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Cottage Chronicles
Lake Superior Diary 2012

December 2012

Dec 31: The last day of the year finds Lake Superior with partly cloudy skies and cold temperatures with highs just getting out of the single digits. The lake is steel blue except for the blinding silver where the sun is reflecting off the surface. We end the year with smooth 1ft waves from the SSW.

Dec 30: It was lightly overcast today with 1ft smooth waves from the SE. The lake at sundown was striking. The horizon was almost white but the sky over the lake was heavily overcast leaving Lake Superior a dark greenish gray.

Dec 29: It didn't show up on the radar but we were blessed with about 5" of fluffy "lake effect" snow that started about 5:00am and ended about 11:00am. The sky is gray and the lake is a greenish muddy gray. We have 1ft smooth waves coming straight in from the SSE.

Dec 28: Last night the sky had clouds the looked like scallops you see in the gable peaks of Victorian homes. The waning moon would shine through in the gaps between the scalloped clouds and was mesmorizing. They were predicting snow for Grand Marais but all we got were flurries all day long that amounted to just a dusting. There w
ere gray skies, a gray lake, 6" to 1ft waves from the SE, and temperatures in the 20's.

Dec 27: Lake Superior was mild today with 6"-1ft waves back to the more normal direction from the SE. We started with mostly with mostly clear skies this morning but changed to heavily overcast skies by mid-afternoon. Temperatures ranged from single digits to mid 20's. The lake had the bank of clouds over it and it took until 8:15 for the sun to rise over the cloud bank. There were hints of silvery blue on the lake this morning but it turned to a bleak gray in the afternoon.

Dec 26: Except for that bank of clouds hanging low out over Lake Superior, we had a clear and sunny day in Crofville. The lake was calm with a textured surface of silvers and sky blue.

Dec 25: It was only 4 degrees this Christmas morning. This was the first day this winter that the cloud bank that hovers over Lake Superior on very cold days appeared. You can watch the water vapor from the now warm lake rising in mini cyclones upward. Temperatures barely managed to get into the teens today and the biting wind from the west continues.

Dec 24: Lake Superior is starkingly beautiful today. We have mostly sunny skies and the textured lake has many blues, silvers, and blacks in it. The wind is tremendous coming generally from the west traveling along the shore. The waves are again coming from the oblique SW direction and are not very big near the shore but you can see huge white caps far out on the lake. Temperatures managed to get into the teens but the wind chill was bracing. Temperatures plummeted after a pink sunset into the low single digits.

Dec 23: The clouds dissipated last night leaving a dazzling clear sky and plummeting temperatures into the single digits. As a result, for the third morning in a row we had clear skies at sunrise. The horizon to the SE had a hefty bank of clouds so it was about an hour after sunrise before the sun emerged above them. We had a bright blue lake with 6" waves stil from the unusual SW.

Dec 22: Last night we had two ore freighters cross paths right in fron of Croftville Road Cottages. Today we saw several more freighters out on the lake. I'm not sure why we are seeing so much traffic right before Christmas. We had a second clear sunrise this morning from the SE the day after the solstice. With it were blue skies, a steel blue lake, and 1-2ft waves way over from the SW. The clear skies didn't last for long though, and we were back to the overcast and gray lake by afternoon.

Dec 21: I had to do a double take this morning. There are clear skies and sun. It seems like it has been many weeks since we have had a clear day. Lake Superior has a textured steel blue surface with 1ft SSE waves with an unusually long period breaking at the shore. It is so refreshing to have the blinding silver relfection of the sun moving across the lake. Temperatures dropped into the low teens last night.

Dec 20: Snow fell from sunrise to noon and accumulated about an inch. Other than that, temperatures were in the 20's and 30's, we had gray skies, and we had a gray lake.

Dec 19: This morning we had a beautiful red sunrise in the SE and a frosting of snow to wake up to. The red sun had just a narrow slit on the horizon it passed through before disappearing behind a heavy cloud bank. Temperatures actually warmed up ovenight and were at freezing by morning and stayed in the 30's all day. After sunrise the sky became overcast and turned the lake into its familiar gray color for this time of year.

Dec 18: Gray skies, gray lake, and temperatures in the 20's.

Dec 17: More gray skies, a gray lake, and temperatures have dropped into the 20's.

Dec 16: We lost most of our snow to the rain yesterday. Temperatures have cooled a little but the highs are still in the 30's next to Lake Superior. It would be fun to see some blue in the sky or lake but the gray continues to prevail.

Dec 15: Waves picked up last night and are 2-3ft from the SE today. Temperatures started in the 30's this morning and have passed 40 by noon. The snow is really melting now. Rain started at noon and if it keeps up there may be little snow left by tonight.

Dec 14: Temperatures are back up in the 30's today and our new snow is once again in danger of melting. Skies are mostly overcast which helps keep the melting at a slow pace. The lake is once again calm and it is eerily quiet without the breaking sound we are used to.

Dec 13: Superior was quiet with just ripples on it. The sky was gray and overcast and the lake was gray with a greenish tint near the shore. There was an amazingly bright planet in the eastern sky but I never saw the meteor shower that was predicted.

Dec 12: A dusting of snow fell during the day. Lake Superior is again a dark gray textured surface with 1ft waves. The overcast sky and light snow limited visibility on the lake to about a mile. Temperatures started the day at 13 degrees but was 37 by nightfall.

Dec 11: Another 4" of snow fell along the lake today. This left Superior a dark textured gray with visibility about a quarter mile before the snow became all you could see. It was big fuffy snowflake and easy shoveling.

Dec 10: It snowed lightly all day long picking up a couple inches of finely grained snow. Lake Superior was a dark gray with a hint of green close to the shore. Waves were 1-2ft coming in straight from the SSE. Visibility with the snow was less than a half mile out on the lake. Temperatures stayed in the 20's.

