Love the Morning Light

The Lens-Artist Photo Challenge this past week has been focused on “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from Anne. I’ve been slow to get my post together because of a busy week that include cataract surgery on my first eye. But I found time to go through my files for some of my favorite photos taken in the morning light while on photo shoots down dirt roads.

Some of my photos were taken in June – meaning that the time inprint on the photos of 5:45 am was accurate. The sun comes up early in Michigan at that time of year. The sun’s allure is pretty strong to get me up at 5:30 to catch those first rays of gold.

I had great fun watching some swans on a small inland lake doing their equivalent of our morning shower. Look for the feathers floating on the water as they preen.

Morning on the Bay



My goal was to be up for the sunrise at our campsite on Manitoulin Island, on the water of Manitowaning Bay, just south of Sheguiandah. I feel the tug of the yarn that wants to unravel my story of exploring this island with multiple First Nation tribes but my topic sentence has tethered me to the early morning.

Our site is on Sunrise Beach, as named on the camp map, and the windows around our dinette overlook a small corner of water of this large bay, filled with Great Lakes’ water. I left the blind up so the early morning light would find its way to my bed to gently stroke my eyelids open. I refuse to let an alarm clock jerk me out of an interesting dream, before I am ready, now that I am living on retirement schedule.

The sunrise did awaken me – as I raised my head I could see the peachy-pink skyline. I would like to say that I jumped out of bed, but no, I just eased out a little more quickly than usual. By the time I slipped my clothes on and secured my Velcro sandals, the fickle early morning light had lifted most of the pink but I walked into a calm and gentle light.


The air was still as I stood in dewy grass, with only gentle breaths to create a small, occasional ripple on the water – but not enough to sway the rushes. The only thing that seemed to be moving was the small motor boat anchored a few feet off shore. I would take a few photos of this boat, then focus my attention slightly to the left or right. When I looked back the boat was showing me a new face. The boat was always moving but never going anywhere. It moved round about, changing direction but never moving forward, anchored to that spot in the bay.


When I became satiated on photographs, I sat and enjoyed the cool air, the warming sun, and the morning sound of fresh-water birds, along with a few gulls. In the distance I heard a loon, a smile-maker because they aren’t common where I live in Michigan. I wonder what it is about the loons’ call that plucks at our human experience and emotions. Is it a call of yearning? Maybe a call for companionship.


Early Morning Light

I’m ambivalent. I’m enjoying the shorter days, especially the later sun rises so I can enjoy that early morning light without getting up in the middle of the night (I exaggerate). I know  we are on the downward slop towards the very short days of winter here in the northern hemisphere, and I relish and want to enjoy the moderation of late summer and fall to its fullest.

This morning I rose at 7:00, filled my coffee cup, and went out to sit on my purple porch swing to watch the sun come up through the sparse hedgerow trees behind our neighbor’s house. I love watching how the new morning light graces different parts of my flower garden as it is filtered through the leaves – like stage lights shifting from scene to scene during a building story line. First the sun softly illuminates the Black Eyed Susans at the back of the lower level, then the coreopsis at the front of the upper level, a low-growing evergreen, continually shifting, shifting while leaving others in shadow. I sat in the cool morning air, swinging gently, for probably a half hour watching the sunlight shift its focus, watching my garden unfold.


I told Julie I would pick her up at 6:30 last Monday so we could find a magic place that would catch the early morning light through the mist rising from the warm earth. That was my dream. I was a few minutes late because I had to stop at my favorite drive through the marsh on Teft Road because of the mist hanging low. Julie already knew why was late.

I headed towards the dirt roads we favor but the sun was rising just as we reached that same marsh. I have very seldom been enamored with sun rise or sun set images once I get home and import the photos into my computer. My images never catch what my mind and heart are experiencing as I watch the sun’s signaling of another day’s ending or a new day’s beginning. It is only when I look behind and around me that I experience the excitement of morning and evening light.


In the glow of first morning light, all that is ordinary becomes extraordinary. In this early morning light, I feel a freshness and an awaking energy in all the sunlight touches. In this gentle, fleeting light, flowers take center stage.



Once upon a time, I strove to follow my dreams of making a difference in our world. Now, in my aging years, I am drawn to the gentle, clear illumination of the early morning light. I also look forward to my time in reflection each day as the sun sets and light fades to a soul-warming glow. This feels like time well spent, maybe spent as God intended.

Then I Would Send You…

20150603-DSC_00866:15 on a almost summer’s day,

driving to pick up Julie for our weekly photo outing.

Looking for the magic,

the way early light illuminates the ordinary into extraordinary.

As I approach where I turn,

before the road turns to gravel,

I smile in anticipation,

wondering what the wetlands I have seen a thousand times

will look like on this new morning.

I capture the sunlight spinning last year’s grass to gold

the sun illuminating the gentle mist hanging by gossamer threads.

I can capture this beauty to share with you,

but I wish I could capture the silence broken only by the stirring of an awakening breeze.

Then I could send you a smile.

I can tell you about getting lost along the side of the road

totally absorbed by the wonder of the seeds of grass and dandelion,

the blooms of milkweed and wild phlox.

I can create these images for you – if only

I could capture the vibrations of the birds’ song

I could send you joy.

20150528-flowers and barns 036I can gather the pixals of

a winter wheat field in early summer

softened by slanted light hitting dew,

showing off the sensuous curves of rolling hills.

If only I could harvest the warmth of sun

and the fresh scent of earth and plant,

Then I would send you peace.