Kangaroo Lake in Door County – The Magic of Studying Details, Then Turning Around

Kangaroo Lake

Kangaroo Lake – South View © 2014 Bo Mackison

The mid-October day was mercurial – one moment skies were blue, the next a wave of gray clouds pushed in from nearby Lake Michigan. Blustery winds buffeted me, causing me to lose my balance more than once. Then calm would descend for a brief respite for the wind and chill.

October in Door County, for sure, Wisconsin’s northeastern most point, a peninsula sticking out into tempestuous Lake Michigan.

Kangaroo Lake is one of the more protected places on the peninsula in fresh water lake in the center of Door County, and a wonderful place to go during the autumn festival days. Most of the crowd who comes to enjoy the views hug the shore of Door County, bay side and lake side. But there is much to be said for the wild beauty of the interior, too.

I loved studying the autumn changes of Kangaroo lake, standing on a narrow bridge of road that crosses the northern most bay. Fallen leaves were bobbing on the surface, the reeds were stripped of there green finery and their fuzzy seeds, and stood knee deep in the cold, stunningly blue water. Beyond, fir trees lined one side of the lake, and deciduous trees in this year’s last blaze of glory hugged the opposite side.

Then the sun disappeared in the scattered clouds.

Once I had taken in the scene with all my senses, as is my habit, I turn around to see what is behind me.

Kangaroo Lake

Kangaroo Lake – North View  © 2014 Bo Mackison

And the sun slid from the cloud cover, causing the lake ripples to shimmer in a sheet of dancing light.

A solitary island caught my attention. Birds were darting from the trees to the water and back again. Creatures were slipping in and out of the shadows and the shoreline brush.

Kangaroo Lake — its two faces. Both to be explored and adored.

November Sky Watch

November Sunset over Lake Kegonsa

November Sunset over Lake Kegonsa © 2013 Bo Mackison

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

We had a string of days with lots of clouds, and little sunlight. And then yesterday, as we were driving south of Madison, the sun streamed through a narrow space between heavy cloud cover and horizon. We were treated to a few moments of sunshine and then a blood-red sunset.

So I give thanks to the clouds, for adding such stunning color to my sunset stripe.

On Watch

photo(21)On Watch © 2013 Bo Mackison

A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.
It is Earth’s eye, into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Skies hint of purple,
the sun withdraws.
Winds calm in the heavy summer air.

A tumble of rocks deep
disappear in gray shadow.
Ghost carp glide under the dock.

The spirit trembles, shaken, then
regains its equilibrium
On watch for the first star.

Journey to the Edge

Lake Michigan and Shore Grasses - at Sunrise

Lake Michigan and Shore Grasses – at Sunrise ©2012 Bo Mackison

We do not receive wisdom,
we must discover it for ourselves,
after a journey through the wilderness
which no one else can make for us,
which no one can spare us,
for our wisdom is the point of view
from which we come at last to regard the world.

Marcel Proust

 On a recent trip to Door County, I set my alarm for an hour before sunrise. Each time I visit, I make a point to cross the narrow peninsula, from my bay side motel to one of the lake side beaches or harbors, and set up my sunrise camp. There I am afforded an unobstructed view of sunrise, only Lake Michigan to my east and the hint of a dawn soon to come.

I love watching as the sun pops up from the horizon. I love the darkness turning to daylight. I love the feeling of being on the very edge of a new day, on the edge of the earth between earth and water, on the edge of the beach between sandy shore and lush beach vegetation. I love taking photographs with the scene bathed in the golden glow of early morning light. I don’t much care for taking photos of the actual sunrise (or sunset for that matter) but I do love turning my camera away from that giant source of light, and shooting in the opposite direction.

In this case, I was standing on a sandy stretch of beach near the Ridges Sanctuary, and nearby was a stretch of sand filled with a dense growth of beach grasses. I was positioned just north of Bailey’s Harbor (the water) and so a bit of Lake Michigan and Bailey’s Harbor (the village) are in the background.

It was a bit of a journey through wilderness to another discovery of wonder.

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Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  She is busy with packing notes and to do lists. She is traveling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to exhibit her photography at the Third Ward Art Festival  this weekend.

 

Sparkling Lake

Sparkling Devil's Lake

Sparkling Devil’s Lake © 2011 Bo Mackison

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye, looking into that by which the beholder measures the depths of his own nature.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

There are days where the clouds block the sun and the world takes on a somber mood. When the day is gray, it’s a good time to recall the brightness of the sunlight, shimmering on the lake. Sparkly bright, so bright I had to shade my eyes with my hand. I mostly photograph away from the direct light of the sun, but sometimes I like to capture the effects of the sunlight, especially when it dances on the waves.

I’ll hold tight these memories. Clouds may hide the sun, but nothing can take away that bit of sunshine I hold in my mind’s eye.

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Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  Bo loves the warmth and brightness of the sun; she is learning (slowly) to also love the gray clouds and cold winds of late autumn.