Chicago Summer in the City: Lake Michigan’s Stormy Beauty

There is nothing I find more relaxing that the sound of a gentle surf hitting the shore. Though I lived fairly near the Atlantic Ocean growing up in a northern suburb of New York City and then in my adult life in Washington, D.C., it wasn’t close enough to make a habit of visiting, and the long drives to get there were anything but relaxing. So stumbling into an apartment when we moved to Chicago last year that is just yards from Lake Michigan was truly fortunate, and I take every opportunity I can to sit on a pier or nearby beach to take it all in.

But there is the other side to this Great Lake, the one we are experiencing today, a much-needed rainy day in what has been a very dry spring in Chicago. Peaceful, it isn’t, but it is pretty amazing to watch.

As you can see, when the waves hit the serrated breakwall with sufficient force, it creates natural geysers that put Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain (beautiful though it is) to shame.

The fact that these natural wonders are occurring within the shadows of the downtown skyscrapers is the ultimate hat tip to the founders and planners of this city, who had the foresight to preserve virtually the entire lakefront as open public space.

More photos below. The rain today was ushered in by a cold front. You never know with Chicago weather, but even so, the dropoff from record high temperatures of 97 on Sunday and 94 on Monday to 50 three days later is a bit extreme. Yet even though June is coming in like one of these cats at the Lincoln Park Zoo…

… it’s supposed to be back up well into the 80s next week.

And it’s not like we don’t need the rain, as this cracked earth in Lincoln Park near Belmont Harbor this morning underscores.

The preciptation for the year so far is 8.8 inches, or 5.5 inches below average. Through yesterday (May 30), rainfall for the month was just more than 2 inches or about half the normal rate. So bring it on. Better on Thursday than Saturday!

More lake photos as promised…

The same indentations that cause the crashing waves to turn into geysers also create a cool waterfall effect when the waters recede.

Chicago Summer In The City: Come On, Let Your Colors Burst

No matter how booster-ish you are about your hometown, there is one thing about Chicago that brooks no argument. This city knows how to do summer. Take for instance, Saturday night’s fireworks display over Navy Pier — seen in the photos below — that marked the Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start to summer. Now this would have been fun enough if it had been a one-off. But instead, every Saturday and Wednesday night between now and Labor Day (weather permitting), we will be able to look out the window of our apartment five miles away and see… this.

We happened to arrive in Chicago on a Wednesday when we moved here last year, totally oblivious to the Navy Pier’s schedule. Since almost all of our belongings were on a van taking the scenic route around the Northeast, we were sitting in the only furniture in the living room — a pair of those canvas folding chairs that you take to picnics and outdoor concerts — when suddenly… fireworks!

It reminded me of the final scene in Barry Levinson’s movie “Avalon,” about a first-generation Jewish family in Baltimore, which ends with a flashback of the now-elderly patriach arriving on a boat on July 4, 1914, and disembarking under a mantle of fireworks. Even under the far less dramatic circumstances of our move to Chicago, it was quite a welcome!

The way in which Chicago comes to life when the weather warms was one of the first things that struck me during one of my early family visits with Barb, as this city started to exert would became a magnetic pull.

We arrived in town, appropriately enough, on Memorial Day, and it had been one of those years in which winter’s chill had only reluctantly released its grip more than halfway through spring. We meandered down Lake Shore Drive and got off at Fullerton, smack in the middle of Lincoln Park, and sat for a while in a traffic jam made up mainly of people headed to the zoo and the nearby beaches. And we noticed that there were people everywhere. Walking, running, rollerblading, biking, with many of them wearing as little clothing as they could get away with.

Now the Drive and the park are practically in my “front yard” and I am alternately writing this and staring out the window at the lake, liberally dotted with sailboats and motorboats and jet-skis. I’ve got issues, like everyone else, but I’d really have to try in order to be unhappy here.

So I’ve decided to add a feature to the blog that I’m calling Chicago’s Summer in the City. Yes, borrowed from the song released in 1966 by the Lovin’ Spoonful. I’m sure I could have strained to come up with something more original than that, but seriously, when you’re writing about summer in the city, why bother?

Along with the fireworks, the last signs of spring verging on summer have fallen into place. Our rooftop pool is open for the season, as are the Chicago Trapeze School, located at the south end of Belmont Harbor near our apartment, and Fullerton Street Beach, a pop-up place that serves wood-smoked barbecue at a spot yards from the lake. And this city known for its street festivals held its first one this weekend. Next weekend, I’ll be attending Sausage Fest (yes, I know this is a double entendre) outside Wrigley Field, because the food sounds great, of course, but also because it is a fundraiser to fight prostate cancer, something with which I’ve had an unfortunate acquaintance.

