Sunday, March 20, 2011
Gorgeous "Early Spring" Hike - Mountain Creek
Distance: 4.0 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Mostly clear, vividly blue sky. A few scattered cumulus clouds floating by. Temp about 82 degF. Winds light and variable. Trails in good condition - a little muddy in low spots but not bad. Normal flow in the creek and streams.
What a wonderful day to be out enjoying GOD's Creation! Gray squirrels, numerous passerines, crows, hawks, butterflies, and one black dragonfly shared the trails with me today. Red Maples were the stars of the show today, with Wild Jasmine, Dogwood, and Wisteria playing supporting roles. The Red Maples were in their early spring red coat throughout the hardwood lowland area. They "jumped out" of the gray and green background of the riparian area as I hiked the Nature Trail. I had seen an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly last week and was delighted to see a different species today (not sure on ID). The black Dragonfly was also a surprise, as it seemed a little early in the season to see dragonflies. Apparently not for this little fellow (or lady).
The temperature was warm enough to bring on a little sweat as I hiked the uphill portions. Short pants would have been a good choice today, but I rarely hike in them (do not want to pick up any hitch hikers ... i.e. ticks during my outings).
Thank YOU, LORD, for YOUR tranquility and peace. I was bathed in warm sunshine, gentle breezes, and the sounds of the early-spring forest throughout my hike. The passarines were particularly melodious today. Did not notice any particular fragrances - maybe not enough of the Wisteria or Jasmine blooming yet. I guess I could amend that statement to say no "pleasing" fragrances were noticed, as I did detect the local skunk-family's scent in the Pine Uplands! Thankfully not too close though.
"Hear the Call of the Kingdom" kept going through my mind as I hiked, worship, and drank in the beauty:
Hear the call of the kingdom
Lift your eyes to the King
Let His song rise within you
As a fragrant offering
Of how God rich in mercy
Came in Christ to redeem
All who trust in His unfailing grace
Hear the call of the Kingdom
To be children of light
With the mercy of heaven
The humility of Christ
Walking justly before Him
Loving all that is right
That the life of Christ may shine through us
King of Heaven we will answer the call
We will follow bringing hope to the world
Filled with passion, filled with power to proclaim
Salvation in Jesus' name