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Mid summer in Paige Brook

Admittedly, I was kayaking at 9am on Saturday 8/16 to investigate what the white Ram truck was doing pumping water from the end of the lake. This had been their 8th trip in 2 hours, and I was curious to speak with them. Unfortunately, that attempt resulted in a cloud of dirt as the men drove away in anger to avoid my questions. However, that is a story for another day!

While I waited for the noise of the pump to quiet down, I took the opportunity to explore the plant growth in zones 49 and 50 of Paige Brook. I am very familiar with this area, as my property borders zone 50. As expected, I found all the usual suspect of plants, however in greater quantities than past years.

Already mentioned by Tim, I had seen native milfoil floating by recently. Native Milfoil was basically non existent in Paige Brook a few years ago. Now I see it floating in larger quantities almost everywhere in these zones.

The pink variety of water lilies is starting to show up in more areas in zone 49 & 50 this year. I noticed the pad of these flowers is purplish (instead of green), making a pretty contrast mixed among all the others. I'll work on getting a picture next time to highlight here, but you can see a hint of one of the purple leaves in the photo below (bottom left corner).

The grass growing in these zones, which I believe might be common spikerush, is getting denser every year, and is starting to form land masses in some areas.

Of concern to me, is the rise in presence and density of Pickerelweed. I heard rumor the plant started off the shore of my property from a previous owner. What began as a small grouping of pretty purple flowers, has turned into an invasion of dense, deeply rooted plants. I am seeing forests of these flowers show up all over the lake. In the area of Paige Brook, they are taking over a large section in zone 45, making the area where they are present impassable via kayak.

My last item to report, was a brief panic attack when I noticed this interesting bush that at first I thought might be Purple Loosestrife. Thankfully after a quick image recognition search on my new favorite app - PictureThis, I discovered the plant is most likely Steeplebush, which is native to North America. I must have missed the pretty flowers in past years, as this is the first time I noticed this bush along the water's edge.

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