At least an hour before the sun rises, there is a paling of the eastern sky. A thin band of the faintest light gives hope of the daylight to come.
Slowly, slowly it expands, gradually giving a backlight to the island to the east. It starts as deep blue, then changes to pale apricot. A few stars still linger above the island, and the morning planet Venus. Venus is very bright these clear October mornings. She fades away slowly as the sky grows brighter.
This scene is not a lot different from a summer sunrise, except now it’s taking place between 6 and 8 in the morning instead of between 3 and 5.
But if I didn’t have a clock to tell me the time, it would still be easy to tell that this is an autumn morning. It’s because of the mist.
The long, hot summer warmed the lake just enough to make swimming each morning a delightful pleasure. This warmth now drifts up from the lake on calm mornings in a dreamy mist. This is summer slipping away. Morning swims are a thing of the past.
The mist starts slowly in the tucked away shallows. In the still of the morning, the mist gently drifts over the water.
It lifts in ghostly forms, some moving north, some south, some around and about. The morning mists dance silently across the lake.
More mist rises as the morning temperature drops just before the sun rises. Soon, I can hardly see the lake at all. The island drifts in and out of view. What had been a clear blue sky becomes a scene of fog.
Clouds are born. They rise from the water in a broken stream, wandering in and out of pine forest on the rising hills in the distance.
When the sun finally rises, it is hidden by the new clouds. Gradually, the air warms.
The mist thins as the warmer air absorbs the moisture. The sky becomes blue again, dotted now with pouffy white clouds. The warm and sunny autumn day gleams with colour. Transition is everywhere.
Viki Mather has been commenting for Northern Life on the natural world and life in Greater Sudbury since the spring of 1984.