Lens Lake lies in the southeastern region of New York's Adirondack Park. At an elevation of 1,841 feet and surrounded by mountainous slopes, it does qualify as a mountain lake. But its attraction for my naturalist friends and me lies not in its altitude, but rather in its extensive bog mats and the fascinating variety of plants that thrive on them -- as well as along the convoluted shoreline of this quiet and beautiful body of water.
As for now, the Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) growing thickly along the shore provided flowers of the most saturated pink imaginable.
After cruising along close to the shore for a while, we next headed out to the floating bog mats to see what wonders awaited there.
As we paddled past stands of the grass-fine sedge called Carex lasiocarpa, I mistakenly thought we were seeing occasional stalks of Cotton Grass, noticing these cottony tufts high on the grassy stalks. But a closer look revealed that these cottony tufts were composed of spider silk instead. And each tuft held a tiny golden spider within.