The recent blizzard in the Midwest missed us entirely. Or almost. Although the skies were dark with ominous clouds overhead yesterday, they didn’t produce a single snowflake. But the wind was fierce and frosty. The temperatures belied the chill brought by the stiff wind, and we could hear it whistling through the trees through most of the night.
Some time before morning, the winds dropped, the clouds disappeared and we woke to a clear and chilly day. As I headed out for my morning run, the promise of a brilliant sunrise lured me down to Brighton Beach to catch those early morning rays. Upon reaching the lake, however, I found the sun obscured by the thick steam rising from the lake. The sharp plummet into single digits was extracting the heat from the lake, and seemed to leech the color out of the sunrise.
Despite the relative calm of the morning, the lake was still heaving from yesterday’s blow. From a distance it appeared to be flat and quiet, but at Brighton Beach the swells curled and crashed onto the shore, producing a chilly spray that rained down upon the rocks. The sound of of the pounding water and the rhythm of the action was musical and mesmerizing.
Interestingly enough, the waves seemed to be confined to that particular section of shoreline. As I continued my run up the North Shore, the water quietly lapped the rocks without any fanfare. Brighton Beach and its large rocks must be uniquely positioned to facilitate the crashing of the waves.
Of course I didn’t have a camera with me during my run, and the day nearly slipped by before I returned to try and capture the waves. It was almost sunset by then, and to be honest I had a feeling I had missed my chance. But as soon as I approached the shoreline, I could hear the thunder again and see the spray. The residual rollers continued.
The waves weren’t huge by any standards. It was the way they materialized out of the flat lake that was so intriguing. The rocks near the water’s edge were encased in a slippery coating of ice that added to the appeal of the scene. And in the west was a beautiful sunset that lit up the sky – unlike the sunrise that failed to produce any color. My little point and shoot camera felt slow and unresponsive as I tried to catch the waves in action, and my fingers became clumsy as the cold penetrated my thin gloves. But I was glad I had returned to see yet another magical moment on our Great Lake.