I Love heading into the Forest before the sun has crested Hot Springs Mountain. It is a world of shadow and half light where Nature is waking from her slumber. I knew it was going to be a perfect morning when I immediately spot an old friend, Bob the Squirrel. I call her Bob because sometime before we met 3 years ago a portion of her tail had been removed (bobbed). Her survival skills and parenting have always made her a welcome site.
As I head up the mountain I find 2 clusters of Daisy Fleabane waving in the cool breeze. On the Carriage Road I have the feeling I am not alone. Looking up I expect to see a bird, but it is instead a lovely Squirrel hanging upside down watching me. By the steps heading up the Dead Chief Trail a single blue Asiatic Dayflower glows by a steam vent.
The soft glow of Yellow Sunflowers dot the trail edges as the sun lightly illuminates the way forward. Two purple Asters are peeking out from sparse greenery. The Short Cut Trail is slowly awakening as light begins to caress the canopy. At the top of the Mountain I am taken by the gentle rustling of the Leaves, a soft morning melody. It is a peaceful hike around the eastern side of Hot Springs Mountain, I had forgotten how beautiful the trail is in the first light.
When I reach the north side the sun is beginning to reach over and bird song leads me to a tiny Carolina Chickadee. An adult and juvenile Blue Jay are supervising flight training of a lovely little fledgling. It is beautiful watching them diving in and out of the Pine Trees calling to one and other. While I am enjoying the show my camera battery goes dead so I change it out. As I snap in the battery I glance to my side and see a glowing shape on the trail ahead of me. Standing illuminated in a single patch of bright light it take me moment to realize it is a Deer. A lovely Doe has been watching me and after several seconds she gracefully trots off into the Forest.
I head home down the Floral Trail and take another tour past the lovely Magnolia… it has been a beautiful morning in the Forest.
Love to ALL!