Days at the Lake

Days at the Lake

The lake environment is unlike anything one sees in the Middle East, except perhaps for the tawny ridges of sand at the shoreline. Here in the American Mid-West, hundreds of lakes and trees and wildlife characterize the northern areas of the states bordering Canada, and people go there for back-to-nature vacations.

Thirty years ago, the cottages were small and square, without air-conditioning, TV, or even telephone. Now, full size homes sit where some of the old cottages housed vacationers. Many residents live there year round, and a decent size city has grown up around a central tourist district. My family’s place is located half an hour’s drive from the city, on a tiny peninsula bounded by two large lakes.

We got no publicity whatsoever for the tornado damage. We’re too small! We feel insulted. Well, nature offers many wonders, most of which are more attractive than downed trees, so I’d like to share some of it with you here.

This is my view of the lovely shore, with its sand and plants and rippling water. I never saw the perfection of water lilies until I started photographing them.

I spent most of my time taking pictures, and playing with Photoshop Elements. I brought an instruction book with me, a thick manual on how to use Elements. It’s a big program; I can’t imagine using the full version of Photoshop!

Shoreline Lily PadsThe shore at our place is shallow and full of of plants. Mom alerted me that the lilies had opened; this lily is the most photographed flower on the entire lake, I am sure!

  Cottage, Morning Around the House 056_edited-3   1     

  Cottage, Morning Around the House 053_edited-2 2        Cottage, Morning Around the House 058_edited-2 3

I couldn’t decide which lily photo to post, so I posted the best of the two dozen. Which one do you like best? I’ve numbered them.

I was surprised to discover large, live snails swaying back and forth with the movement of the water.

   Cottage, Morning Around the House 057_edited-2 4       Cottage, Morning Around the House 066_edited-2 

Now that the deck is not available, we found another lovely place to sit– in the shade of this huge evergreen tree, overlooking the lake.  We never considered sitting there before, but I must admit I like it better than the deck. That’s the surprise behind unfortunate events– you sometimes discover new delights.

 Cottage, Morning Around the House 001_edited-1     Cottage, Morning Around the House 054_edited-2 5

The green moss grows in a dense patch along the shore, between the sandy land and the watery grasses. It feels soft under bare feet. The original photograph called for playfulness; the uniform mass of moss seemed boring.

                       Cottage, Morning Around the House 002_edited-10                    Cottage, Morning Around the House 059_edited-2  6

I don’t know where this reddish color came from– probably a reflection of the sun off the sandy bottom. I love to discover new perspectives, unexpected colors, and remarkable shapes that stand out in photos. Now, after working with these photos, I can go back and view the lake with a more appreciative eye, and a greater sense of thankfulness for Allah’s creation.

About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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15 Responses to Days at the Lake

  1. Umm Ibrahim says:

    Beautiful pics; impossible to choose which is nicest! I don’t blame you for posting a variety. 😉 Sounds like you had a good few days away.

  2. Shahrzad says:

    Very beautiful fotos indeed. What’s your camera?

  3. Marahm says:

    Thank you, Umm Ibrahim and Shahrzad. We always have good days at the lake. It’s an escape and a delight, even though I spend most of my time at the computer.

    My camera is a Canon PowerShot SX 100 IS. I still don’t know much about how to use it. These photos are all edited. Editing is even more fun that picture taking!

  4. Irving says:

    All lovely photos 🙂 I cannot choose a favorite though, each speaks to me in a different way. May you enjoy your time at the cottage, a truly remarkable and beautiful place.

    Ya Haqq!

  5. Marahm says:

    Thank you, Irving. I cannot choose a favorite either, that’s why I’ve asked my readers! In truth, to choose a favorite would suggest that the others are not as beautiful. This would not be true, and the same principle can be applied to many aspects of life, not simply photography, no?

  6. coolred38 says:

    Ive had a Sony Cybershot for a few months now…I still havent figured out how to get the red eye out of night shots…lol.

    marahm…Im jealous of your ability to snap and have us all oooing and aaahhhing. I need to sit down and read the instructions I guess…sigh.

  7. Marahm says:

    Thanks, Coolred! Here’s the secret: The snap is just the beginning of a good photo. You have to run it through some editing software to adjust the color, exposure, focus, lighting, etc. You can also remove minor blemishes (like red-eye, or a blemish), and in some cases you need to crop. All of that is nothing but fun! Easy to do, too, at least the elementary stuff, which is all I can do at this point.

    That said, I encourage you to read at least 1/10 of your camera instruction manual. The snap will become easier to compose and enhance.

  8. solace says:

    I like pics 3 & 6 the best. I love the layers of the lillies. Your pics are beautiful. The lake environment is beautiful.

    Post some more…

  9. Marahm says:

    Thank you, solace! I appreciate your feedback, and I look forward to sharing more photos.

  10. intlxpatr says:

    WOW. Your photos are magnificent. #3 totally Wow-ed me; I love the translucence of it. But many of these photos were WOW.

  11. Marahm says:

    Thank you, intlxpatr! I am amazed at how a subject– the pond lily, in this case– can yield such a variety of appearances, and I haven’t touched the more complicated edits (only because I don’t know how yet).

  12. What beautiful photos – and you’re doing a great job with the editing. They all look professional! I just can’t decide which I like the best though. It must have been so relaxing to spend some time out in nature taking photos. Lucky you!

  13. Marahm says:

    Nice to see you back, Susie! Thanks for the complement, and yes, it is most relaxing to poke around outside taking nature photos. I’m going to do it again in a few days.

    It’s also exhilerating, in the sense that it inspires appreciation and admiration for this magnificent planet Earth, on which we stand within the smallest of circles, and find worlds within it.

  14. Najeeba says:

    I was just passing by when the lilies attracted me to them. Wow! What wonderful pictures! And those photos, too. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. Marahm says:

    Salam, Najeeba, and thank you for your comment and your complement. I’ve discovered your wonderful blogs and look forward to reading them!

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