Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Natural Beauty and Phenomena of...
This past weekend, my husband and I went camping at Lake Ouachita State Park in southwestern Arkansas. It was a much needed break from the ole daily grind! The weather was perfect; cool, breezy and sunny; for the most part. We got to our camp site on Friday afternoon. It was a little tough getting our tent set up in the windy conditions we were faced with. At one point I thought our tent was going to take us up into the sky like a parachute! We managed to get our tent set up, with rain cover, just in the nick of time as it started to rain. The Park Ranger then advised us campers to "secure our belongings and seek shelter in either our cars or the shower house". Great. We decided to drive around the park instead of sitting in the parking lot. I think we got lucky as we only got a light shower. The worst of the storm (oh did I forget to mention the tornado warnings?) went just south of us. whheeww!!! We were able to get back in time for me to cook chicken fajitas on the grill.
Hubby got a nice little campfire going after dinner. We couldn't help but sit there in silence and watch the flames dancing amongst the red oak logs in the fire pit.
Sitting in front of a campfire; you are transfixed on the bouncing flames. What is it about fire that has us memorized? Is it the array of vibrant reds, oranges and yellows? Or is it the way the fire seems to dance in rhythm with the surrounding air movement? Maybe it is the powerful heat that is associated with the fire. Whatever the reason, we all can admit to being drawn to the natural beauty and phenomena of fire.
Fire is the heat and light energy released during a chemical reaction, in particular a combustion reaction. Depending on the substances alight, and any impurities within, the color of the flame and the fire intensity might vary.
Below is a collage of photos that I took of our campfire. I love the 3 distinctive colors in the "wavelength" of the fire in the first photo. The second photo was a magical dance of flames. The third photo was interesting as the flames seemed to be transected by the logs.
Though I didn't get a photo, we enjoyed our ooey and gooey smores we made. Delicious!
The rest of the weekend was wonderful. On Saturday morning we ventured on a 4 mile hike through a mountainous terrain. The dogwoods and azaleas were in full bloom. Christmas and Maiden Hair ferns were lush and green with an occasional fiddle head here and there. Rocks were covered with velvety soft moss and lichen. The trails meandered around the eastern shore of Lake Ouachita.
While on our morning hike, we were serenaded by the dawn chorus of songbirds including Red-eyed Vireos, Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Summer Tanagers, Pine Warblers, Black and White Warblers, Dark-eyed Juncos, Carolina Wrens, Yellow-throated Vireos, House Wrens, American Redstarts, and Tennessee Warblers.
After finishing our hike, we went back to our campsite and had lunch before taking a small tour of the lake in the boat. The water was so rough and choppy. Glad we didn't plan on water skiing or wakeboarding. Also glad I'm still chicken to even try it! I can snow ski, but not sure about water skiing. I think it would hurt much worse falling on water going 30 miles an hour versus falling in fresh soft snow!
Saturday night we went for pizza at some place that was highly recommended to us. It was fair. Nothing to write about, that's for sure! We walked around historic Hot Springs and window shopped. One day I want to try out these hot springs baths and spa treatments!!!
We packed up Sunday morning and drove back home. Chloe definitely missed us and was glad we were home!!!
A great weekend that my Hubby and I both needed. I don't know if I can get back into the swing of things, even if after only 3 days of "vacation"!!
Pictures below are of Lake Ouachita and the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.