Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall color at Lake Allatoona

This has been a colorful week, or should I say, full of colors - fall colors that is.  I was going to look at my pictures of New Orleans for a post but, I did not.  Leaves on our trees started to change into their fall colors from light yellow to dark red and the colors entered our rooms.  We have so many trees around the house, some very close, that when the sun is shining through them it bathes the rooms in golden tones.  I started to take photos through our windows.  (Click on collages twice to enlarge.)

My cat Mitsuko also likes to look out of the window - but I think she is looking at squirrels.  I took my camera and went outside to catch the colors in nearby trees.

While I was taking these pictures a little bird was serenading me - very lustily.  I finally found out where he was perching and took its photo, too - but I don't know what type of bird he is.

Actually I started catching colors with my camera on Tuesday evening, November 5th.  This was the day we were supposed to vote.  So my husband and I went to our voting precinct - it was closed.  We were surprised but it is a church and they were having a musical meeting.  We drove around to see where we could vote.  Finally someone at the Marietta high school told us we were not eligible because we did not live within the "city limits" of any of the towns close to us - Marietta, Kennesaw and Acworth, GA, and these were municipal elections.  We live about 6 miles from each town but not inside any of them.  As we were driving back home we saw a beautiful sunset - something we cannot watch from home because of all our trees.  We stopped and I took several pictures.  The pictures are not very good but it is not the camera (the Lumix,) it is me - I focused the camera on the leaves of the trees, but the colors in the sky were splendid.

Atlanta is about 30 miles (48 km) southeast from our house, but if we drive in a northwestern direction we are close to a huge lake called Lake Allatoona.  On Wednesday afternoon we drove to a park within this lake that is located on a peninsula.  This 1,562-acre park is called Red Top Mountain and is about 18 miles (28 km) away from home.  We were hoping to see more fall colors.  There are more than 15 miles of trails through this park.  We hiked on Sweet Gum Nature Trail for a while.

We left the trail and came back.  I was pleased to sit on a bench to rest.  We then checked the maps to see where we would drive next.

The name of the park comes from the red color of the ground in Georgia, composed or red clay - Red Top Mountain. The soil gets this rich red color because of its high iron-ore content.  You can see the red clay on the banks of the photo on top of this post - I did not touch the color or Photoshop it.  In Georgia with so many pines, or even magnolia trees, there is this riot of colors in the fall - all the shades from the changing leaves, the red clay and the evergreen trees.

When I stopped to take more pictures a little bird was watching me.  He was so cute!  Do you know what type of bird he was?

We then drove down toward the lake.  There was hardly any people around since it was mid-week in November.  It was a warm day for November - about 71 F (21.5 C.)

We decided to go up a hill to have a panoramic view of part of the lake.  There was a cemented area with an historical marker.  This small area is on the hill on the left of the dam overlook in the picture below (the photo of the dam at the bottom of collage, under the postcard) at about 9 o'clock.  All the area around our home is rich in history and Civil War battles.  Last year at this time I wrote a post about Fall in Kennesaw National Battlefield Park which is about 4 miles down our road.  Click here to read it.

Lake Allatoona is a man-made lake.  In 1950 the US Army Corps of Engineers developed the Allatoona dam for flood control, hydroelectric power generation, fish and wildlife management, recreation and water supply.  They started blocking the Etowah River in 1949.  The lake is 11 miles long, is about 145 feet deep (44.19 meter) at its deepest point and has 270 miles of shoreline (454.5 km.)  When it is full the lake spans more than 12,000 acres (or approx 48.5 square km.)  There are 14 day-use parks, 8 marinas, 15 public boat ramps, 688 campsites, 435 picnic sites, restaurants, hiking trails, fishing, hunting, etc., for the yearly 7 million visitors.  But there were few visitors that day.  Below is a vintage postcard called Allatoona Lake as the Government calls it (but it is known as Lake Allatoona around here) and a Corps of Engineers' photo of the dam.

I walked to the side where stood another historical marker called "Etowah and the War" with the Etowah River in the background.


The view from the top of this hill was lovely from anywhere one looked.  I could see the whole dam structure, the power house (which produces more than 150,000 MWH at peak times) and the churning waters of the Etowah River coming out of the dam; I could also glimpse at the beautiful valley further away.

We drove closer to the shores of the lake, to a boat ramp.  There was a lonely fisherman on his boat.  We watched him for a while.  I hope he caught some fish - the species known to be in the lake are: bass (largemouth, hybrid, stripped spotted and white,) carp, crappie, bream (bluegill, redbreast and red ear sunfish,) gar and catfish.  You could see the red banks of the lake as the water level is down several feet.  A power boat went by - the only boat we saw that day.  It was getting late but the sun was setting on the other side of the hill.

We drove back toward the bridge.  We stopped for a few pictures then drove home.

We visit Lake Allatoona seldom, which is a shame since it is close to our house - many people drive hours to reach it.  So we decided to visit it again this week.  On Thursday, Nov. 7th we went back and hiked Lake Allatoona Pass, and on Friday Nov. 8th we visited Lake Acworth which is an outflow of Lake Allatoona and is even closer to our home - these outings will be in upcoming posts.  I'll end this post with Georgia O'Keeffe's painting of radiant autumn leaves.

Autumn Leaves painted by Georgia O'Keeffe, American- 1897-1986


28 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Oh my. Glorious, vibrant colour - and stunning sunset. Thank you. And I have a huge weakness for the works of Georgia O'Keeffe.

ELFI said...

un lac magnifique..une belle saison, pour le petit oiseau.. je cherche encore...

Cloudia said...

This post is a masterpiece! I like leaves, your cat, the bird. . . . a whole new place for me.


ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^= <3
> < } } ( ° >

The Solitary Walker said...