Dec 9: Snow finally returned to Croftville overnight. We woke up with an inch of fresh snow on the ground, light snow with large flakes coming down, and temperatures in the 30's. Lake Superior has 1ft waves coming straight in from the SSE. You can see the textured muddy gray surface for about a half mile before it disappears into a white cloud of snow. Fresh loosely packed snow has an amazing sound deadening capacity. The only sounds the snow didn't absorb during my walk was the rush of the lake. It was so quiet.

Dec 8: The morning started with 6" waves from the SE but once again by late morning the lake was completely calm. The sky once in awhile showed signs of blue but the lake stayed a greenish gray. Temperature were in the 20's and 30's.

Dec 7: There was a decent wind today and this morning we had 1ft waves from the unusual direction of the SW. However, by late morning the lake was perfectly calm. Mostly overcast skies gave us another day of a colorless lake.

Dec 6: It was almost balmy out today with highs in the upper 30's and lightly overcast skies. A heavier cloud cover billowed to the south over Lake Superior. The lake was gray with 2ft waves from the south. Dec 5: They said a storm was on its way but it fizzled out. The sounds from the lake supported an oncoming storm with waves growing to over 3ft. It is funny to watch on the radar as a storm moves across northern Minnesota only to stop dead in its tracks and disappear when it gets to Lake Superior.

Dec 4: The big news today was that we had sustained sunshine for the first time in a long time. Blue partly cloudy skies gave us a steel blue lake. Temperatures dropped over 20 degrees from yesterday with hghs only in the mid 20's.

Dec 3: Waves are back from the SE and are 3ft today. The lake is gray and the sky got blacker as the day went on. Mist started around 9am and progressed to a steady medium rain by 3pm. Temperatures were in the upper 40's by the lake. It felt more like spring than the start of winter.

Dec 2: The waves are gone, the lake is quiet, and it is still in the 40's. An almost glass surface this morning eventually became about 6" waves from the SSE. Gray skies and a gray lake once again. The rain has stopped but it has taken most of our snow with it down here on Superior.

Dec 1: Lake Superior has greenish gray 3ft waves coming in straight from the SSE. The skies are overcast and the horizon is a hazy white blur. Temperatures by the morning had risen to 40 degrees. Light rain has begun to fall and may jeopardize our small snow cover. Only 2 days ago I was convinced that the snow that came down this last week was going to stick until spring. We will have to see how much is left by tonight.

November 2012

Nov 30: The waves were loud through the night and by the time I awoke I found some fresh snow drifted by the winds. The waves were 4-5ft, still from the SE, and a blackish gray. The sky at the horizon actually had a hint of blue which I haven't seen for many days. The rest of the sky was the usual overcast gray. Temperatures were in the upper 20's all day but by nightfall began rising.

Nov 29: Today the waves grew to 4 feet and shifted to the SE. Gray overcast skies and gray waters abound. Temperatures stayed in the 20's and snow began just after dark.

Nov 28: This morning again there are 2ft waves from the south with temperatures rising into the 20's from the single digits. Gray skies and gray lake against the white snow on the shore.

Nov 27: This morning there is 2ft waves from the south with temperatures in the 20's. The sky is heavily overcast medium gray and the lake is a lead gray. The snow on the shore really sets off the gray of the water.

Nov 26: We had sun at times today but most of the day was light gray overcast skies. Likewise the lake was a slightly darker gray with 2ft waves from the south.

Nov 25: We woke up this morning with 3" of fluffy snow on the ground. Lake Superior had a black cloud bank covering it to the south. The lake itself had was relatively calm with a dark gray textured surface. Temperatures remained in the 20's throughout the day.

Nov 24: It was a beautiful cloudy day with occasional breaks of sunshine here in Croftville. The lake was once again a bluish silver with a highly textured surface but with minimal waves. Temperatures were in the 20's but started creeping near 30 near nightfall. This coincided with the start of snow that was heavy at times.

Nov 23: And with a snap of the fingers it is winter. Rain started coming down after dark last night and eventually turned to snow. This morning we had about 2" of accumulated snow on top of a layer of slush. Temperatures were now in the low 20's and a strong erratic wind from generally the north made it feel much colder. Lake Superior shone a bluish silver with a highly textured surface but with minimal waves. Every 5 minutes you could watch a rogue wave move in and then crash against the shore. The gusts from the strong winds could be followed as they belted the lake surface and then moved out from shore.

Nov 22: They are predicting a winter storm to hit tonight but today is just beautiful out. With the anticipation of the big Thanksgiving day feast we went on a 4.5 mile hike along the Devils Track gorge and Pincushion Mountain. Temperatures were in the upper 40's with a hazy sky. The view from atop Pincushion Mountain was expansive but the horizon disappeared into the haze. What a gift this last hike was before winter takes over. It was hard to believe that we will be cross country skiing on some of these same trails in just a few weeks. Below the small falls on Devils Track River we saw a most unusual phenomenon today. There was a 6-8ft in diameter foam doughnut about 18" high that was gently rotating about 15ft in front of the falls. It was a great example of a stable equilibrium in spite of all the competing forces at work in the river.

Nov 21: We drove to Duluth today and got to watch ore freighters and salties moving along the shore. Driving back were ran into very heavy fog covering the highway between Two Harbors and Little Marais. I thought for sure we would have to battle the fog all the way to Grand Marais but as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared before getting to the Cook County line.

Nov 20: There was some rare sunshine for November this morning that offered a colorful sunrise and lake before the grays of November returned by noon. We had 2ft waves from the SE.

Nov 19: This is a bit scary but we had the same day as yesterday again. The only exception was that for an hour this early afternoon the skies turned very dark and we had a heavy rain.

Nov 18: Overcast skies, a gray lake, a fuzzy horizon line, 2-3ft waves from the SE, and bouts of light rain have become the norm along Lake Superior for November. Today was no exception. Highs in the 40's.

