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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September at the Lake -- A Change in the Air

I recently read an article in the New York Times in which the writer spoke of the departure of the summer people from the Hamptons and how the environment changes. While my small, two bedroom cottage is nothing like the Hamptons homes I see on television, I have to admit that the same thing happens at the lake.

 

I was there this past weekend for a couple of days, heading north so not to miss my cousin Mark and his wife who were having a last northern weekend of the season. It was clear that being at the lake in mid-September and being there before Labor Day have little in common. While the trees are still mostly a bright green, there is little doubt that autumn is here.


During my summer walks, I am likely to encounter at least a dozen people, sometimes more, who are walking, jogging, biking, airing their dogs. During my two walks on this weekend, I saw only one person each day, one being walked by his two dogs, the other in full control of his canine.


I notice things that are more likely to get drowned out in the summer clutter when I walk in the fall. I can hear my footsteps on the pavement, birdsong from five or six different kinds of birds, distant highway noise, the sounds of the leaves as a gentle breeze rustles them, the faraway bark of a dog. All these sounds are muffled in the summer, eclipsed by road traffic, playing children, beach music, motor boats and jet skis. I notice the morning light on birch trees and hear the numerous acorns that drop at my feet as I walk along.


The lake is quiet. Rather than the usual parade of power boats and jet skis, I hear the gulls as they fly overhead and the ducks as they approach the shore. The odd fishing boat makes a gentle putt-putt sound and yes, I can hear the splash of the fishing lure as it hits the water.



The crowds in town are lighter. We had no need to wait in line for a breakfast table on Saturday morning at a popular restaurant. There were plenty of tables to be found. My few forays into stores found me next in line each time.


A road trip to a larger lake a bit north brought a walk on the docks of a marina.

 

Many boats had been pulled from the water. Others were still docked but there were few people at this usually bustling spot on a crystal clear, blue-sky day.


The only spots of autumn's reds and golds were the brightly colored skeins in the shop at the fiber mill.


And no, I couldn't resist.


A walk down the beach reveals docks and boat hoists pulled high into the sand. Cottages that only a few weeks ago were bustling with children and summer people have yard chairs stacked outside by their garages and power boats covered with tarps in their back yards. They will probably return again, as we will, to button things down for the winter.


When we aren't rushing to make the most of our summer we have time to have a leisurely conversation. My "Lady of the Lake," Fran, shared reflections on her recent 98th birthday and I chatted with my cousin's next door neighbor, Phil, as he helped me try to piece together the "Who lived here way back then" of his family.


There are no campfires now, no spots of flame on the beach after the sun has gone done. But it's clear that more than one cottage is being warmed with a fire inside. Meanwhile, the pitch black night skies with hundreds of thousands of stars sparkling above evolve into a mass of giant cotton balls against a blue velvet sky when the morning fog clears.


The light has changed, too. The sun rises later and sets earlier, the days of 10:30 p.m. dusks being a memory of July. I look out in the morning where a foggy mist rests on the lake for a few hours, then revealing a beautiful sun, a rich blue sky and hundreds of thousands of sparkles reflected on the lake.


And the sunsets are glorious.


The sun appears to be setting a bit more to the south. This weekend, as a special gift, I spotted a sun dog, it's prism reflection sparkling on the water.


A sun dog is a "false sun." They are an atmospheric phenomenon consisting of a pair of bright spots on either side on the Sun (that's Wikipedia talking and believe me, the article is fascinating.) They are extremely unusual in our parts and there was just enough cloud cover that one could nearly miss this one. Fortunately, its prism-like reflection on the water was a give-away clue.

                     

As the sun gently slipped lower in the sky, ducking quietly behind the clouds, one couldn't help but look at the sky in awe.


How many more times will I see this magnificent sight this year? Who can say? I just know that this quiet time is a time I cherish, the sunset a gift.


The winter is only a month or two away. But this day I am warm and peaceful. And very happy.

26 comments:

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Jeanie,
I have never viewed such glorious sunsets! They are simply breattaking.
Thank you so much for sharing.
blessings,
Penny

bj said...

The end of summer is always sad for me, for several reasons....the main one is that our grands start back to school and that cuts down on Memaw Time...:)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Jeanie! These photos are so gorgeous! Those are such stunning sunsets - I am so glad you captured them so you could share them with us! There is just nothing like the sun setting on water. It makes it extra special and beautiful!

I am glad you are enjoying this quieter time at the lake. My parents go there year round and while they miss the hustle and bustle of grandchildren in the lake and the buzz around the lake, I know they also appreciate the quieter seasons that remind them that they, too, should slow down (they needs LOTS of reminds about that). I love being up there in winter when the world is blanketed in snow and it's so so quiet. (although I am NOT ready for that season yet!!!)

Beth Leintz said...

What a beautiful observation of the quietness of fall- and those pictures! Just glorious!

Shelia said...

Hi Jeanie! Oh, my! Those sunsets are more than gorgeous! What a lovely spot and this time of year is just charming. I'm so glad to be home and enjoy the changes again this year. Thank you so much for popping in to see me.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sandy K. said...

What a lovely reflection on this perfect time of year. Fall is my favorite season and you are capturing this bittersweet transition so well. Your photographs are beautiful, and you know how to craft that lovely descriptive phrase. Thank you!