My wife Barb has been incredibly busy with family matters since we moved, so we’re determined to make this the Summer of Barb (and to make it more successful that the Summer of George on the old Seinfeld show). So the fireworks show last night was the nightcap of our Summer of Barb kickoff.

First, I made breakfast: scrambled eggs with light havarti cheese, sauteed ham and red peppers. I popped over to the recently opened Saturday farmers’ market a few blocks away at the Nettlehorst School, where I picked up some local lettuce, asparagus, strawberries, cherries, peaches, green onions, cheese (including some Cajun-flavored cheese curds – yes, we live close to Wisconsin) and a bag of dandy pretzel rolls. Everything is delicious, though getting peaches and cherries this early kind of raises my worries about the whole global warming thing.

Then Barb and I took the short bus ride to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Unlike today, with temperatures in the mid-90s, yesterday was actually a bit on the cool side. Nonetheless, we made a mental note to come earlier in the day next time, because most of the animals were pretty lazy. I love watching the big cats. But the tiger, while a magnificent and potentially terrifying beast, is a cat, after all, and here’s a photo of one taking a midday snooze.

The lion was awake, but not exactly active either.

One exception was the jaguar, spending the afternoon indoors and gnawing on a bone with great determination to extract every last bit of meat.

The ducks, at least, were alert, but they don’t seem to care much what the weather is like.

After the zoo, we made a short visit to the nearby Notebaert Nature Center, then home, where I fixed a dinner of barbecue-sauced tri-tip roast beef with roasted asparagus and a salad made up mostly of stuff I’d gotten at the farmers’ market (including a cranberry cheddar that’s already on next week’s shopping list). My (successful) cocktail experiment for the evening was a Hemingway daiquiri with Death’s Door white whiskey from Wisconsin subbing for the white rum. Then bloody marys and fireworks.

Not a bad first day of summer. More adventures to come. I hope you’ll come back and join me.

Spring in Chicago: A Long, Long Walk For Asparagus

After the chilly weather of April that stretched into the early part of May, it looks like spring has finally arrived for real. Chicago had an official high temperature of 90 today, a first this year, though — as the name of this blog reminds — it was cooler by the lake shore.

Signs of spring are all over. The air conditioning, thank goodness, has been turned on in our apartment building. The rooftop pool likely is a week away from opening, but the deck is open. Here what Wrigley Field looked like this afternoon, through the haze and the scratchy plexiglass that is there to prevent the kind of bad things that can happen when you’re hanging out on a roof 400 feet off the ground.

There is lots of baseball (this photo taken Wednesday night at the game between the Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies), most of it bad, but that unfortunately is also a sure sign of spring in Chicago.

The boats are back in on the lake…

… and so are the birds.

And now, the farmers’ markets around the city are opening up. Possibly the best known is the Green City market, located at the south end of Lincoln Park (the actual park, not the neighborhood), and since I never got there after we moved last summer, I wanted to make a point of getting there early to check it out this year.

I also have a few pounds accumulated from the winter and the sedentaries associated with a big writing project I am just wrapping up, and since I’d already taken some pretty good strolls, I figured I’d walk down there and earn the barbecue brisket dinner I’d put on the menu for tonight.

I did, because it’s kind of a long walk. Two and a half miles, according to my best GoogleMaps estimate.

I can see this market is going to be a very big deal as the growing season progresses. For right now, it’s still mid-May in the Upper Midwest, and produce was a bit scarce.

I don’t regret the trek because I need the exercise, it was a beautiful day and there was little reason for concern that the NATO protestors would make a priority of Occupying Lincoln Park. Still, under normal circumstances, that would be a pretty long walk for a couple of pounds of asparagus, a bag of spring mix lettuce and a couple of containers of admittedly delicious feta cheese from (guess where) Wisconsin.

They did have stands selling fresh local meats and fish, though I decided that I needed cold packs for that given the temperature pushing 90. I will remember that for the future, because truthfully, when you’re walking that far on a hot day, cold packs are not a bad thing to have.

I will be back, for sure. But on the bus ride home (no, I didn’t do the five-mile round trip on foot), I passed what looked like a thriving farmers’ market in a schoolyard just a few blocks from where we live. For the next few weeks, at least until there’s a bigger choice of produce to be had, I think I’ll stick to the market closer to home.

