As our temperatures rushed into summer highs yesterday, people were resorting to the tried and true ways of staying cool.  Mid 90’s and high humidity cause some Minnesotans to shelter in air conditioning, while the majority choose to embrace the weather but cool off by a lake.  Whatever wind that’s blowing across the lake surface cools and becomes a delightful and welcome breeze.  People were out at Lake Como canoeing, kayaking, walking, relaxing and savoring the warmth of summer; winter’s cold seemed a long way away!

Lake como dawn 13853_StaatsYesterday’s cool rain cleared overnight, but left pockets of fog in some of the low-lying areas.  The stars came out with the promise of sunshine today.  I was up before dawn this morning and went to Lake Como.  The air was still — no wind to form ripples or waves across the lake, and the fog that was expected hadn’t settled in over the water.  Gradually the dawn sky was growing lighter.  The canoes and kayaks that are available for rent rested in place on the dock, waiting for today’s patrons.  The peace and quiet were a welcome relief from the busyness and crowds that are a short mile away converging on the Minnesota State fairgrounds.

One of the constants of the weather in Minnesota is the wind.  We seem to attract the winds from all four directions, whether it’s a northern clipper coming down from Canada, a warm tropical surge coming from the Gulf Coast to the south, a wintry mix blowing across the northern Rockies from the west, or a wrap-around wind that skirts Lake Superior to the east.  So when the air is calm and still it is most noticeable, and so it was one recent evening.  A good friend (and wonderful photography scout) of mine was driving around Lake Como and noticed that the lake surface was as smooth as glass.  I packed up my camera and headed over to the lake.  The sky was filled with dark gray and blue clouds although there was a thin line of clearing to the south.  I headed to a small bay where I knew I could include the pink clearing in my photo.  As I walked up to the shoreline I found a flock of wood ducks who were not overly pleased that I was coming to their area.  Their swimming out into the lake created a bit of water movement in the bay — just enough to blur the beautiful reflection that I was seeing in the water.  It wasn’t until I got home and was looking at the photos on my computer that I saw the effect of their movement, and although subtle, I liked the end-result.