Nov 17: As the sun sets tonight the light clouds over the lake turned pink and the lake a dark bluish purple. The waves are 2ft from the SE and break right before they hit the shore. A cresecent moon sits high in the SW sky above the cloud cover over the lake.

Nov 16: Most of the day was a light gray and overcast. The lake was also a light gray with a fuzzy white horizon and silver waves the the SSE. That made it so surprising to find a clear night with dazzling stars that jumped out at you. All these years living here on the North Shore and the clarity of the night sky still takes my breath away.

Nov 15: The sun was out today in Croftville. A beatiful multicolored sunrise started the day. Waves were 1-2ft from the SE. Highs were only in the low 40's but the sun made it feel warmer.

Nov 14: Days are getting shorter and life is just too busy. For the second day in a row I have not returned home until well after dark. However, the stars are out in full force tonight. They have that 3 dimensional quality to them that make me feel like I can reach out and touch some of the closer ones. The lake isn't as loud as last night. I am again surprised to find that after I allow my eyes to acclimate to the dark, Lake Superior remains black in spite of the starlight. This probably means that although we have a clear sky above, Lake Superior has a thick layer of fog that stops the starlight from reflecting off those noisy waves.

Nov 13: I left before sunrise and didn't get back to the lake until after dark. That makes it a little difficult to descibe Superior but not impossible. Tonight there is a heavy overcast sky without a single sign of a star or moon. As black as it is here on Croftville Road it doesn't begin to compare with the dark void over Lake Superior. Lake Superior has the amazing capacity to reflect any light and literally light up the night. But not tonight, which really speaks volumes to how heavily overcast it is. The complicated rhythm of the sound of the breaking waves is quite frightening without any visual cues. I am actually surprised that the pattern isn't more regular but one becomes used to the notion that Lake Superior is by nature unpredictable.

Nov 12: We had the coldest temperatures we have seen this season with a low of 22 degrees this morning. It never reached 30 all day long. Snow flurries have been coming down almost all day long. The gray lake and fuzzy horizon are sending 2ft waves straight in from the ESE.

Nov 11: The warm weather we were supposed to get yesterday came today and was ushered in by huge 6ft or more SE waves yesterday afternoon and evening. The lake was spectacular with whitecaps everywhere and long breaking crests near the shore. Superior was 2 tone with a brownish silver band near the shore and a greenish silver band out to a fuzzy white horizon line. This brownish band near the shore is usually due to runoff from the rivers and streams after heavy rains. But this time that band was due to the huge waves disturbing sediment near the shore and the banks on the shore that usually are left untouched. Rain has accompanied this warm weather in the low 50's and for some reason by this morning the huge waves had subdued themselves to 2-3ft.

Nov 10: The weather people were saying today was to have warm, sunny, unseasonable weather before getting our first real taste of winter tomorrow. All of a sudden there was a winter weather advisory starting last night and the chilly weather sped up. This morning we have temperatures in the low 30's with a rain/snow mixture coming down from the gray overcast skies. Lake Superior has 3-4ft waves coming in obliquely from the ESE complete with whitecaps all the way to the horizon.

Nov 9: Croftville Road was gorgeous today. It was sunny with temperatures in the 50's. Lake Superior had 3ft waves from the SE and was my favorite steel blue color with intermittant whitecaps. The steel blue lake was rich with texture as it was set against the light blue horizon.

Nov 8: Today was a repeat of yesterday except for some breaks in the overcast sky later in the afternoon.

Nov 7: It was warmer along the lake today with highs in the upper 40's. A heavy overcast sky blanketed the gray lake. We have 2-3ft rumbling waves from the south.

Nov 6: There was rain overnight and rain all day long. Cars from up the Gunflint Trail were coming down with a couple inches of wet snow covering them. The gray monotone lake is loud today with 3-5ft waves still from the SE.

Nov 5: Although the sky was overcast and gray, the lake had an amazing grayish blue set off by magnificant whitecaps of the breaking waves. The morning waves were 2-3ft from the SE and seemed to grow to 3-4ft by the days end.

Nov 4: Lake Superior was overcast and started the day as glass. By late afternoon the waves had grown to 1-2ft way from the ESE. Temperatures remained in the 30's.

Nov 3: It was a repeat of yesterday except the temperatures rose into the low 40's. It was opening day of deer season and trucks, cars, trailers, and ATV's were scattered all along Highway 61. Overcast skies began to creep in near nightfall.

Nov 2: Mostly clear skies, 6in-1ft waves from the SE, a steel gray lake against a white horizon line, and temperatures in the 30's were the conditions today on Croftville Road.

Nov 1: November began with 2 ore freighters lit up on the lake as the sun rose in the east creating a multi-hued sunrise. The local fisherman with the spotlight on his boat was out checking his nets just west of our place. It must be cold out there in that small boat early in the morning. Temperatures rose into the 40's, the crisp sun and the clear skies created a steel blue lake to gaze upon. The lake was surprisingly calm in spite of the strong westerly wind.

October 2012

Oct 31: It is a crisp day with a stark blue sky, a sharp steel blue lake, and highs in the 40's. The waves are 2ft from the SE but seem futher separated between crests than is usual.

Oct 30: Lots of ore freighters passing by today. Teresa saw 8 and I saw two more at dusk. There are large waves on the south end of the lake drawing the ships up to us. The lake was relatively calm here with 1ft waves from the ESE. The morning had a beautiful full moon set to the west.

Oct 29: The waves grew to 3-4ft and changed directions to the ESE. The sky was lightly overcast again leaving the lake a with a steel blue surface and with whitecaps.

Oct 28: There is a lightly overcast sky today and the lake is a steel blue with 2-3ft waves from the SSW. The horizon is almost white to the south which must mean clear skies over northern Wisconsin. It is cold today with a cold wind and the highs only in the upper 30's.