By the way, the brisket, seared on the stovetop, then slow roasted in the oven with a late slathering of barbecue sauce, was delicious. I served it with a home-concocted version of elote, a corn dish that is a Mexican street food and which I first sampled at the White Sox ballpark when we attended the game last Tuesday. Nothing fancy about it: corn (on or off the cob) seasoned with salt, pepper, butter, a little mayonnaise, lime juice, and if you like (and I do) a sprinkling of chili powder. Comfort food to the max, and totally addictive.

I’ve gotten way behind on the Cooler on the Lakeshore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown, so I guess this is as good a place as any to catch up. According to Weather Underground…

On Wednesday, May 9: Chicago Midway reported a high of 60, a low of 46, and a trace of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 75, a low of 59 and .58 of an inch of rain. That’s a lot of rain. Point Chicago.

Thursday, May 10, Chicago Midway reported a high of 65, a low of 45, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 70, a low of 56 and no rain. Virtual tie, but edge to D.C.

Friday, May 11, Chicago Midway reported a high of 78, a low of 48, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 73, a low of 52 and no rain. Point Chicago.

Saturday, May 12 Chicago Midway reported a high of 67, a low of 51, and .25 of an inch of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 78, a low of 52 and no rain. Point D.C.

Last Sunday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 69, a low of 53, and and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 80, a low of 62 and no rain. Beautiful day in Chicago, but to be fair, point D.C.

Monday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 78, a low of 46, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 73, a low of 62 and .24 of an inch of rain. Point Chicago.

Tuesday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 84, a low of 56, and a trace of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 79, a low of 67 and 1.22 inches of rain. Easy one for Chicago.

Wednesday: Chicago Midway reported a high of 63, a low of 52, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 83, a low of 62 and no rain. Point D.C.

Thursday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 71, a low of 49, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 77, a low of 61 and no rain. Edge D.C.

Friday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 85, a low of 57, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 76, a low of 55 and no rain. We’ll give this one to Chicago.

That brings the overall score to 158-130 in favor of D.C.

 

The Lake Shore View: On Little Cat Feet

I’ve gotten way behind on the Cooler on the Lakeshore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown. But catching up gives me an excuse to repost this photo I took Tuesday night of fog creeping in off Lake Michigan.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
– Carl Sandburg

After a much-too-chilly April, the temperature today finally crept back into the 80s. One more very warm day tomorrow, then a gradual decline into the 60s. But it looks like we may at last be escaping that meat-locker weather that made my first visits to Wrigley Field this year such an endurance test.

Here’s the Smackdown. Hopefully some prettier days to photograph soon, which will encourage me to keep up better. According to Weather Underground…

On Sunday, April 22, Chicago Midway reported a high of 51, a low of 42, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 57, a low of 46 and 1.27 inches of rain. That’s a lot of rain! Point Chicago.

Monday, April 23: Chicago Midway reported a high of 58, a low of 36, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 50, a low of 42 and .10 of an inch of rain. Point Chicago.

Tuesday, April 24: Chicago Midway reported a high of 64, a low of 38, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 64, a low of 42 and no rain. Point Chicago, for good behavior.

Wednesday, April 25: Chicago Midway reported a high of 62, a low of 50, and .05 of an inch of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 71, a low of 44 and no rain. Point D.C.

Last Thursday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 55, a low of 39, and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 65, a low of 56 and .03 of an inch of rain. Point D.C.

Friday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 52, a low of 39, and a trace of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 64, a low of 48 and no rain. Point D.C.

Saturday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 50, a low of 44, and .20 of an inch of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 56, a low of 45 and .12 of an inch of rain. Pretty crummy both places, but a little worse in Chicago.

Sunday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 58, a low of 44, and and .11 of an inch of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 71, a low of 46 and .03 of an inch of rain. Point D.C.

Monday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 63, a low of 51, and .39 of an inch of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 67, a low of 50 and no rain. Point D.C..

Tuesday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 64, a low of 52, and .32 of an inch of rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 84, a low of 60 and .15 of an inch of rain. Point D.C.

So a nice start for Chicago went south in a hurry. D.C. leads overall 150-121.

The Lake Shore View: Signs Of Chicago Spring, In Lake And Sky

Last July, on the day after we moved to Chicago, we experienced an epic thunderstorm. For a lifelong weather junkie, it was exhilarating to watch from the 30th floor as vivid cloud-to-ground lightning flashed across a panaroma of dozens of miles.

It was a little frightening, too, especially when it started to hail heavily (this was the same storm that inflicted severe damage to greenhouses at the city’s Garfield Park Conservatory). At that time, we were still waiting for the moving van to arrive from the East, and our apartment was completely empty save for two canvas folding chairs and an Aerobed. The hailstorm created the sensation of being trapped in a box suspended 300 feet off the ground while being pelted by small stones.

