When I arrived at Middle Lake I saw several fishermen on the south end. I spotted a park bench on the east side of the lake and had to wade through calf deep grass to get there. A path was not worn well in this direction. Lake levels were down due to the summer and drought so I put my camera back down on the bench and edged closer to the water.
A berm separated the lake and the smaller pond behind it to the north. The pond was down as well and provided a better space to walk, the berm being overgrown and all, so down I went to the shoreline.
Leigh might like these!
The berm continued around the pond, slowly becoming more overgrown as I continued further. Eventually I had to bail off to the side and walk around back to the far east side of the pond instead of attempting to bushwhack through the berm. This is one of the varieties of Elephantopus, maybe tomentosus or carolinianus. Looks hairy so perhaps it was the former.
I found a small portion of a variegated beautyberry. Which, smack my head, I forgot to take photos of the gorgeous violet berries! They are in full glory right now, too! I really think this bush had a virus as the rest of it had a yellowing/streaking thing going and this was the only part that was variegated well.
Once I finished up around the lake I headed east down one of the dirt road/trails and then ditched off into what turned out to be a decent single-track leading to another dirt road/trail. I’ll share that and wrap up my explorations in the next post.