We spent a few days in Central New York this past weekend and managed to get in two walks despite the humid 90 degree weather. The first adventure was a 3 mile loop around the lakes of Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, a town east of Syracuse.
The two lakes of the park are the larger Green Lake and the appropriately named Round Lake. To begin our walk, we rounded the northern end of Green Lake which serves as a very popular beach area. Given the temperature of the day you can just imagine the crowds that were occupying the area.
Once we left the noise of the beach and entered the woodland trail we found a much smaller population of humanity enjoying the serenity of nature. We passed the occasional family exploring the trails and nodded to the runners who ran by us (at least three times). For those of us who wanted to take our time, there were places available to sit and just contemplate the view. There seems to be something about being near a body of water that just invites one to slow down.
As we walked along, we noticed the bluish-green color of the water. Apparently the combination of the depth of the lakes and the fact that the layers of water do not intermix has created this unique feature. An informative article on the park and its geology can be found at the Fayetteville Free Library.
During our excursion we stopped to admire the lopseed, a tall plant with tiny pink tinted flowers evenly distributed along the stem. The flowers were small enough for me to be grateful that I had discovered the macro feature of my “point and shoot” camera. For a better perspective on the size of these flowers look at the stem visible in the lower right corner of the photograph.
We also came upon some horse nettle and here is where I put my hip to the test. Since my hip replacement in October I have been wary of two things; maneuvering downhill anything that I would consider even slightly steep for fear of falling and kneeling down for fear that I won’t be able to get up again. Until now I have gone through some interesting gyrations in order to get close up pictures of some of the flowers we have found but this called for getting close. So, I went down on my bad leg, took my picture and…..pushed off with the weight on my good leg. Hooray, with just a little bit of difficulty I had done it! I was standing!
Further on, we came upon a rather interesting plant that I have been unable to identify. There seems to be one set of leaves at the base of the plant and a leafy type growth curling from the top of the plant. I have not found this in any of my field guides or the the usual websites I consult for plant identification. So if anyone knows the identity of this mystery plant, please let me know.
We finished our walk in about 1.5 hours feeling rather warm and sticky. It was a good time to find a large glass of lemonade to help us cool down.