Oct 27: It started the day cold (30 degrees) and it stayed cold all day (low 40's). The lake had small waves from the south with a greenish gray color.

Oct 26: No rain today along Lake Superior. There were beautiful cloudy skies this morning when the sun finally decided to rise. There was literally a rainbow of colors in the clouds but my favorite were the banks with the billowy pink crests. Waves had subsided and were down to only 3-4ft with whitecaps still visible out on the lake. Teresa saw an ore freighter moving along close to shore.

Oct 25: It was raining when I woke up. It rained even more. It snowed. Then it was back to rain. We passed through Duluth this morning on the way to the Cross Country sectional meet in Cloquet. It was amazing to see 6 ships anchored outside the harbor. They were all salties, I think. Apparently the northern route along Lake Superior had up to 26ft waves and so all shipping was held up. The waves along the shore to Duluth were more in the 5-6ft range from what I observed.

Oct 24: It was so dark out on the lake this morning that I thought the sun had simply forgot to rise. The black clouds spewed water most of the day, generated thunderous 4-5ft waves, and left the lake a very dark gray except when the fog was heavy enough to lighten things up.

Oct 23: We woke up to lightning on Croftville Road. The rain then started at daybreak and continued all day long. It was heavy from time to time and there were almost no breaks. The large gray waves were 3-4ft from the SE. They were heard crashing against the shore even though the fog kept them from being visible except right near the shore. It was a warm day with highs in the upper 50's.

Oct 22: And today Indian Summer returned. I was told the highs were in the upper 60's with mostly sunny skies. It was dark before I left this morning, I was insdie all day, and dark when I returned so I cannot report on the lake. The days are getting noticably shorter now.

Oct 21: Indian Summer made a quick departure today with temperatures in the mid 30's this morning and a heavy frost. By 11am the rain had returned and the gorgeous day yesterday was nothing but a memory. Lake Superior had overcast skies, 1-2ft steel gray waves from the SSE, and big cumulus cloud fronts visible on the other side of the lake.

Oct 20: Indian Summer visited Grand Marais today. Temperatures were in the upper 50's, the skies were clear, and the lake was a deep sky blue with 1ft waves from the SSE. A dense fog rolled in and out from the shore in the late afternoon.

Oct 19: Rain, heavy at times, continued throughout the day today. The steel gray waves were again 3-4ft from the SSE. Temperatures were in the 40's.

Oct 18: There was heavy rain today in Croftville. The winds stirred up the waves to 3-4ft from the SSE. The lake was steel gray with an unfriendly face.

Oct 17: Croftville was rainy and overcast but warm with the highs in the upper 50's. The lake was a grayish green with 1-2ft waves from the SE.

Oct 16: It was an interesting day in Croftville. We started the day overcast with rain but the skies quickly cleared up and the lake changed to a grayish blue. However, over the lake a fog stuck all day long. You could see out less than a quarter mile until the blue lake disappeared into a white wall of fog. Lake Superior had 1ft waves from the SE.

Oct 15: We woke up today with an ore freighter right out in front of the resort not more than a quarter mile. I haven't seen one that close in since last winter. It was still early morning and their lights were still on and visible. We had a gray lake and overcast skies all day long.

Oct 14: I'm not sure where the clear sky last night came from but we were back to gray overcast skies all day today. The gray lake had 1ft waves from the SE. I haven't seen waves in that direction for several weeks.

Oct 13: It was a light gray lake that started the day still and grew throughout the day to 2-3ft waves from the south. The sky was overcast all day long with a light drizzle in the morning. It was warm enough to comfortably sit by the fire at least until dark. After that, we were delighted to see the stars come out but the clear skies noticable dropped the temperature. We just made the fire a little bigger.

Oct 12: Today we had a gray lake, gray overcast skies, on and off light rain, and 3ft waves from the SSW. We had our first hard freeze on the lake this morning although we have had a little frost on the roof for the last couple days this week.

Oct 11: It was another cold day with highs in the low 40's. There were partly cloudy skies with the most beautiful cloud coloring I have seen in awhile. The low hanging clouds were a purple gray on their heavy undersides with pinks turning to snow white on this delicate tops. The lake had a textured blue and black surface.

Oct 10: It was a cold day today with highs in the low 40's. There was a half inch snow accumulation in Grand Marais this morning but not here by the lake. However, we did have the first frost on our roofs. The lake was a bluish gray with mostly cloudy skies overhead.

Oct 9: Today was mostly cloudy skies with sprinkles a few times. The lake had 2-3ft waves from the south with a steel gray surface except close to the shore where there were hints of blue green. Highs were in the 40's.

Oct 8: The weather took a change over the lake today. We had heavy overcast skies which turned to a steady rain this afternoon. The lake was dark gray and had 2ft waves still from the south.

Oct 7: The lake had 3ft smooth waves from the south. It was my favorite steel blue color except near the shore where it was a greenish blue. Skies were mostly clear and temperatures just mad it to 50.

Oct 6: The lake had calmed back down this morning with just small 6" waves still from the south. Our first snowflakes along the lake occured 3 times this morning and early afternoon. It was fun to see the flurries but they are the first milestone along the path of the coming winter. There were sunny skies over the land and heavy clouds over the lake this morning. This left the lake an unusual purplish gray in color except for a shiny silver area directly over a hole in the clouds letting sunlight through.

Oct 5: As I drove to Grand Portage this morning the waves were still 4ft from the south and there still was a sizable wind from the west. Colder temperatures in the 40's finally found their way to Superior. Yesterday's wind changed the face of the forest. There are still plenty of trees with dazzling colors but a good portion of trees have now been stripped bare and I would have to say that we are now past peak color. The good news is that this is now the start of my favorite time in the boreal forest. It is fun to hike without full foliage so you can see further into the woods. There are now vistas opening up that can give you glimpses of gorges, rivers, and of course the lakes.

