There’s something very simple and abstract to an image when you remove the surrounding landscape.  Lines become more pronounced.  Colors, or the lack of colors in some areas, takes on a different significance.  This scene caught my eye when we were out boating.  The golds and greens at the top of the image are the reflection of the far side of the lake as the late evening sun is illuminating it.  Some of the water ripples pick up those colors too.  The lines of the wake are interrupted by the lily pads which are now starting to appear throughout the lake; they contribute their own tension to the image.  And the entire photo shifts from the warmth of the sun-lit trees to the cool blues and whites of the reflected sky.  It’s truly an abstract image yet it pulls together all the things we cherish about summer in the North.

Advertisements

This past week there was a full moonrise – the strawberry moon, as it’s called.  Although I can’t attest to seeing a strawberry tint where I was, the moonrise was beautiful.  The sun had set, the wind had stilled, and the night air held the warmth and humidity of the day.  Slowly the moon rose above the trees on the opposite shore, clearing them and throwing its reflection into the lake below.  If you listened for awhile you could hear the cry of a loon.  And in the grasses by the side of the lake, the fireflies started to blink.  It was a beautiful night — just the kind we dream of during the bitter cold of winter.

High heat and humidity can only last for so long.  Eventually the atmosphere needs to clear it all out.  As the sunshine disappeared, the air stilled and the clouds moved in.  There was just a line of light on the far shoreline, but the rest of the sky was filled with billowing clouds – grey and dark.  Their reflection in the eerie calm of the lake seemed ominous.  A few minutes later the rain started in big drops, the wind picked up, and the rain became steady giving us the much-needed moisture.

Spring arrived quickly in the past week.  There were hints of green showing up in the trees and the grass.  The ice moved off the lake and the open water was an invitation for geese, ducks, loons, eagles, and the people wanting to fish.  It was a flurry of activity all generated by the unofficial end of winter.  By early evening it was quiet and peaceful again.  A light rain shower had moved through the area, the sun was beginning to set, and the lake had calmed.  And as if to punctuate the end of a delightful spring day, a rainbow appeared in the sky and was reflected in the still of the water below.

The morning dawned quietly.  There was little wind and the air was unusually warm for mid-winter.  But we’ve been enjoying the ubiquitous January thaw the past few days – temps have climbed into the 30’s and even 40’s, people walk around without their coats, and melting and dripping are common sounds.  We were out for a drive, rounded a corner, and this lovely lake outlet was open water.  The mallard ducks were startled by our sounds and they quickly took flight.  But the stillness of winter was evident in the reflection of the trees in the water and the large piece of ice that hadn’t given up to the warmth just yet.

The sun had just set, and the twilight was slowly diminishing.  On the opposite shore of the lake, the full moon rose quietly.  It gracefully cleared the trees and its light sent a column of brightness across the ice.  The weather has been unusually warm so the ice was not solid and clear.  The moon’s light showed the imperfections of the ice, along with the leaves that have been embedded during the colder nights.  It was a beautiful study of light, patterns, hardness and softness.

I sat on the opposite side of the lake watching the shoreline come alive in the sunshine.  The clouds had lingered throughout the day, but an hour before sunset they parted giving the light a truly golden color.  And as the clouds parted, the lake calmed to a sheet of glass; everything on the shoreline was reflected in the mirror-like water.  It was a magical few minutes, long enough to absorb the colors of a brilliant fall evening and to wish the season would linger much longer before we head into winter.