Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Griffith Lake, DE

White water lily on Griffith Lake.  The water lily is a perennial water
plant that will grow in thick mats.  Its leaves are 6-12" in diameter and
float on the surface.  The fragrant blossoms open in the morning and close
 in the late afternoon. Deer, beaver, muskrat, nutria, and others eat the leaves
and rhizomes, and ducks eat the seeds.
Japanese angelica tree.
Griffith Lake, at 32.2 acres, is even smaller than Haven Lake, but still offered a nice relaxing paddle of 2.2 miles and a nice run up its headwater. A leak developed under the old dam years ago, so a new dam and spillway, and other improvements, were constructed in 2006.

Swamp rose.
The natural and rarely disturbed thicket of shrubs in the headwater was a red-winged blackbird rookery. They were not happy with my visit. I was doing nothing to disturb them except by my proximity, and a few kept me close company until I was back out into the open lake.

Slender blueflag iris.
One of the nice things about Delaware waters is the area normally receives an abundance of rainfall, making the surrounding areas lush, and keeping water levels constant.

Another slender blueflag iris.
Delaware is peppered with ponds and lakes that draw fishermen from states away. Dave and I got into a short discussion about how one body of water, pond or lake, is distinguished from the other. I’ve always assumed that a pond would be smaller than a lake, but it appears many ponds are larger than lakes. I went digging for the answer and found that size has nothing to do with the distinction, but depth does. If the body of water is shallow enough that light can penetrate to the depths or bottom of the water, it is therefore defined as photic. The importance of being photic is that light will support the growth of roots and plants from the surface all the way to the bottom. This means that in theory, plants could cover much or all of the surface of the body of water. Being photic makes it a pond. If, however, the water is deep enough that light cannot penetrate to the bottom over most of the water‘s area, it is aphotic, and thus a lake.

Blue vervain.


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