Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hard Labor State Park: The Many Moods Of Lake Rutledge

December 9th, 2011. We got a small River Hawk boat to give us better access to small rivers and creeks and needed to take it out to get a feel for how it handled. The water level at Fort Yargo State Park is two to three feet low at the moment due to the drought so...

we checked out Lake Rutledge in Hard Labor State Park in Morgan County, Georgia. It was a cloudy afternoon which showed us
more interesting moods than on a sunny day.

Starting the launch. The boat launch here is shallow. It’s great for launching a rowing shell but a little more challenging for launching a larger boat. You have to wade in a little further to launch a boat from a trailer with the risk of getting water in one’s boots. Chilly on a Fall day.

In the water. Ready to go.

Out first test when we sighted this turtle resting on a log. We drifted in towards the turtle and got within 10-12 feet before the turtle quietly slid back into the water. It was interesting that the turtle was resting on its plastron; its back legs were not touching the log.

Birds were a different matter; they took off when we came into sight. Might have something to do with the fact that its hunting season.

Approaching a small inlet. There’s a small pond behind the grass at the water’s edge. This was where we started to see the different moods on the lake.

Turning to head down the south shore. A darker mood in the shadows.

Still a darker mood but with interesting shades of green.

The island at the east end of the lake. There is a very narrow passage between the island and the mainland.

Looking east from the island. Leafless trees add to the mood… The spillway is to the right.

Looking back towards the overflow tower from the entrance to the passage between the island and the mainland. This is the largest snag in the lake.

The second turtle we were able to drift towards. We got within 10 feet of this one before it slid off into the water.

Looking directly towards the spillway.

The overflow tower. It’s quite different from the overflow tower at Fort Yargo State Park.

Starting back along the north shore. A mixture of trees that had dropped all of their leaves and those that were still hanging onto their Fall color.

And more….

And still more…

Some with beautiful tree trunks.

Some that cast ghostly reflections on the waters surface

Grasses added to the character of the scenery

And more bare trees.

Occasionally a boulder broke the monotony of the shore line.

It suddenly turned quite cold as the sun sank low in the sky and we turned around to go back to the boat launch.

The vista looking back east along the north shore of the lake

With its sentinel pine.
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- Hard Labor State Park

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