A Morning Well Spent

Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp

I woke up this morning about 5:45.  A little early for me but not unusual.  As I lay in bed listening to the furnace cranking out some welcome BTUs, I started hearing this voice.  A voice that sounded hauntingly similar to the voice in a podcast I listen to.  This voice was saying, “ya know, this might just be one of those mornings where you’ll be glad you went out to make photographs.”

Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp
Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp

I reluctantly crawled out from under the covers, wandered down the hall to my computer, where the Weather Service told me that it was 25 degrees.  Ugh.  I almost got back into bed.  Reasoning that 25 degrees wasn’t any colder than Fort Collins, and remembering that the UP of Michigan is even colder, I resisted and got up.

Although I got rid of my down parka and Sorel boots when we left Ohio 26 years ago, I thankfully held on to some long underwear and wool socks, and I knew where to find them!  So I got out my stuff, gathered my gear and headed out.

Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp
Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp

I arrived at my newly-found sunrise spot at right about 6:30, an hour before sunrise and my preferred time to start taking morning photos.  The best color in the morning often happens long before anyone else has their camera ready, just like in the evenings the best color happens while most everyone has packed up and is heading off to dinner.

Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp
Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp

It was pretty dark when I got there, and the parking lot was empty except for one car.  The sky was clear with plenty of stars, or as many as we can usually see here in the suburbs of Charlotte.  As the light level came up I could see that there was some fog on the lake, and it was moving around in a very slight breeze.

The first boater arrived about 7:00 – an even heartier soul than me.  He offloaded his boat, nursed a sputtering outboard to life and headed off in search of some radioactive catfish.  A second boater came a few minutes later and much better luck with his engine.  He’s the one I was able to catch leading a wake out through the fog.

Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp
Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp

By the time the sun came up I had taken 144 frames and it was time to head home for coffee and a shower.  As I was putting my camera back in the car I realized I had frost on my tripod.  That’s about as cold as I’d like it to be, at least with my current gear!

Sunrise over Mountain Island Lake from the Riverbend Boat Ramp

Not bad for a winter Sunday morning.  Weather permitting I hope to be getting back out there again, real soon!

4 thoughts on “A Morning Well Spent”

  1. YES!

    I am now the voice in your head! Excellent!

    (heeee-heeee-heeee….)

    Honestly, you got some fantastic stuff! The ripples in the water, with mist? Soooo good. And the one above it with the boat? Very, very nice. All of ’em are good. AND – you had a great and memorable experience while doing it.

    You warmed up eventually, right?

  2. There are many voices in my head, but you are in good company, Jeff!

    When the first boat left it was belching smoke and not very photogenic, but I knew what would happen when the next one went. It allowed me to set up the shot as they motored away (I got a whole series but like this one best) then watch for the ripples to come away from the wake. Pretty cool!

    I wasn’t really all that cold, except for my feet which are always cold. My fingers got cold because I had to pull the flaps of my mittens back too often since the zoom and focus rings on my lenses are too close to each other!

    I didn’t go out this morning, and as it turns out there might have been nice clouds but the sky is full of contrails. Good timing on my part to go yesterday!

  3. Congratulations for getting out there and coming home with some really nice images. I also like the image with the ripples and fog as a favorite. Hoping to see more. I also enjoyed number four, the vertical image. Similar to the one you posted earlier.

  4. Color was better this time, but yes. Similar to one of the photos from last time. There aren’t a lot of options at this particular location but varying conditions will make for different scenes.

    Keeping an eye on the cloud cover forecasts but hoping to make a few trips per week up that way. Clouds and rain in the forecast for the next several days but we’ll see!

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