An unsettling summer sunrise

The other morning dawned cool and calm. There was steam coming off the lake surface, and the sun was a red ball rising into a hazy yellow and murky sky. It was quiet except for the sounds of geese and ducks calling off in the distance. On this day there was never much of a wind so the sky never cleared to it’s usual bright blue.

We’ve had numerous days like this one of hazy sunshine, partly due to increased humidity but also from the smoke of Canadian and northern Minnesota wildfires that have drifted into the area. The sunrises and sunsets have been unusual and unsettling, and yet quite beautiful.

Stillness at sunrise

My favorite time of the day is sunrise and dawn.  The earth slowly turns out of the darkness of night and gradually there is light.  At first it’s barely perceptible but gingerly the black turns to shadow.  The sun nears the horizon and it’s light gets scattered above, bouncing off any clouds that are near giving them their own colors and hues.  Generally, not always, the daytime winds have subsided during the night and the air is calm – as if in anticipation of the dawn.  All the colors of the sunrise are reflected in the smoothness of the still lake.  The loons are long gone but as the light gets brighter I can hear the ducks and geese that have not yet headed south for winter.  They are gathering in larger flocks before they depart.  At this point everything pauses for a suspended moment.

And then the sun rises higher in the sky throwing it’s brightness all around, the wind picks up and riffles across the lake surface, the geese and ducks take flight, the squirrels start to scurry, and our human noise of activity echos throughout the area greeting another day.

A brief winter sunrise

The snow had started to fall at sunset the previous day and continued all night.  The morning dawned quiet and lovely with the fresh snow blanketing the landscape.  The clouds had remained thick and then there was a brief opening, long enough for the sun to penetrate the cloud cover with its hazy rays for less than a minute.  The sun disappeared behind the clouds, the snow began again, and this brief scene was the only sunshine for the day.

Sunrise and ice

The dawn was cold and crisp.  Although the temperatures have been above freezing during the day, they still dip into the teens and twenties at night.  The multiple inches of snow on the lake have melted and frozen many days in a row, and what snow remains is only an inch or two deep on the lake.  The sunrise was an explosion of color greeting the day, and some of those brights were reflected in a portion of snow-free ice on the lake.  I am always energized after sharing in the beauty of a dawn like this.