It will be interesting to see how our new Kaycee enjoys her first fall color tour next month. It is under careful consideration at the moment. She is learning the rules pretty quickly, and the camper, in a mostly deserted campground, might be a nice trial run. I am also sure that Meesha would relish a couple of days of peace and quiet!

Yes, I think we have similar lists, and with no competition what-so-ever I would gladly be a co-supporter of working through our list as winter settles in. I could use an accountability partner! And now that I am only working 2 days a week, I have been given that sweet gift of time.

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Your photos are gorgeous and really do capture the beauty of the season. I love this time of the year.

Barb said...

Jeanie, I love the sights you see in the "Off" season at the cottage. It's not quite the off-season here in the mountains because we have the leaf peepers. But, it is a lot more quiet. Fran looks amazing! That sky is like a dream. That sun dog means you'll have much good luck! Seeing its reflection means the luck is doubled.

Joanne Huffman said...

Late summer/early fall is my very favorite time of the year. The light is more golden in the afternoon and there;s energy in the morning air. It looks like a wonderful time to be on your lake.

Victoria Zigler said...

I enjoyed hearing about your trips to the lake earlier in the year. However, I think this trip was my favourite. For one thing, the peace to enjoy nature appeals to me more than the social scenes you enjoyed in Summer. For another thing, I love the changes of the seasons, and enjoyed reading a post where you were reflecting on them.

gigihawaii said...

It's perpetual summer here in Hawaii, but I remember autumn in New York, where I lived 1970-1975.

Nancy said...

It sounds like a wonderful place to be right now. Those sunsets are just out of this world beautiful....I have found that changing of the seasons can be both sad and exciting at the same time. Usually I am holding onto summer with both hands but this year I am embracing this new season that is approaching very fast....I hope you have a wonderful fall...

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, Stunning photography! I love the changing seasons but summer is always hard for me to say good-bye to. I see you had a spectacular weekend enjoying the lake with all of its natural beauty. I love the photos of the ducks and of course the sunsets. Actually I am going to stroll through again to enjoy the lake. Thanks for taking us with you......

Vagabonde said...

Your photos of the sunset are spectacular – and the rest of your photos are great too. Your lake in late summer sounds so peaceful – how wonderful for you to be able to have a cabin in such a beautiful landscape. I see some of your trees are red already. Here we are still in the full green mode, it will take a bit longer for us, and we just don’t get the glorious fall colors that you do, unless we visit the North Georgia Mountains. The blue sky you showed with the clouds was also lovely.

Janet said...

As I read this I felt as if I was right there with you. You know just how to bring things to life in your posts. The photos are always good but those sunset photos are spectacular!

Arti said...

Glorious sunset pics, Jeanie. And the rest are beautiful too, I especially like the colorful skeins. While yours are beginning to turn red still very green, our trees are golden yellow now and many leaves have fallen. I do look forward to my getaway coming up this weekend!

must love junk said...

Oh, what stunning views! What a blessing to be able to enjoy the quieter times at the beautiful lake!
Susan

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow! It looks like you live in PARADISE! What a gorgeous place.

Hats off to your lovely friend, Fran, on her 98th birthday. The changes in your community she must have seen over the years...

Enjoy your beautiful views and the shorter lines!

xo jj

psychelyn said...

What a beautiful, detailed observation around.
Those sunsets are simply magnificent. It's obe of nature's beauty I can't ever resist.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Your photos here are amazing! What a wonderful spot on the planet. September looks wonderful on the lake. I would just eat it up! The weather is just perfect for us as well. Wonderful walks in the evenings, and cooler for sleeping. Your friend, Fran, looks amazing too! Fabulous skies at sunset!!! We will be out on Sunday to see the lunar eclipse. So nice that you shared your lake! Love your comments!

Tracy said...

Oh, how lovely...*sigh*... Glad to enjoy the last tastes of summer with you, Jeanie! Beautiful to see the touches of red among the tree... And look at that evening sky--with HOT PINK...*swoon*... Such glorious skies it is a joy to see! OOOooo... and all those happy-colored skeins or yarn are calling my name... LOL! ;o) ((HUGS))

shoreacres said...

As someone who lives in the midst of a tourist area, I can't tell you how happy it makes me for school to start, and things to begin to slow down. November will be even better, and January? Perfect. By the end of November, we may even have some fall color.

Your photos are so lovely. I'm surprised that you don't have sun dogs more often. They were quite common in Iowa when I was growing up. If you'd like to read a bit more about them, my favorite site for such things, Atmospheric Optics, is just wonderful. I'm always finding new things there, including the "Cheshire Cat rainbow."

Even though we don't have colorful leaves, we do have fall wildflowers, and they're beginning to appear.Asters, liatris, Maximillian sunflower -- they're a pretty good substitute for that glory that you get to experience.



Kailani said...

So gorgeous! You are a lucky lady! Thanks for sharing!

The Artful Diva said...

love those colorful fibers! Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-)

Cheryl said...

Such beautiful photographs... how very blessed you are to live surrounded by such beauty. I would love to live by a lake.. I live by a train track. Wanna trade? LOL
big hugs,
Cheryl

Marilyn Miller said...

Isn't it amazing how the light changes as we enter fall? I just am loving it. How I would love walking with you along these beautiful lakes and roads. Just gorgeous setting for a little dreaming.

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