After wending our way through the pine-scented woods, we made our way down to the sunny mudflats on the western shore. Recent heavy rainfall has filled the pond and brought water way up onto the shore, refreshing the many plants that thrive here under just such conditions.
Although this flower is not yet in bloom, the bright-red leaves of Dwarf St. Johnswort created a brilliant display.
Tall stalks of Blue Vervain were just beginning to uncurl their flower clusters and open their lovely blue blooms.
Most of the dragonflies would not sit still long enough for their picture to be taken, but this pair of Eastern Pondhawks did stop to take a rest from their mating flight. This is the typical copulatory posture for many dragonflies, where the male (he's the blue one) grasps the back of the female's head, and then she curls her abdomen forward to receive the sperm. They will then fly out over the water, her head still grasped by claspers at the end of his abdomen, and, dipping her abdomen into the water, she will deposit her fertilized eggs into the pond.
Eastern Pondhawks (Erythemis simplicicollis) are among our most beautiful dragonflies, the male a lovely powdery blue except for his bright green face, and the female a vivid emerald green with jet-black markings. For clearer photos of each, click here.
Longtime readers of this blog might remember my previous posts about masses of a liverwort called Ricciocarpus natans covering the mudflats along this shore. Today, because of the risen waters, these liverworts had been lifted up and were now floating free in the pond.
I floated a specimen in the palm of my hand, the better to see the dark purplish tendrils that hang down from the underside of this chubby green liverwort.
Before we left the park today, Sue and I drove over to the main entrance and then into the camping area (Loop A). We wanted to see the magnificent new public restrooms that were only recently completed.
Both Sue and I had contributed landscape photos to the park, which were then reproduced on ceramic tiles and installed in the walls of these new restrooms. We opened the door of the ladies' room, and sure enough, there were our photos, in magnificent full color! What a lovely addition to this utilitarian facility!
Here's Sue with her photo of Moreau Lake in summer.
Here's me with my photo of Moreau Lake in autumn.
There were four photos in each of the restrooms (yes, we peeked in the men's room, too). There may be more in the family restroom, but that one was occupied and the door was locked. We shall have to return another day to see.
Update: I went back later and took photos of the rest of my photos on the bathroom walls. If you're up at the park, stop by and see this beautiful brand-new bathroom building that includes hot showers for campers. Then you can see Sue's photos, too.