Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lovely Day for A Stroll

The other day I decided to take a walk along the shoreline of our lake.  During the summer months the lake level is higher than it is now.  Winter months the lake level is dropped for work on the turbines at the dam.  This is a man-made lake, dammed as a part of the Public Works Administration in 1933.  Along with the Civilian Conservation Corps, who cleared the timber for the lake basin, the lake was dammed and by 1940 the lake approached its capacity.   The lake is approximately 12,000 acres and supports the community's water supply.  There are folks out on the lake all year fishing and boating.  Even saw some out fishing during our 'snow storm'. 

I was surprised to see all the shells on our sandy beach.  No wonder there have been so many birds feeding along the shore. 

I love the spiraled shells.
 When the water level is down there are lots of tree stumps that are visible.  Driftwood fans would have a field day.

The lake has some areas that are protected habitat areas.  Most of these in our neighborhood are in the coves where deer, turkey and other critters come down to the water.

While walking along the shore I saw lots of birds, many rustling the leaves in the wooded areas.  I didn't have my telephoto lens with me, next time.  I saw some River Birch in the woods, kind of neat.  The lots along the lake in my area are semi native woodlands.  The land on the slopes have more of a variety of plant material.  The land borders a pulp wood forest, all the pines are in a row.   I encountered a couple plants that I needed to come home and look up.

This is one of them.  I believed it to be a Hazelnut, Corylus americana, but now, I am not so sure.  It could be Hazel Alder, Alnus serrulata.  These little pinecone looking things are typical of the Hazel Alder. 

 These catkins are typical to both. 

 I believe this is the spent flower, I will have to research more and observe more--- especially in the spring.
 Any ideas out there? 
 The other plant I found is this one---
 It looked like a Leucothoe to me, but I wanted to make sure.  Sure enough it is Leucothoe, though I am not certain whether it is Leucothoe axillaris or Leucothoe fontanesiana.  Still looking at the differences between the two species.   It is fun to find and identify plants. 
Next trip up or down the shoreline I will take the other lens and perhaps come back with pictures of the Pileated Woodpecker I saw, or some of the Sparrows in the brush that were throwing the leaves around, or maybe some other new find.  Stay tuned!

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. A very beautiful lake indeed as shown the last picture. For deers and turkeys to roam free in a place they can call home is such a sweet gesture.... Happy New Year ~bangchik

  2. Your little stroll sounds very pleasant. So nice to live close to a lake! and a very beautiful lake by the way.

  3. I'm surprised to see so many shells too. I tend to think of shells mostly being on ocean beaches. It sounds like a great place for a walk. Those little pine cone things do look like what I see on our neighbors birch, but I'm not that knowledgeable about very many trees.

  4. How great to have something like this outside your back door, especially one that will not rise up every so often to flood your house. How much snow did you end up with?

  5. Living by the lake adds an extra dimension to your garden & life but you had water behind you in VA, right? We live in a lakeside neighborhood too (although our house is not on the water) and it is a lot of fun. My neighbors kids set traps for crawl dads, we swim in it, etc. I've never seen shells tho?
    Also, I'm sure you'll get that tree identified ~ if anyone can do it, it's you!!
    Happy New Year Janet. Hope it's a good one for you.

  6. What a magical place to take a stroll. I love expanses of water, they change constantly, and once you add in a wide variety of plant and animal life, my idea of heaven!

  7. Thanks for taking me along with you on your lakeside stroll. I wish I could help you identify your mystery plants, but I am not familiar with them. Like you, I love the spirals that make up the inner workings of shells. I am from the east coast of Canada and I love to collect sea shells whenever I am home.

  8. I love the manmade lakes around here. Your sightseeing looks a whole lot like mine! I hope you're able to grab a photo of a pileated... they always elude me except for the sound.

  9. What a gorgeous view you have, especially that last shot. Can't wait to see all the great pics you take in the future. :)

  10. You live on a big, and beautiful lake! With so much wonderful birdlife too.

  11. Such a lovely spot! I like the last photo of the clouds reflecting in the water. Pretty!

    BTW...You won the drawing for the mini-calender. Just let me know your address.... I have a contact tab on my blog with my e-mail and you can contact me that way. Congrats!

  12. What a lovely place for a walk, Janet! I'm always surprised to see shells on a lakeshore, too; for some reason, I thought you would only find them along the ocean. I have no idea about your tree, but the spent blooms remind me of witchhazel, so you must be on the right track in it.

  13. Nice. That last pic of the lake is very peaceful looking.

  14. Hi Bangchik- thanks, we love living on the lake. This is a semi-wild area, the protected areas allow the animals access to the water as they roam freely.

    fer- it was a lovely stroll, we love being on the lake.

    Catherine- I guess I should know there would be fresh water shells, just interesting. I am still looking into the tree's ID.

    Les- you are so right. Our snow was barely an inch, if that. Pretty then gone!

    Kathleen- yes we were on the water in Virginia, and flooded.... not a fun way to live. Living on water is great, lots of wildlife activity. Still looking at the tree for an ID.

    Janet- I enjoy walking here, there is so much to see and hear. Heaven indeed!

    Jennifer- thanks for coming along! Since I had my camera I didn't collect anything other than photos.

    Eliza- we do have a lot of lakes around here, don't we? I have one photo of the Pileated, kind of usual.

    Racquel- thanks!

    Sweetbay- yes we do, and love it!

    Rosey- I like that last photo too, one of my favorites.
    thx for the calendar, in advance.

    Rose- it reminded me of Witchhazel too. I will continue with photos and hope to figure it out before the lake rises so much I can't get to it.

    Victoria- thanks!

  15. Hmm, that certainly looks more like Alnus to me with those cones, as Corylus fruits are quite different.

    I wouldn't want to do a definite id until spring -- fresh flowers, you know! That's always the fall-back position.

    And with your Leucothoe, it's probably flower characteristics that will distinguish the species, too.

    It is fun to figure out plants, to be sure!


  16. Lisa, thanks for the feedback on the plant IDs. I will continue to observe them until the lake level is up too high for me to get to them.


If you use "Anonymous" please sign your name so I know who you are...there is a lot of spam out there. Thanks for visiting today. The Queen would be pleased if you left a comment...... :-D thanks! I do respond to your comments, you can click on the email followup comments to have it in your inbox.

I am now moderating all comments. Too much spam is coming through. Sorry folks.