|Hoary Mountain Mint|
Summer's heat has come with a vengeance here at Bays Mountain. This is the second day in a row with teperatures over 100 degrees F(Bays Mountain Park's Weather). In spite of the heat, there are a few flowers in bloom right now.
Forget-me-nots grow in the damp grassy areas near the edge of the lake, particularly at the east end of the dam. The plants are low and the flowers small, so you have to look pretty hard to find them.
The Virginia Creeper growing on the lower side of the Nature Center is in full bloom. The flowers are very inconspicuous to us humans, but lots of small insects are drawn in to pollinate them. This plant is sometimes confused with Poison Ivy or Poison Oak. Poison Ivy and Oak have 3 leaflets per compound leaf, whereas Virginia Creeper has 5 leaflets.
Swamp Rose is a native species that grows in the wet margins of the lake and beaver ponds. The single flowers lend a pretty shade of pink to the scenery.
Hoary Mountain Mint is a striking sight in the summer woods. It tends to grow in dry soils in forest openings and along trails and roads in the park. The plant looks like someone spray-painted the upper leaves white. The leaves are very fragrant.
Yarrow is an exotic weed that has become well established throughout the area. White flowers are the most common in the wild, but garden varieties can have many other colors.