One of the mantras taught to photographers is patience.  Sometimes what you are expecting may not appear possible, but a little patience can lead to some grand results.  Such was the case earlier this week.  The afternoon was cloudy, warm, and humid, and the sky was nondescript.  Even the lake looked dull.  We headed out for a ride around the lake and 30 minutes before sunset the clouds started to clear.  As the sun started to go behind the trees on the western shore, they cast a shadow on the eastern shoreline.  The water became calm, and the clearing sky filled with pink and white clouds was reflected in the lake surface below, along with the gold of the trees on the shoreline.  It lasted for a few minutes and then was gone; my patience rewarded.

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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.

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.