Oct 4: It is a day to say good bye to any loose leaves. The cold and snow never materialized but the powerful winds and gusts from the west are strong enough to take the tops out of some trees. No loose leaves will be left on the trees by the end of the day. Considering the the boreal forest is in peak color I suspect the many of the trees will be bare when this wind ends. Huge fronts of clouds are passing by but have not dropped any precipitation other than a sprinkle. The wind has boosted the waves in Lake Superior to 6ft. It is an amazing sight to see these huge waves buffet the shoreline and explode into a white spray. The lake is an aqua blue with whitecaps everywhere. As you look along the shoreline the aqau disappears and all you see is the white of the breaking waves.

Oct 3: The weather people say this is the last day of the string of beautiful weather. Cold, wind, and snow could be on the way. I don't know how much stake I put in their predictions, but they are right that today is a drop dead gorgeous day. Highs are in the 60's with mostly clear skies. There are 2ft steel blue waves from the south and the the array of colors in the forest is dazzling.

Oct 2: The lake is a little more stirred up today. We had deep blue 1-2ft waves. The skies are clear, the temperatures are in the 50's, and the leaves are in peak color.

Oct 1: We are into a new month but we continue with the same weather. It is maybe a few degrees cooler but otherwise it is a repeat of yesterday.

September 2012

Sep 30: It was another beautiful day in Croftville to bring September to a close. The leaves are in full color. The high was in the upper 60's. The lake was almost glass for most of the day with a light sky blue sheen that transformed into a white mist at the horizon. We had clear skies all day and the harvest moon should light up the night.

Sep 29: The harvest moon is full tonight lighting up the night with the reflections off the lake. Today was in the upper 60's with clear blue skies and a purplish blue lake except where the sun that is now lower in the sky is reflecting silver.

Sep 28: The harvest moon is nearly full and was rising well before sunset tonight. Temperatures were a little warmer with a high in the low 60's. Other than that it was a repeat of yesterday. Sitting by the fire enjoying the smell of the burning cedar and good company made this a day to savor.

Sep 27: A beautiful sunny day graced Croftville. An aegeon blue lake with a calm surface formed the backdrop against the boreal forest in full fall color. Highs in the upper 50's make for great hiking weather.

Sep 26: It was yet another beautiful fall along Lake Superior. A low of 46 and highs in the 50's along the shore. We had clear skies, 2ft waves from the SSW, and a medium sky blue lake.

Sep 25: Overcast skies today kept the lake a bluish gray with 1ft waves from the SSW. I watched an ore freighter not more than a half mile out pass by. Teresa said she had seen several today. The overcast did produce light rain now and then but not enough to keep you away from outdoor chores.

Sept 24: With lows in the 40's and highs in the 50's fall has firmly took hold along Croftville Road. Fall colors are approaching their peak. Today the lake had a dark gray blue color against the clear skies. We had smooth 3ft waves from the south without a whitecap to be seen until they broke right next to the shores.

Sept 23: The cold spell continues with lows in the 40's and highs in the 50's. The waves on the lake picked up to 3ft and changing direction from the SSW. There are lots of whitecaps this afternoon that are highlighted by the sunshine. The lake has an overall deep pure blue color but with horizontal strands with tints of green and purple in them. We are getting close to full fall colors now with the quaking aspens adding to the show.

Sept 22: We seem to be in a pattern of dark rain clouds followed by sun. We woke up with a low of 42 and a high of almost 50. The lake is pretty calm today with only 6 inch waves from the SSE. Leaves are more and more colored. In the last 2 days the aspen have started turning gold which is one of the last of our trees to turn. The horizon this morning had a line of clouds to the south that looked like cotton balls.

Sept 21: It was another chilly day along Lake Superior. We had a low of 44 and a high in the low 50's. The lake was a little calmer today and had beautiful blues on the surface when the sun was out. It was evenly divided for sun and rain (and hail), there just didn't seem to be anything inbetween. Conditions were good for rainbows and I saw at least 2 partial ones but I bet there were more. The lake had 1ft waves from the SSE.

Sept 20: We had a chilly day with a high in the low 50's. There were a lot of rain showers on and off all day long. Lake Superior had 2-3ft gray waves from the south.

Sept 19: We woke last night to rain, wind, and a turbulent lake. Today the gray lake had 3-4ft waves from the south topped with whitecaps. The beach has been adorned with newly deposited driftwood. Some of the larger pieces we watched gradually drift to the east along the shore.

Sept 18: It was cold today with the high only in the 50's and a low of 42 this morning. There were partly cloudy skies and an amazing multihued cloud front across the lake. The deep blue 1-2ft waves were coming from the SSW with a strong breeze from the west. There is more color in the leaves every day but I am still waiting for the aspens to begin turning gold.

Sept 17: There was rain during the night and spotted rain throughout the day. The lake is almost calm in spite of a decent breeze. I enjoyed following an ore freighter about a half mile out as I did my walk along the road after supper tonight. Temperatures only made it to the low 60's today.

Sept 16: The temperatures are dropping but there is a repeat of yesterday along our piece of Lake Superior. It was a great day to get out and hike in the boreal forest. I saw a Blue Jay pestering our cat today. They are so commonplace in southern Minnesota but I have rarely seen them along the lake here.

Sept 15: It was a drop dead beautiful fall day on Croftville Road. There were blue skies and a deep blue lake with a sun shining on you to keep you warm in the cool breeze. The fish nets are sitting in close to shore maybe 100 yards.

Sept 14: The lake was a deep blue with 1ft waves from the SSW. Skies were partly sunny and temperatures started at 52 and rose to 59 this afternoon. The Moose Maples seem to be near their peak color. Everything else seem to be showing signs of fall, too.

Sept 13: The waves have shrunk today to 1ft or less. Teresa saw 2 ships far out today while cleaning. As we get further into fall we will expect to see more and more of the freighters nearer and nearer to shore. The hummingbirds are still all over the place. It won't be long now before they disappear south. It was 55 degree this morning when I got up.

