(Continued from April 03 2010) Heading down the Hot Springs Mountain Trail I am in awe of the beauty of the Red Bud Trees. They are glorious splashes of bright pink in the new spring green along the road side. It is the first time the hike down to the road is relaxing, the air is sweet with blossoms and the glow of green touches everything. I look down to see a lovely patch of Spring Beauty and a large shadow passed over. I look up just in time to see a large Turkey Vulture flying over.
When I reached the Hot Springs Mountain Trail I spot a patch of lovely Wood Spurge. The delicate green and yellow blossoms are a lovely addition to the Forest Path. On the Upper Dogwood Trail I can see beautiful Birds-Foot Violets, drops of last nights rain glisten on it’s petal.
I connected with the Lower Dogwood and I am mesmerized by the exquisite path laid out before me. A single Dogwood Tree is blossoming amongst the texture of the glossy green leaves. I hear a screech in the distance but cannot make out what bird is making the sound. A few minutes later I hear the same sound getting closer followed by the cry of a Hawk. I Look up and see a Hawk chasing a Crow across the sky, this is something I had never before witnessed.
As I reach the junction with the Arlington Trail I can see someone has returned to set another bonfire in the middle of the Lower Dogwood. The NPS needs to investigate before someone sets the park on fire and perhaps sends the fire down the Trail to the Arlington Hotel.
I hike over to the Floral Trail and I keep hearing the light rustling of leaves. A quick glance to my side and I finally see a Ground Skink racing in and out of the leaves. The next time I hear the sound I am able to better track the Skink to get a photo. I love their glossy tan coloring with a brown stripe down each side. After I reach the bottom of the Trail I begin my hike home along Fountain Street. It’s been another wonderful morning in the park.
Get out and play, Nature is waiting for you.
Love to You All,