My Reminiscences of events, old and new, and travels, far and near
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