Sept 12: We had another day of strong 2ft waves from the south. The sky was mostly overcast and the temperatures didn't make it to 70 here on the lake. The lake was a uniform lead gray.

Sept 11: We woke up to the roar of 2ft waves from the south and they continued all day yesterday. The sky was partly overcast and the temperatures rose to the 70's. The lake was an unusual greenish gray with occasional metallic gray highlights when the sun peaked out.

Sept 10: Today was a repeat of yesterday except it was a little bit warmer. This is my favorite time of the year.

Sept 9: It was a picture perfect fall day in Croftville. Clear blue skies, a deep blue lake with black shadows and silver highlights on the 1 ft waves from the south, and temperatures rising into the 60's.

Sept 8: Today we had bouts of rain separated by bouts of sun all day long. It was cool enough that you needed sweatshirts and sweatpants to be warm. The lake was a beauiful blue and as night falls the stars are popping out and looking like you can reach out and grab them.

Sept 7: Fall is coming on strong in Croftville. Golds, oranges, reds, and browns are now beginning to be seen regularly in the green forest. Lake Superior was mostly calm with a blue and black textured surface. The cumulus clouds to the south are lit up in blazes of whites and transluscent yellows against the blue sky. And the fishing nets are back to their normal position about a quarter mile out.

Sept 6: Temperatures started in the upper 50's today and got close to 70 for a high. The lake was blue with 1ft waves and the skies occasionally looked like we might get a shower even though we didn't. The fish nets and their floats are unusually close to us and the shore today, probably less than a hundred yards.

Sept 5: Croftville Road had 2ft waves from the south. The skies were mostly sunny this morning and has turned to mostly cloudy this afternoon. The lake is multicolored depending on the cloud cover and the direction of the sun. Today felt more like fall than summer with a crispness in the air.

Sept 4: There was a gigantic storm front that passed through Croftville around suppertime. It was breathtaking looking at the wall of cloud as it approached from the west darkening out the sun. Although the storm was short-lived, its blackness darkened the lake, riled up the waves, and left sheets of rain pelting the surface so hard it looked like the raindrops were bouncing off the land and the lake.

Sept 3: Today was a repeat of yesterday. We had marvelous weather and a stunning lake.

Sept 2: It is a stunningly beautiful day with clear light blue skies, a brisk breeze, and temperatures in the low 70's. The lake had 1ft waves from the SE with a 2 tone deep sky blue surface. There is fall in the air. Leaves on some trees are getting hints of yellow, orange, and red. The fireweed is spreading its seeds and everywhere you look you get hints that summer is coming to an end.

Sept 1: September is starting with an unusually still day on Superior. At times the lake is glass. Other times the lake has ripples that are just big enough to make a small rustling sound as they break against the shore. Highs were in the mid 70's and the moon will make everything bright tonight with the clear skies.

August 2012

Aug 31: There was blue skies and blue lake with 1ft waves from the south. Temperatures started at 60 and warmed up to the mid 80's for this last day in August.

Aug 30: Today was muggy with a high around 80. Lake Superior had 2ft smooth gray waves from the south. The skies were a blend of overcast, thunderclouds, and little sun.

Aug 29: It is so refreshing to come over the hill on Interstate 35 into Duluth and see Lake Superior layed out in front of me. I can feel my body take that big deep breath and say I am coming home. Gone is the smog that sits over the Twin Cities. I lived in Minneapolis for 6 years and never even noticed that dirty haze. Now when I visit it is the first thing I see. It is funny how one's vision can be affected by where you call home.

Aug 28: We went to the Minnesota State Fair today and had a great time. Although I didn't see Lake Superior today it was on my mind through constrast. I was surprised to see how dry things are in Saint Paul. The drought that has been such a part of the weather news this summer is just not there on the North Shore. The drought effect can sure be seen in the Twin Cities, though.

Aug 27: I have to say goodbye to Lake Superior for the next 2 days. We are on our way to the Twin Cities for a family outing before school starts. The deep bright blue lake with its 1-2ft waves knew how to say goodbye and at the same time beckoned us to return home soon. It is such an awesome site as we traveled along Highway 61.

Aug 26: Along the lake it was a spectacular day. A high of about 80 with clear blue skies and a comfortable wind made it easy to enjoy the bright blue lake and its 1-2ft waves from the SE.

Aug 25: Haze and fog was the story of Croftville today. Once in a while you could convince yourself that you could maybe see the horizon. When the white haze receded you could see the colorless silver gray lake with 6" smooth waves.

Aug 24: Looked like rain most of the day but it never came. It was hot and muggy here in Croftville with a high near 80 degrees. The lake had 2ft waves from the SE.

Aug 23: Today the 1-2ft waves changed direction to the SSE. Tall thunderheads rolled across the skies but kept mostly to the south of us. There were a few heavy thunder showers in the afternoon and even a episode of pea sized hail. Lightnng lit up the southern sky throughout the night.

Aug 22: Lake Superior was dull blue with 1-2ft waves from the SSW. The predictions of temperatures returning to the 80's didn't happen probably from the light breeze off the lake. Clear skies all day long.

Aug 21: It was a gorgeous day along Lake Superior. Blue skies, a deep sky blue lake, 2ft waves, a comfortable wind, and temperatures in the 70's here in Croftville.

Aug 20: Today we had a partly sunny sky with billowy dark cumulus clouds. Some of those clouds dropped rain on us as they passed by. The lake is again a purplish blue with smooth 2ft roller waves from the south. Temperatures didn't quite make it to 70 today but it felt warm in the sun.

Aug 19: Lake Superior is an unusual purplish blue with a light blue mostly sunny sky. Waves are 1-2ft coming in straight from the SSE. There are whitecaps further out suggesting much larger waves. Temperatures are trying to make it to 70.