Stunning autumn colours.

BTW, ref. your last two posts, I've always liked Willie Nelson singing 'City of New Orleans'. Wondered if you'd heard Paul Brady singing 'The Lakes of Pontchartrain'?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad8RVexRUoQ

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a very BEAUTIFUL place that is.....I can understand wanting to go back many many times.
I don't know who either of those birds are, but both of them are darling!! So very sweet!
This is such a beautiful time of year where you live---the leaves turning are GORGEOUS!! Thanks so much for sharing all this beauty,my dear.

bayou said...

Eh ben ma chère, je n'ai jamais plus eu le désir profond de visiter les Etats-Unis mais tu m'en fait! Absolutely gorgeous pictures and atmosphere you captured. The first bird looks to me like a nuthatch but do they live also in your area?

biebkriebels said...

Beautiful photos you made of the indian summer you have there, love it.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Oh how lovely! I loved fall when we lived in the US. Wish our colors here were stronger but we do get some nice yellows.

DJan said...

Your pictures are some of the most beautiful I've seen of this season's color. You are indeed fortunate to have so many trees around your place. I don't know what kind of bird that is, we don't see them around here. And that O'Keeffe! Wow!

Magic Love Crow said...

So beautiful, so gorgeous! Thank you for a great post ;o)

David said...

Vagabonde, Great photos as usual! I believe that the first bird is a wren... You have a beautiful cat. Ours is named JD and he's not exactly a beauty...bowlegged too! Nevertheless, he runs the house and he is a real character. Coming and going to Savannah, the Sea Islands and Florida, we've driven right by Lake Altoona. We'll have to stop and check it out. We considered retiring around Lake Lanier but it was too much like living in a sprawling town... Nice Blog! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Down by the sea said...

I knew from the title of your post that your pictures would be spectacular. I love the collage with your cat. The colours of the leaves and views are breath taking. Sarah x

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Some fabulous photos and colours here. I love the autumn colours, just wish I did not have to put up with the chilly weather that goes with it!! Hope all is well with you both. Sorry I have not been commenting though I have been reading. Time not on my side just recently! Diane

Kenza said...

Oh la la Vagabonde, comme c'est beau! Et là on peut vraiment dire que ce sont des couleurs d'automne.
Merci de ce bonheur flamboyant, c'est une pure merveille!
Bisous Vagabonde, je te souhaite une agréable soirée

Frances said...

Vagabonde, I really enjoyed seeing the autumn colors around your area. How strange it was this afternoon to go out for a walk on a breezy blue sky day, and within an our to have layers of dark sky overhead and odd little...could these be snow...flurries falling around the other pedestrians and me.

Very odd. The flurries did not last.

xo

Jocelyn said...

I've heard of Allatoona, but I had no idea it was humanmade!

Thank you for filling my eyes with so many fall colors; I truly think there is nothing as emotionally satisfying, as a visual, as autumn colors as they peak.

Perpetua said...

As always a totally fascinating post, Vagabonde, beautifully illustrated by your splendid photos. I really needed those splashes of colour on this dingy grey November day.

Elaine said...

Your fall colors are gorgeous and Lake Allatoona is beautiful. What a peaceful place to spend the day. I really like the collage with your cat in it--well done! I'm not much help on identifying your birds, although David's suggestion of a wren looks right.

Nadezda said...

Vagabond, I love your collages, especially this one with your cat! And another one of colorful trees around the lake. Interesting story of artificial lake, it's so deep and large!
have a nice day!

Jeanie said...

Of all the O'Keeffe paintings I've seen, I've never seen this one. Thank you for sharing it -- It might be my favorite!

Your view from home is gorgeous and so, too, is Lake Allatoona. Oh, my! What a perfect thing to do on an autumn day - don't you love the crispy leaves under your feet and all that color? Indeed, that is what fall is all about. I can't tell you how much I love this post!

Glenda Beall said...

What fantastic photography! I live near Lake Chatuge and have not been to Lake Allatoona in north Georgia, but now I want to visit.The color is gone here and cold is coming tonight. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

Kay said...

Oh my gosh! It's all so beautiful. I was worried I wouldn't be able to see any fall colors when we were in Illinois, but they were just a bit late in arriving. And then suddenly, when we returned home in Hawaii, my granddaughter called to say they were driving home in a snowstorm. What weird weather we're having.

Jenny Woolf said...

I am awestruck by the wonderful window views. How marvellous and ever changing, I might find myself sitting there all day... but in fact generally I did love your colourful post, showing various different aspects of autumn and this beautiful landscape. Strangely, although I like Georgia O'Keeffe usually, I do not like this painting so much when compared with the "real thing" - to me it makes the point that art and reality are truly different ....

Susan ~ Southern Fascinations said...

What lovely photos from North Georgia. We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful, geographically diverse state. You have captured the essence of Autumn in Georgia! What a splendid finish with the vibrant O'Keefe... Awesome!

Vicki Lane said...

Beautiful shots -- through your windows and everywhere! The first little bird is a wren -- not sure about the other one. The O'Keefe is a new one two me -- perfect conclusion.

Pat said...

What a lovely area you live in and your camera really does it justice.
Your bird life is different to ours but could the bird be a tit?

We don't have such a spectacular fall here but this year the acer that my mother gave me is mesmerising it is so beautiful and I found myself taking Alastair's photograph to the window for him to see.
Am I mad?

Hilary said...

Your surroundings are absolutely beautiful. I especially love the images shot through your window. No wonder your gorgeous kitty enjoys the view so much. It's hard to tell from this image but your bird looks like a Mockingbird to me.

Margaret said...

Fabulous post (marked it down on places to see in GA) and I have never seen this particular O'Keefe painting. Easily one of my new favorites of hers!

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