Thursday, November 20, 2008

Autumn Around The Pond

A few days ago I took some photos while the trees were in their autumn beauty in this area. The news said that last weekend was the peak time for the autumn scenery in the north Georgia mountains. Our trees here turn color later than that and many are still pretty here, so I wanted to show you a few pictures of autumn around the vicinity of the pond.

This first one is looking east from my porch toward our road out front. The horizontal line through the woods on left is the dam of the pond. A small stream runs between the house and the pond.

Looking northeast from the porch you can see the glen next to the small stream.

The scene here is southeast looking toward the driveway and Baker's front pasture.

Looking toward the west, the yellow tree-top in the middle of this picture is a huge beech nut tree.

This one is looking south from my yard, with Baker's back pasture in the far background.

Last but not least, here is the pond later that afternoon. Though the sun was getting low you can still see some bright colors in the tree-tops.
I hope you enjoyed my little tour around the area of the pond.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Water Will Have Its Way

This week's theme for PhotoHunt is ruin(ed). As I was thinking about it I realized we have lots of things around that were ruined by nature over the past years. Rain, wind, sunshine, ice, flowing water, lightning, falling limbs and trees, and the actions of various creatures tend to wreak havoc from time to time despite our best efforts to avoid the damages.

As I was going through the list I recalled a particular sight that I have always found interesting. As many of you may know we live in a partially wooded area with several small streams. In years gone by I think perhaps a good portion of the land was used as farm land, probably for growing cotton. As cotton farming diminished in the area the land was used for other crops. This particular section eventually became a dairy with perhaps half of the land in open pasture and the remaining in hardwoods.

One of the streams happened to run through wide, low section before passing through a narrow area with a very steep hill to one side and a gradual 10-12 foot upward slope for about 60 feet on the other side. Evidently at sometime someone decided to build a dam to create a shallow pond perhaps only 2-3 feet deep and probably about 2 acres in size. I have no idea when it was built, but I would think it was likely more than 50 years ago and perhaps up to 100 years ago.

In any event, I think the dam was essentially hand built as it consisted primarily of a ridge of dirt covered by layers of small rocks. It was about 60 feet long and 3-4 feet tall at the highest point as you may be able to tell in the photo below.

I've always been amazed at the amount of time and effort that must have gone into that dam. Unfortunately, the builders evidently did not consider the amount and power of the water that might come through the area in the event of a large rainfall. (The stream bed drains an area of probably over 100 acres.) I have no idea how long the dam lasted, but eventually it failed. This is a photo from the downstream side. You can see where the water broke through between the steep hill on the right and the tree on the left.

This last photo is from the upstream side. You can see the size of the rocks used in the dam and just imagine how many hours went into building it. Most of the rocks are from the size of a fist up to the size of a soccer ball at the largest. One of these days I may work out a calculation of how many thousands of rocks may have been piled there. For now I just go check it out from time to time and wonder who built it and how long it lasted.

You can find more participants in the hunt at .


Thursday, November 6, 2008

This And That From Baker's Hat (III)

Here are a few more 'out of the hat' photo's. Actually I have used a photo similar to the one below on a prior post, but I thought it was such an interesting phenomenon I decided to post another shot. You can check out the story here.

The following photo has a story behind it also, but it is a little too long to tell. Let's just say we got a good laugh at the expense of certain visitors who sighted the 'giant lizard' in the pond and spread the alarm. I'll have to admit it did look rather life-like from a distance.

Now this last one is not mine. AR sent it to me. AR is the quiet blog team member who supplied a few of the photo's used in some of the initial posts on the blog including the panoramic view at the bottom of the page. This is a photo of a flower on an okra plant in her garden. (The garden is within sight of the pond by the way.) I find it interesting in its size and simplicity.

I have a couple of things to add to this Baker's Hat post. I been away from the computer a good bit for the past 7-10 days as some of you may have noticed. You know how other things can take priority at times, lol. I'm working on catching up on my visits and commenting on the blogs of visitors and such, but the list is quite long.

Also, I want to thank Kim from WishnikWoods for presenting us a special Friendship Award. Kim, it was truly appreciated.

We have received a few awards from special visitors in the past and we treasure them all. We always try to recognize those bloggers and the awards in the sidebar and in a special post that outlines our general position on awards.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blue For You

This week's PhotoHunt theme is 'blue' and it wasn't too hard to find a photo with blue in it. The trouble was I have too many with blue. So which should I use?

Well, for pure color in nature I think it is hard to beat dragonflies and damselflies. I've always been amazed by the sharp and brilliant blues, reds, and greens one can see in these little flying marvels. Not surprisingly, many dragons and damsels have common names which include their color. Who can resist those vivid names such as Blue-fronted Dancer, Yellow-legged Ringtail, and Orange Shadowdragon.

Even their group names are fun with names like Darner, Skimmer, PetalTails, and Cruisers. And damselflies even have a whole group known as Bluets.

So damselflies it is.

I have found that it is very difficult to identify some of the damsels and dragons, however. There are well over 400 species in the USA alone. (There are over 160 found in our state and probably over 100 in our particular area.) And for each species the male and female may be significantly different in color or some other aspect.

Plus, the juveniles may be even a different color and will change gradually as they mature over their relatively short life stage. When you add all that up and consider that not all the damsels and dragons will necessarily look like the 'specimen' photo's in a field guide you can see that making the correct identification would often be difficult for the layperson.

In any event, it would appear that we will be having plenty of opportunities to check out the damselflies in coming years based on the activity in the following photo's. These are damselflies laying eggs in the shallow water along the edge of the pond. As you can tell we have a healthy population with the promise of more to come.

You can find more participants in the hunt at .