. The Skink hauls the Moth up to a log and I can see it’s bright blue tail as it weaves it’s way through the leaves.
I hike from the Hot Springs Mountain Trail to the Upper Dogwood Trail, down the Lower Dogwood and Floral Trails. I stop at the cold spring water station to fill my stainless steel water bottle. When I arrive a pretty red spotted purple Butterfly and a bright yellow Moth. They rarely land fluttering frantically around the water spigots.
As I am walking home I notice leaves are falling as if it is autumn. The park need more rain desperately.
Never miss an opportunity to seek the wisdom of Nature.