I live in that place with over 10,000 lakes. It is my favorite thing about home. I love that I am guaranteed to drive past at least one lake no matter where I am going. I love how, for me, the lakes are the biggest markers of the changing seasons. They look different in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Obviously, a Winter lake is frozen over. Along with that though, a Winter lake is always windswept. Hazes of snow are always drifting over it. Of course, the ice-houses are always present. I love the process of a Winter lake. They go from the hard, cold, milky-white in January to a white-blue and then bluer and bluer. Through early spring the ice gets thinner, but it looks like the lake is getting bluer. I love it. It is my number one sign of true Spring. You see, Minnesota has so many fake Springs or mini Springs that I don’t trust melting snow or 60 degree weather. The only true sign is an open lake.
Delightfully, the open water of a Spring lake always surprises me. Even though I religiously observe the lakes in early Spring, waiting for open water, I always end up giving up on them and then, two weeks later, as I drive to work, passing lakes, it will hit me that something looked different with that lake I just passed. Which is when I realized that it had open water. It is like the most delightful surprise very year.
A Spring lake looks completely different than a Summer lake. A Spring lake is deep blue against a sky of light, fresh blue. The world is easing back into colors after a winter of stark whites, grays and jewel tones. Spring lakes always look tranquil, even on a windy and wavy days.
A Summer lake, the cliche lake, is all fun and life. It is breeze-swept. Not wind-swept. The wind belongs to the hard Winter lake. Summer lake is breezes whishing past your face as your boat speeds over the water. The water is glistening, vibrant blue and just inviting you to jump in. The Summer lake is full of activity.
I love every season of lake, but Fall lake wins. Fall lake hearkens back to the tranquility of Spring lake, but with a large dash of color and ambiance. The lake is painted all the colors of Autumn by the trees surrounding it. It reflects colored leaves and floats colored leaves on its surface. I don’t understand Pocahontas’ colors of the wind, but I would love to paint with all the colors of a Autumn lake. Fall is the time to just sit in your boat, wrapped up in a warm sweater, enjoying the outdoors.
And then it all starts again. You watch the Fall lake harden into Winter’s extremes, observe the ice-houses getting set up, daydream about ice skating, and smile when you think of the fun of the Spring thaw.