Aug 18: A little of everything today. Rain, fog, sun, big clouds, and overcast skies were all seen. The lake was a pale blue most of the day and relatively calm.

Aug 17: It was a stunning day on Croftville Road. The lake was a deep, deep sky blue with 2ft waves from the SSW. Temperatures rose to the low 70's with partly sunny skies.

Aug 16: We drove down to Duluth today. This is the coolest day I can remember since the beginning of May and to think it is during the dog days of August. The high temperature only made it into the 60's. It was fun watching the intricate cloud formations over Lake Superior. The dark low hanging clouds would inundate us with mist between bouts of sunshine. Of course this was a perfect recipe for rainbows and we saw many partial rainbows throughout the day.

Aug 15: Today there are lead gray 1ft waves from SE, overcast skies, a pleasantly cool breeze, a high in the 70's, and the feel of rain in the air all day long. I am still waiting for that rain even though it is now evening.

Aug 14: The sky was overcast most of the day leaving Lake Superior and its 1-2ft waves from the south in gray tones. Earlier in the morning the lake was calm with the textured surface that continues to leave me searching for an explanation. Clearly the lack of a wave direction must indicate some sort standing wave to create the bumpy lake surface. Temperatures just barely made it to 70. It feels so good to have a cool breeze and our guests appreciate it much more than we do.

Aug 13: The lake started the day calm but the wind off the hill helped to generate 1ft waves from the south by midafternoon. Temperatures climbed into the 70's and it felt like possible rain all day with the overcast skies. However, the skies cleared out with nightfall and the stars were brilliant as we watched for remnants of the Percy meteor shower.

Aug 12: Although I missed them, I heard from guests that the Percy meteor shower was out in full force last night. You can feel a change in the weather the last few days and today is no exception. Crisp temperatures dipped in the low 50's last night and worked its way into the 70's again today. The lake is calm with a textured surface. The skies are lightly overcast or maybe the better description is sunny with a persistent haze.

Aug 11: The lake was almost glass this morning and remained calm thoughout the day but with a textured surface. The rough texture of the lake was a combination of grays and deep blues set against the light blue clear sky. Temperatures made it into the 70's but the cool breeze foretells a refreshingly cold night for sleeping.

Aug 10: Croftville Road was clear and beautiful today. Blue skies, deep blue lake with 2ft waves, highs in the 70's and lows in the low 50's.

August 9: We had a rain storm start during the night and it didn't let up until the afternoon. Lake Superior was split with the redish brown water from the runoff for the first 200 yards and the grayish blue layer further out. There are 2ft waves from the SE and overcast skies with faint outlines of rainclouds over the lake.

August 8: We had mostly cloudy skies, a gray lake, highs in th low 70's, and 1ft waves from the SSE.

August 7: Today there was 6" waves, a high of 72, lightly overcast skies, and a light blue lake. I saw the lights of an ore freighter a couple miles out on the lake this evening. This is an unusual sight for the summer in the absence of a storm.

August 6: We had a little of everything for weather today. Sun, rain, lightning, and fog. Temps started in the low 50's and reached 80. Waves were less than a foot this morning but grew to better that 2ft at times from the south. The most interesting thing was watching the thin layer of fog (maybe 10 to 20ft) spread out over the surface of the lake while at the same time you could see the thunderheads across the lake in upper Michigan.

August 5: It was a rejuvenating day on Lake Superior. The waves diminished to 1ft straight into the shore from the SSE. The lake was steel blue with clear skies and only an occasional cloud passing by. Temperatures were in the 50's ovenight and warmed up to the low 70's for the Fishermen's Picnic parade.

August 4: The night was interupted by an ear shattering thunderstorm over the lake at 3:00am. There is nothing like a cool breeze off the lake, the roar of the waves, and the painting of the sky with the lightning to enjoy lieing in bed awake in the middle of the night. Today we have a moderately overcast sky that leaves the lake a colorless gray. The waves are 2-3ft from the SSW and huge thunderclouds can seen far across the lake to the south.

August 3: My favorite face of Lake Superior was out today. We had sun, a few clouds, and temperatures in the low 70's. The lake was steel blue with 2-3ft waves from the SE contrasted against a scattering of whitecaps. The nearly full moon rose a brilliant red over the lake quickly turning to orange and then yellow.

August 2: There were partly cloudy skies over Lake Superior. The billowy clouds occasionally dropped some light rain that helped to cool things off nicely. The lake roared with 2ft waves from the SE all day long and into the night.

August 1: It is a sunny day but with a little bit of haze in the air. The lake is a dark bluish gray and the waves have been growing all day starting around 1ft this morning to 2-3ft from the south at supper time. There has been a strong breeze all day long keeping things comfortable in spite of temperatures in the 80's.

July 2012

July 31: It was a warm day along the lake. Joey and Cecelia went wading and swimming to cool off. The lake was many different shades of blue and only had small ripples on the surface.

July 30: Last night the series of rainstorms continued through the night with lightning illuminating the skies. This morning the lake still has 1ft waves straight from the SSE. It looks like the scattered showers will continue throughout the day. Although the rain did cool things off a little, it will still be a warm day judging by the 70 degrees at 8:00am.

July 29: Two amazing rainstorms and a double rainbow highlighted a turbulent day of weather on Croftville Road. The morning lake was ripples but they grew to modest 1ft waves from the south after the storms. The first rainstorm was ushered in by an ominous black stormfront from the north. Next a brief and bold wind passed through followed by a light rain. Finally the sky opened up and the water was dropping so fast you could not drive. After the deluge, Lake Superior had a textured surface and was the color of pewter. The next storm dropped heavy rain again but was more notable for its close by lightning strikes and trembling thunderclaps. This storm ended with a full double rainbow and the most amazing lighting. It was like the lighting of a full moon but you could see everything not in black and white, but in full vibrant color.

