A perfect summer’s day found us wandering amongst lakes in central Minnesota, north of Mille Lacs.  Blue sky, puffy clouds, a light breeze and a warm sun were all part of this epitome of summer.  As we were out on the water my eye became focused on the reflection in the water.  In one slow shutter-speed moment, the blue sky above was reflected in the surface.  White clouds streaming by lent their movement, and the darker gray and dark blue of the water itself gave a wonderful abstract.

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We were wandering the back roads of central Minnesota recently in the early evening.  The day had given us rain, cooler temperatures, some sun and wind.  As the sun was getting lower in the sky, the clouds reflected the colors, and the moisture in the air gave us a beautiful rainbow.  The lake still stirred with the wind, creating ripples that rolled across the waters, but the evening provided a magical display of light and reflection for a brief moment.

Whenever I’m out on a lake I’m always looking around at the sky, the clouds, the shoreline and the reflections — anything for a delightful image and photograph.  Last week I wrote about musical patterns that I saw in the surface of a lake with the reflection of cattails and lily pads.  This week I found raindrops dancing on a lake surface.  It was early evening when we put our canoe into the water, with a sun sinking into the west and a bank of clouds passing by.  The sun was still out and when I looked around I could see small circles on the surface of the lake, and not of the fish-kind.  Although we couldn’t feel it ourselves it was starting to rain.  The single drops spaced themselves on the surface of lake, making beautifully concentric circles and ripples spreading outward.  With the sunlight and the blue sky reflected in the surface, I was presented with a wonderful photographic opportunity.  As quickly as the rain had started, it then stopped.  After awhile the sun slid below the horizon, painting the sky a shade of pink and orange; the full moon rose over the trees, the stars filled the sky above, and we were treated to another beautiful summer’s evening on a Minnesota lake.

With a weekend full of activities that already included an art exhibit reception, a 40-mile bike ride, and a baseball game, we decided to head out early this morning for some peace and quiet on a local lake.  We had hoped to be on the lake as the sun was rising, but Mother Nature had other plans and the dawn began overcast and cloudy.  As we launched our canoe we had the entire lake to ourselves, surrounded by the special stillness and quiet that is reserved for the earliest times of the morning.  The lake was calm and we paddled near a shoreline that was lined with cattails and had lily pads floating nearby.  As I looked at the lake surface and the reflection I felt like I was looking at a sheet of music with staff lines and notes placed in a pattern that was meant to be played and interpreted.  Perhaps it was a prelude to the day that was just beginning — a time of wonder and calm when all the world seems still and all you have to do for the next hour or so is relax in your canoe, paddle on the lake, and enjoy the hours as they quietly develop.