The limitlessness of Dreams is an oasis for our Soul. ~ Lee Hiller
Look beyond the darkness toward the light of hope. ~ Lee Hiller
All Images in this slide show are clickable below
as always we welcome your comments
In the glow of the the first light of morning I head into the park for hike in the glorious Autumn Forest. Heading up the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails a breeze is blowing gently through the now dwindling leaves of the canopy above me. The changing leaves twirl and twinkle casting dancing light ranging from gold to rose. It is a glorious sunrise on the trail leading to the top of the mountain.
As I head down the Hot Springs Mountain Road I am struck how quickly the green has given way to to rust gold and brown. Even in the blue cast of early morning light the colors of the Autumn Forest are a feast for the eyes. On the Peak Trail I am dipped into a golden world of sparkling leaves. Every hike I am witness to great changes on the many trails in the park. As I watch the changing leaves I am reminded of my first hike up to the top of the mountain on the Peak Trail. It is hard to believe I will be celebrating my one year of anniversary of hiking in the park this November.
Nearing the promenade I can hear the chattering of juvenile Northern Mockingbirds battling for dominance. When I arrive on the promenade they are diving and pushing each other off Tree limbs and rails. It does not matter where I travel along the Promenade they are with me the entire journey. I Love the passion of their new life in the park. Today their songs seem to mimic the workers whistling as they repair a nearby roof. A young Squirrel is watching the antics perched on the side of a Tree with an acorn in it’s mouth. A mid air tussle sends the Squirrel dashing across the grass to a bigger Tree.
Suddenly the Forest goes silent and the wildlife all vanishes. I look up and see a large hawk surfing on a gentle breeze high above the park. It is a spectacular end my beautiful autumn morning hike. I Love the park.
Much Love to You ALL,
The clouds lifted and the sun is shining brightly this morning. I decided to hike up West Mountain and celebrate the rain fed Forest. I head up the Canyon Trail and connect with the beautiful Oak Trail. A flash of yellow touches my cheek and I turn to track its flight. In the distance a beautiful Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly lands on a pretty green leaf.
Hiking in the lovely Forest with Sunlight glimmering through the leaves I can hear sweet bird song. It is a wonderful sight to see an adult Tufted Titmouse teaching it’s chick how to fly from branch to branch. There is sweet joy to see the beautiful relationship between a parent and child.
When I reach the West Mountain Trail I spot a pretty Yellow Moth on a Yellow Leaf. The color combination is striking, Nature paints with amazing color and textures. The warmth of the sun is warming the earth and plants creating a beautiful fragrance in the Forest. As I hike all my blessing fill my heart, the Love I share with Rick, our friends and a home surrounded by a National Park filed with Nature’s wonders.
When I reach the top of West Mountain I can hear lovely bird song. In a Tree ahead of me I can see a tiny bird singing and feeding. It is either a vireo or warbler, I am still working on identifying the many birds I see. It suddenly flies off as a runner comes out of the Forest on the Sunset Trail. I wonder how much he missed and crushed as he ran along the Mountain ridge.
I continue my hike along the West Mountain Top Trail and over to the West Mountain Loop. I love the new Fungi that appears after rain has fallen. As I reach the Canyon Trail I spot a lovely heart shaped False Turkey Tail Fungi. I move quietly along the trail and feel at peace with my life. I cannot wait to show my husband Rick the photos I took today.
Make it a special day and get outdoors!
Two days of storms and I could not stay away from the Forest one more day. I gear up and stick my big oiled cloth wide brim rain hat on my head. The park is empty as I head up the trails and in the drizzle I stop only to photograph Wild Rose Hips and Asiatic Dayflowers. I head up the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails to reach the top of Hot Springs Mountain. I am moving at a good pace as there is a chance of lightning and I do not want to caught out in the open if it arrives.
Once I reach the top I head over to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. The trail is draped in a light fog and a I can see a flash of red moving in the distance. As I move further along the trail I spot a molting male Cardinal moving from Tree to Tree. He looks a little miserable sitting in the fog and I miss the usually joyful song. There is no bird song on the trail nor are there any other hikers either.
The rain has brought back the once sun burnt Forest to a lush glorious green. My hike is peaceful and cool in the rain splashing and dripping all along the path. I have missed hiking and it is with childlike wonder I move further on the trail. As I am making my way to the Trail head I see big Stick Insect slowly moving in front of me. I stop to make sure it has a safe journey.
As I cross over to North Mountain and connect with the Upper Dogwood Trail the rain picks up. I move quickly through the Forest wanting to reach home before the storm builds to Thunder and Lightning. I have had a beautiful morning in the park, I Love being outdoors.
Thank You for Hiking with me.