Friday, June 29, 2012

Oconee River: South to Lake Oconee

May 25th, 2012. After making our way up the Oconee River to Fishing Creek and returning to Dyar Pasture, we decided to see if we could make our way down into Lake Oconee.

The route

A single Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) tree directly opposite the boat launch. This is a non-native species from east Asia that is cultivated in gardens. This one got loose.

The Oconee River is wide and deep as it flows southwest immediately south of Dyar Pasture.

We saw several Great Blue Herons along this stretch of the river

We went south as far as we could but couldn’t find a way into Lake Oconee. The river was very shallow and the openings to the lake were blocked by snags. We retraced our route and turned west into another bay at the north end of the lake. The water was shallow. We might have been able to make our way south into the main lake from this side but were running out of time. On our way back to Dyar Pasture, we saw this…

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) that didn’t seem to be bothered by the heat. It seemed to be enjoying the heat. And look at that intense turquoise eye.

This Great Blue Heron didn’t like the heat at all. It had opened its wings to catch the breeze. Others have also seen this cooling method: here and here. This is the first time I’ve seen a Great Blue Heron using this method to cool itself. I’ve seen one use this method in the Fall to catch the early morning sun in an effort warm itself.

By the time we got back to the boat launch, the Rose of Sharon flowers were starting to close for the evening.

An American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) joined me while I waited at the boat launch to bring the boat in, and a…

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) was obelisking to avoid absorbing the full heat of the suns rays.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon, Althea)

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds:

- Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
- Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Michael Beohm, West Central Georgia Butterflies: American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)
Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of Georgia:
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Hibiscus syriacus

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon)

Related posts:

- Oconee River: North To Fishing Creek

- Running The Oconee River: North from Dyar Pasture

No comments: