My husband and I were halfway up the hill near our house this morning when we decided this would be the best day to hike up on the Skyline at one of our favorite places. We missed our usual late April bird walk because of COVID closure. I made us fried egg sandwiches, took some drinks and a few snacks and left the house soon after 7:00. We found the picnic grounds closed, so we parked in the nearby overlook and flung open our doors to hear the birdsongs surrounding us as we ate our breakfast.
We took the wet fire road about a mile and a half down to the falls overlook, serenaded by many different bird songs and water coming from rock crannies and springs. The overlook on the roaring falls gave us a glimpse of the fullest stream we had ever seen rushing over the edge. We took the narrower path by the river on our return, traversing tricky rocks and water–listening to its music and drinking in the whole ambiance –as though we were in one of those perfect calendar pictures. And yes, all around were redstarts flitting and singing their hearts out–just like the one we had seen on our willow oak.