The lake at the cabin is the color of tea. For years I assumed that it was the iron – this is the Iron Range after all – but it turns out that it’s a tannic lake; the brown color comes from decomposing leaves and wood, not iron. It’s crystal clear, it just has a warm color. When the sun shines through the shallows, the rays dance like streaks of honey on the golden sand.
This mama duck visited the cabin throughout the week with her brood of seven ducklings. So did Brad’s cousins and their kids. On this hot afternoon, when all the kids were in the lake, the ducklings came shockingly close to swimming with our extended brood before Mama gave the signal and they all scuttled away.
There is something about Lake Superior that feels like home to me. An unexplainable feeling of belonging on this shore.
This day, a storm was approaching – fast and dark – cloaking the city of Duluth in shadows as it blew in from the west like a big, black ghost. The seagulls hovered in the air and swirled overhead, caught between the coming tempest above and the promise of popcorn below.
The Native American name for Lake Superior is Gichigami: Big Water.
Once, in the heady, early days of falling in love, we paddled this same water and joyfully plucked up the pristine ivory blossom of a water lily. Delighted, we basked in the beauty of the flower, of the day, of our lives unfolding petal by petal in each other’s gaze.
It was only later that we realized we’d broken the law, led astray by our ardent desire to possess the beloved. Ah, well. Call it a crime of passion. We have since learned to admire from afar. At least, where lilies are concerned.
It’s no secret I have an affection for weeds. I’ve adored dandelions (more than once), cautiously sung the praises of invasive species and, most recently, touted the glories of thistles. I’m thinking the beautiful weeds could become a pet project…
In the mean time, I’ll share a new favorite: the sow thistle that sprouted in the rock wall along the shore at the cabin. The sunny yellow blooms cast such cheer against the iron-stained darkness of the lake. Like a splash of lemon brightening a glass of strong, black tea.
Finally back from the lake! I had hoped to get online during our vacation, but the sole public Wi-Fi connection was on the fritz. Just as well. It’s always good to unplug for a while.
I did regret the delay in posting my final photo for the 30 Days of Creativity project, though. Here’s a shot of the wake taken on June 30th during our first boat ride of the season…
Day 30: Liquid Blue
If you’re heading up north this month, be sure to plan a route that leads through Virginia! I’ll have two pieces in the Open Water Exhibition at Lyric Center for the Arts. Here’s the first: a dreamy, lake-sky continuum expressing the quiet solitude of fishing and the transformative calm of water.
The show celebrates the start of Minnesota’s water recreation season. I can’t make the opening reception on Thursday (it’s Sawyer’s first Science Fair!!) but I’ve got plans to see the show in person when we head to the cabin for Memorial Day. I can’t wait!
P.S. I’ll post the second Open Water selection tomorrow…
I’m excited to announce the first of several group exhibitions I’ll be part of in the coming months: Formed by Nature.
The show was curated by Altered Esthetics, a non-profit community art gallery located in the Q.Arma Building in Northeast Minneapolis. The show features artwork using natural materials or expressing “an unprocessed experience of the natural world”.
My submission (see below) is an abstract composition formed by natural processes: an invasion of silty-green algae arranged by wind and water. The image was featured in this blog post during the 365 project.
Altered Esthetics will be open throughout Art-a-Whirl, the popular Northeast Minneapolis art festival and open studio tour.