August began as it should, sunny and hot – the epitome of a Minnesota summer’s day.  The perfect ending to an August day is a lake and ice cream.  We were lucky enough to have both the lake and a DQ close by in the Cities.  As kids played in the water by the swimming beach, we noticed more and more people coming to the lake as the sunset approached.  A storm was developing to the northwest and the clouds began to move in, but luckily they held off long enough for the sun to give up a last hurrah, light up the sky and clouds, and reflect its brilliant colors in the surface of the lake.  A group cruised by on their pontoon boat as we sat on a bench and enjoyed our ice cream, the cool breeze coming off the lake, and the beauty of the day’s end.

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Flaming sunset 10613_StaatsWe just returned from some R&R in the north woods of Minnesota –  a small cabin at Jack the Horse Resort, north of Marcell.  When we first arrived, the summer heat and humidity were plainly evident – shorts and T-shirts were required, along with a dip in the lake.  The second day there was a thunderstorm that moved through in the afternoon, clearing about an hour before sunset.  As the clouds moved off to the east, the late sun splashed them with vivid colors, and the brilliance of the sky was reflected in the still waters of Jack the Horse Lake.  The following day marked a cooling trend, and three days later we were wearing our long underwear and jackets as the north wind blew and the temps were down in the 30’s at night.  The trip included successful fishing, glorious blue skies, an appreciation of the forests and woods, and even a night where we watched the Northern Lights dance above the lake.