Lake Irene: A Great Place To Hike Close To Home

Lake Irene: A Great Place To Hike Close To Home

Community Park (9 of 29)
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The first time I visited Lake Irene was on a cool, sunny Spring day. I wasn’t in elementary  school yet, probably five years old.  My dad took me, my brother John  and, I think, my sister Linda  to the recently opened Community Park.  I was mesmerized by the wide blue waters of Lake Irene. It was the first lake I had seen. I remember pulling the lever on the hand-operated water pump and throwing rocks  into the lake like it occurred yesterday. cumulus clouds over Lake Irene  

We occasionally visited the lake  over the years with dad, usually in Spring. Mid and late Summer were spent searching for huckleberries and mushrooms.  Years passed until I visited again, I think when my brother Mike started taking his son Mikey fishing. Cumulus clouds over Lake Irene

Once I became interested in photography, and sharing my hikes on social media and my blog I re-discovered this beauty park and scenic Lake Irene. I now visit often, usually on a short hike after work and explore the lake and park looking for the hidden secrets of nature. Recently I observed, and photographed a great egret wading in the waters of Lake Irene.  There are a few  post on my encounter in the archives of my blog. 

These past few weeks I  visited the park a few times, mostly on sunny days I will admit. The clouds floating over the lake were spectacular.

The great egret is gone, I haven’t seen it in weeks. But there is still a cormorant hanging out with a large flock of Canada geese.

There were 50 geese in one flock. 

Walking along the shores of the lake I always encounter a multitude of dragonflies darting above the water-lily and pickerel weed flowers, occasionally resting on a leaf or twig. 

There were also  many grasshoppers hopping from plant to plant  as I walked along the trails.

And a few butterflies  feeding on the nectar of the late summer flowers.butterfly on flower

As always this time of year, I kept my eyes peeled hoping to find some wild edible mushrooms. I usually don’t find any in the park but on this hike I found this burnt orange bolete,

and a milker mushroom. Not enough for a meal but better than nothing. 

As I was leaving the park I heard the  roar of airplane engines  and saw this WWII aircraft  taking off from the nearby airport. There was a WWII aircraft show that day, Nice way to end my hike it was since my dad, a WWII veteran loved taking us to that airport. We spent many weekend afternoons and workday evenings at the airport.I felt he was with me watching it take off.    Here is a link to some more photographs from these  hikes. Community Park hikes August 20, 21 2019.

I returned to the park a couple  more time the last few weeks and enjoyed the lake and the surrounding trails. Some day were overcast.

Others sunny. But always a beautiful view of the lake.

And usually  some  type of wildlife like this juvenile robin.

or crows or 


Or an interesting wildflower , like this turtlehead flower.  It is only a mile from my home, so I don’t have to travel far to find so much of nature’s  beauty  almost in my own backyard. Here is a link to my later hikes in the park, Community Park hikes September 3 2019

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.    Henry David Thoreau

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