“all great beginnings start in the dark, when the moon greets you to a new day at midnight.” shannon l. alder
“an early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” henry david thoreau
“i hate mornings. they start so early.” janet evanovich, plum spooky
in case you didn’t know, i love the night sky. i love making images at night. away from the city, there is a sense of mystery when walking about, be it in the open country or enshrouded by a canopy of trees. in a world that is already quiet due to my hearing loss, there emerges an even deeper sense of silence as my eyes adjust to beauty found under the dark skies.
here is an example of this type of image i made five years ago. i’m looking out at bear head lake in bear head lake state park. located in northern minnesota outside the town of ely, this was one of those “magical” nights for me. i was all by myself under the very cold and clear sky; the stars were twinkling and the moon was full. off in the distance, barely perceptible in the dark (to my eyes-the camera always picks up more detail), the faint outline of fog hovered over the frozen lake. i stood still and gazed with rapt attention at the scene before me.
but there is something transcendental about watching the night give way to the early glow of the morning. for me, it sometimes brings about a rather profound moment of reflection, especially if the previous day/week/month/*fill in your time frame* weighs heavily upon me. this singer/songwriter says it best for me during those times… “though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning” (words and music written by darrell evans). it’s not easy to rouse myself from a comfy bed, especially a warm bed if it’s wintertime, and get to a location before the brushstrokes of the morning light begin to paint over the night. sometimes i’ve left the night before and stayed up through the night into the morning. that gets harder the older i get (yes…the underline is for emphasis! 😂). but i can say i’ve never regretted it. even if it is negligible or non-existent in color, just watching the progression from night to day never gets old; it’s new every time!
this first image was made the beginning of october of 2022. this was taken at one of my favorite local parks, lochness park in blaine, mn. the lake shown is lochness lake. being that the lake is 16 feet at its deepest when the water level is normal, i presume it is not named due to a sighting of the lochness monster. in fact, in my search, i found nothing that indicated how the name came to be. maybe someone saw a silhouetted duck’s butt sticking out of the water in the twilight and thought it looked like the lochness monster 🤨…
alright…getting back on track…this image was made toward the beginning of “golden hour”; the sun had just barely crested the horizon off-camera a couple minutes earlier. along the shoreline on the other side of the lake, fog was materializing right above the lake. clouds were moving fairly rapidly, both in direction and in shape. i loved the zig zag of this cloud formation and triggered the shutter, immortalizing this image. i love this general time frame in the morning. sometimes its a bust, but sometimes, it’s a vivid display of colors!
this second image was taken the same day; it is only thirty minutes after the first image. but what a difference in color and feel! as the sun continued its ascent, still low in the sky, the scene took on a more golden tone. the rays of the sun breached the top of the trees. the sunlight began to imprint the lake with its presence. ducks had moved into this area where the lake fog was. i set up my composition and captured this image…
it never fails to amaze me how a scene can be in a constant state of flux when the sun is near the horizon during sunrise or sunset. you think "wow!" at a certain point in time; in a matter of minutes, your mind is blown again by another equally or more impressive display and of colors and/or scenic drama. "what a garish combination of colors! this scene lacks any sort of drama!" is surely a rare, if non-existent, statement when one has a prime view of a sunrise or sunset unfolding before them.
after experiencing a morning like that, i couldn’t help but feel a sense of contentment and joy as i packed up my gear to leave. you may not like mornings as they are too early for you but that’s ok! whether your favorite time is during the day or at night, join with me in setting up a regular time of unplugging from the demands of the world and resetting yourself. enjoying nature, reading a good book, hanging with a good friend…these and more can be a good start to fostering contentment and joy in your life even when things are difficult!
i’d love to hear your thoughts about this blog. perhaps you already commit to regular times of recharging. if you’re comfortable sharing it, i’d love to hear what that looks like for you! you can do so in the comment section below.
if you are interested in any of these three images for your home and/or business, here are some ideas of how they might look to scale in certain settings. feel free to ask me about any questions you may have.
12"x18" bear head lake
16"x24" lochness lake 1
48"x72" lochness lake 2
thanks for taking time out of your day to read this blog! maybe my blogs are a source of contentment for you; i certainly hope you find them fun to read! i really appreciate your support of my blogs! feel free to share them through email or your social media accounts. if you enjoy them, chances are good others will as well!
i’ll see you next time with more “images from my quiet world”!