The end of 2019 brought a beautiful fresh snowfall to Minnesota and Wisconsin. What started out as sleet and rain ended as three to four inches of snow that clung to the wet branches and leaves. Our surroundings became a true winter wonderland. Without a strong wind and with temperatures below freezing, we celebrated the start of a new year surrounded by this beauty. The setting sun through the winter forest brought a stream of golden light onto the frozen pond in front of me. I stood here for awhile, marveling at the light blue tinted snow and the golden sun piercing through the trees. Quickly the sun moved further below the horizon and the moment was over, replaced with the dark of night and a canopy of bright stars overhead.
The day was cloudy and gray and the wind had been blowing. Twilight was approaching and yet the sun broke through the clouds for a brief five minutes. It lit up the far shore of the lake and the trees became golden, all reflected in the stillness and calm of the lake. The shadows of the treetops to the west started to darken this eastern shoreline and would eventually envelop the entire view. But for a brief period it was a magical and golden view.
It was a bitter cold day and evening but the sun had been shining and the blue sky had beckoned people outside. I was at Lake Como and there were walkers and runners following the path around the lake, there was one lone ice fisherman, and there were people who had laced up their skates and were gliding across the ice where the surface was smooth. It was a glorious time, and the sunset glowed in the ice surface and in the clouds above. For a few moments it was beautiful, and not quite as cold as we thought.
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.
One year closes and another opens, much like the sunset that closes out each day and the sunrise the starts the following day. Today marks the close of 2017 – a year filled with adventures, travels, and events that I truly couldn’t have envisioned or seen ahead to back on January 1st. And as I look forward to 2018, I see a horizon with brightness and color, new adventures and things that I can’t foresee right now. But I’m ready to step out through that sunrise and embrace all that lies ahead. Happy new year to all of you, and I hope you continue along with me in the new year.