Since our first swim ride in late June, we have spent several weekends starting with the best intentions to ride far, but the heat just became oppressive after an hour, so we just end up hitting one of the many routes to Lake Monroe for an extended swim/float/dive session. At times we have simply go to a boat ramp, and with no one around because of the high water, swam and dived for hours. On other occasions we’ve had to trek a while through the summer woods to a more secluded place. I’ve found some great flowers, mushrooms and ferns along the way.
We take these square floatation cushions that allow us to float and swim with little effort, so we just hang out in water when not diving. This year’s floods allowed me to use a sycamore as a diving board, and some big stones line the shore with deep water below (yes, we always check). When the water is down, we have a favorite diving log, which should show as the soon the lake level is now at 540 feet, just 2 feet above normal pool level. Last summer was a drought year and the lake looked much different than now.
This year there are no lotus growing at Pine Grove, where as last year there were thousands of flowers. I have seen them at Lake Lemon, and also one little clump at Yellowwood lake. The bryzoans we found in abundance last year are nearly absent, but for one little clump we found in July.