Ever since, I’ve wondered if I’d ever master capturing photos of lightning, especially since I bought the cool camera (a Sony Nex-3) that is responsible for most of the photos on the blog. Last night, I got a chance to try as a spring storm lit up the skies around midnight. While I’ve got a lot of work to do to get this just right, here’s what it looked like out the western windows.

Shooting toward the lake is more problematic, as the reflection off the water turns lightning into more of a blinding flash. Most of my attempted shots produced nothing but pure white lightning. Here’s one that at least kept a little scenery for perspective.

The weather forecast suggests I may get some more opportunities to practice tonight. It comes complete with a severe storm watch, so be careful out there.

There are, however, an increasing number of the more benign signs that spring is nigh, for real this time.

For instance, there are….

… some boats docked in the marina at Belmont Harbor! And as you can see in the background above and more clearly here, it’s also sailing-class season.

So how’s the weather been? Let’s catch up with the Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown to find out. According to Weather Underground…

Last Sunday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 66, a low of 45 and a trace of  precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 74, a low of 48 and no rain. A close call, but a slight edge for D.C.

On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 63, a low of 41 and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 69, a low of 53 and a trace of rain. Another  narrow win for D.C.

On Tuesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 46, a low of 34 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 68, a low of 45 and no rain. Well, that’s a no brainer.

On Wednesday, I had a ticket to the Cubs game. You know where this is going. Chicago Midway reported a high of 54, a low of 32 and no precipitation. But Washington Reagan National reported a high of 56, a low of 40 and .01 rain. Close enough to cut Chicago a break.

On Thursday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 63, a low of 32 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 63, a low of 42 and no rain. The point goes to Chicago on the “above seasonal average” rule.

On Friday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 66, a low of 40 and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 67, a low of 45 and no rain. Point Chicago (see above).

And on Saturday, I finally got a little warm weather for a baseball game, and we dodged the threat of rain. Naturally, this was a home game for the South Side Chicago White Sox and not the Cubs. Chicago Midway reported a high of 67, a low of 54 and .16 of an inch of  precipitation (almost all of that very late at night). Washington Reagan National reported a high of 75, a low of 46 and no rain. Point: D.C.

All that edges D.C.’s overall lead to 139-115.

The Lake Shore View: Brewing Up Another Cold One

I’ve allowed the Cooler on the Lake Shore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown to get a little dusty — perhaps it’s pollen — so I’ll take a sec here to get caught up. And to use this as an excuse to reprise the full moon photos of the other night.

The moon itself is a tad blurry in these photos because they were shot from our living room through the thick window glass necessitated by the gale-force winds we get with some regularity here on the 30th floor. But the moonlight bathing Lake Michigan is, I think, something to really behold.

Now you’ve already gotten a blogful of my whining about how frigid the wind chill was at Wrigley Field when I attended the Cubs’ Opening Day game there this past Thursday. So I thought I’d better prepare you for the fact that I have a ticket for another daytimer this Wednesday afternoon, when the Cubs are scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers. And the forecast high again is a robust 50 degrees.

At least they aren’t predicting the 30 mile per hour gusts that made Opening Day such a three-hours-in-a-meat-locker experience. At least they aren’t predicting that yet.

Here’s the rundown on about a week’s worth of weather…

On Saturday, March 31, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 50, a low of 39 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 64, a low of 48 and no rain. Point: D.C.

Last Sunday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 57, a low of 42 and .06 of an inch of  precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 64, a low of 47 and .07 of an inch of rain. A close call, but a slight edge for D.C.

On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 62, a low of 47 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 62, a low of 47 and .08 of an inch of rain. Dry weather is the tie-breaker for Chicago.

On Tuesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 70, a low of 48 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 73, a low of 42 and no rain. Close enough to call it for Chicago under the spring “well above normal” rule.

On Wednesday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 58, a low of 46 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 76, a low of 53 and no rain. Obviously, a point for D.C.

On Thursday, the aforementioned Sheffield Avenue Freeze-Out at Wrigley, Chicago Midway reported a high of 49, a low of 38 and no precipitation.(At least it didn’t rain!) Washington Reagan National reported a high of 63, a low of 47 and no rain. Point D.C.

On Friday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 53, a low of 33 and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 62, a low of 42 and no rain. Point D.C.

And on Saturday, the weather bounced back smartly for the Cubs’ second game of the season (grrrrr…). Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 67, a low of 34 and a trace of  precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 65, a low of 42 and no rain. Point: Chicago.

A slightly better weather week in D.C. builds its overall lead to 135-112.

Gracie the Cat’s Audience Awaits

Fans of the Cooler on the Lake Shore blog might have noticed that I’ve gone out of my way in recent weeks to protect the privacy of our household’s biggest star, Gracie the Cat. It really is hard for her to get the requisite 18 hours of sleep each day when she is being plagued by paparazzi.

But I understand that the embargo may be a bit excessive. In this business of personal blogging, you have to give the people what they want. Some people want to read my wide-ranging thoughts on sports, food, drink, the weather, living in Chicago or whatever. And some people wish I’d just shut up and publish more photos of Gracie the Cat.

This one’s for you folks. Since we’re doing nature photography, I’ll throw in a few waterbirds from a walk by the lake yesterday. And I’ll wrap with a little catchup on the Cooler on the Lake Shore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown.

There was still a bit of ice on the surface in Belmont Harbor yesterday morning. It’s gone now. I suspect the birds are pretty happy about that.

Not going in that cold water… hey, we’re not dumb!

And in the Smackdown… according to Weather Underground…

On Sunday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 37, a low of 26 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 45, a low of 35 and .08 of an inch of precipitation. Although this looks like an edge for D.C., that was the day the city dodged predicted snow, and it sounds like it was a pretty crummy day.

On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 43, a low of 25 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 50, a low of 34 and no precipitation. Oh, well, harder to put a thumb on the scale for Chicago here. We’ll call it a split, bringing the overall score to 109-92 in favor of D.C.

The Lake Shore View: Waiting For The Lake Effect

The weather forecast for Chicago says we are going to get some “lake effect” snow Friday. This has been an exceptionally mild season for a place with a reputation for formidable winters, with little snow. So as a weather junkie, I’m actually rather looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

It certainly doesn’t sound like this is going to challenge the Storm of the Century (so far) that happened a little bit earlier in the season last year. The best guess from Tom Skilling, Chicago’s reigning weather guru is three to seven inches close to the lake (which we are). It sounds like if you go a couple of dozen miles inland, your reaction is more likely to be, “What snow?”

These lake-effect storm are peculiar, because they tend to be very narrow bands, and snow totals can be very localized. One spot can get a lot of snow, while a short distance away, practically nothing. In some locations, lake-effect storms are known to dump a couple of feet of snow along their narrow paths, though it sounds like this one will be pretty short in duration.

I will post tomorrow with the results. In the meantime, here are some nice Chicago sky photos taken yesterday and today, with an update on the Cooler on the Lake Shore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown at the bottom.

Here’s ice-free Belmont Harbor, yesterday…Those hard-working steel factories in Gary, Indiana, which my friend Frank Hodal, a native of Da Region, says contribute a little something extra to our gorgeous sunsets, are in the background here…

Speaking of those gorgeous sunsets…

And tonight, the setting sun had some competition from clouds…

In the Smackdown…. according to Weather Underground…

On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 32, a low of 29, and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 52, a low of 29, and no precipitation. Point for D.C., obviously.

On Tuesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 36, a low of 29, and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 56, a low of 40, and no precipitation. Same thing.

On Wednesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 36, a low of 25, and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 43, a low of 37, and .11 of an inch of precipitation. We don’t like cold rain, so we’ll give that point to Chicago. The overall score is now D.C. 100, Chicago 89.

Sunset Along the Lake Shore: A Fire In The Sky

We are blessed with an extraordinary view from our 30th floor apartment on the Lake Shore, and most of the photographs I’ve been posting lately have been taken from what I call our “observatory.”

But yesterday was beautiful and sunny and unnaturally warm — nearly 60 degrees — for Chicago on January 6. So I told my boss yesterday afternoon that I was taking my camera and going for a walk along the lake.

You talk to yourself a lot when you are a freelance journalist.

There was so much to see. The sky turning pastel looking east over the water. A nearly full moon on the rise. Passenger planes flying in low on their approach to O’Hare. The skyline at twilight. And finally, a western sky ablaze with the sunset.

And here, to round out the photo series I started last night, is a little bit of all that. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Sunrise Over Lake Michigan: Smoke On The Water

This is the second in my photo series of Chicago’s natural wonders. I’ve posted some pretty nice sunrise photos, but mostly it’s a blazing yellow ball rising blindingly over the Lake Michigan horizon. Today was unique, though — the clouds refracted the sun in a way that might make you think, looking at these pix, that you were looking at the sunset if you didn’t realize you were looking east, rather than west, across the lake.

Without further adieu, morning introduces itself on Friday, January 6, 2012.