July 28: With temperatures in the low 80's, it was a warm and sunny day by Lake Superior. The 1-2ft waves from the south dissipated to ripples in the afternoon. There was a light blue and almost glassy surface on the lake set against an even lighter blue sky.

July 27: It was a dazzling day along Lake Superior. There were 1-2ft waves from the SE, constant sounds of breaking water from the lake, a dark sky blue lake with black shadows, clear skies, a comfortable breeze, and a high in the low 70's.

July 26: Today was another rainy day in Croftville. This time it was a light rain that lasted most of the day until late afternoon. The skies were dark and beautiful with the sculpted clouds backlit by a sun that kept trying to come out but never made it. The lake reflected the dark textured skies and boasted of 2-3ft waves from the SE. In the distance you could see the whitecaps which then reappeared as the waves broke coming into shore and thunderously smashing on the rocks. I watched a gaggle of Canada Geese as they swam by in no particular hurry letting the waves gently toss them up and down as they journeyed to the next green patch of lawn they cold find along the shore.

July 25: It was quite a change in weather from the last few weeks. The high was only 70 today. Rain rolled in during the night and by the time it quit midmorning our neighbor said we had 2.5". Rain began again in the early afternoon and has been steadily raining ever since. Joey got drenched by a rogue wave while he was taking pictures of the breaking 3ft waves from the SE. The lake is a muddy gray today with just a glint of blue.

July 24: It was another unusually calm day on Lake Superior. The lake was a light blue with strands of white. However, at the horizon there was a dark blue rough line that gave the appearance of a distant shore. Mirages on Lake Superior are not uncommon.

July 23: Lake Superior was calm today. There were just enough ripples to make a swishing sound as the water impacted the rocks. Skies were clear, the lake was a silver blue, and temperatures were in the low 80's.

July 22: There were small waves (less than 6") from the south. Although we had clear skies, there was a haze over the lake. The morning lake was a silver blue in the west fading to a washed out white to the east.

July 21: What a lightning storm we had last night. Lightning could be seen from nearly every direction and when it lit up the night sky you could see the magnificant cumulus thunderclouds. But with all this show not a drop of rain. It is a warm day today in the upper 70's but again with the feel of a pleasant breeze on your skin. There were 6" to 1ft waves from the south with a sky blue lake. July 20: The 1ft waves changed to the SSW today. Clear skies most of the time and an aqua blue lake.

July 19: It was a cool night last night and it felt so good to need to pull the blankets up to keep warm in bed. The sound of the waves and the cool air made me want to stay in bed this morning. It looks like another pleasant day near Lake Superior with 1ft waves from the ESE again. Teresa and Cecelia went blueberry picking on the Gunflint trail yesterday and came back with a quart of wild blueberries. Blueberry picking season has begun.

July 18: It was a spectacular day on Lake Superior. Temperatures were in the 70's, partly cloudy skies with puffy cumulus clouds, and 1ft waves coming in obliquely from the ESE maybe even the east. The lake was deep blue and a brisk breeze made it comfortable even in the direct sun.

July 17: Croftville had partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 70's today. The lake was blue with 6" waves from the SE. There was a pleasant wind throughout the day. I saw 4 boats out on the lake this morning rather than the traditional single fishing craft we usually see off our shore.

July 16: We took a trip to Duluth today where it was sweltering in the paved parking lots on top of the hill. What a blessing to start home to Grand Marais on along the lake. Each mile became cooler as the sun dropped lower in the sky and the cool water from the lake began to overpower its suroundings.

July 15: Lake Superior was mostly calm today, not enough waves to even make out their direction of origin. The sky was mostly cloudy which helped keep the heat down. Plenty of warmth with temperatures reaching 80. A small breeze made the day pleasant. July 14: We had a rare muggy day on Croftville Road today. Temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. The moisture in the air kept us from having blue skies even though the skies were mostly clear. The lake had 6" to 1ft waves from the south and was gray with hints of blue. According to my daughter it was quite comfortable down on the rocks and she appeared several times cool and wet from "accidents" down by the water.

July 13: It is a bright but overcast morning. Lake Superior is a light gray against a white sky. Waves are from the SE and about 6" with shiny silver highlights. The temperatures is 74 already at 8:00am, that is higher than the expected high for the day! There is a pleasant breeze and if it changes direction slightly the lake could rapidly cool things off.

July 12: A picture perfect day on Lake Superior with blue skies, a blue lake, 1ft waves from the south, a cool breeze, and a high around 80 degrees.

July 11: It was a beautiful warm day in Croftville with a calm Lake Superior, clear skies, and temperatures in the low 80's. When one thinks of northern Minnesota in the summer, mosquitoes are always a part of that image. The odd thing is mosquitoes are usually not much a problem right on the shore of Superior. Not this year, mosquitoes are a nuisance right on the shore. The last week is the worst mosquitoes I have seen in the 9 years we have called Croftville home. Note that my complaining is all relative, if I was in the BWCA I would think nothing of them.

July 10: Another gorgeous clear day on Lake Superior with 6" or less waves from the south. Temperatures were in the upper 70's with a comfortable breeze. Lake Superior was a deep sky blue with lighter blue streaks horizontal to the horizon. The source of these streaks continue to baffle me. Some of my guesses include lake currents transverse to the shore, some sort of standing wave node due to wave reflection off the shore, or a diffraction effect from the sunlight.

July 9: Lake Superior had clear skies, a blue surface, 1ft waves coming straight in from the SSE, temperatures in the 70's, and a nice breeze that kept changing directions.

July 8: It was a glass surface on the lake this morning but 1ft waves from the south developed by late afternoon. The glass surface really brings out the nuances in color. The light blues and whites close to shore are offset with the thin strand of dark blue near the horizon. Tonight the sky is clear overhead but the stars disappear as you gaze towrd the lake. The fog over the lake is just a cold black void.

July 7: Ripples to 6" waves from the SE on a clear day with temperatures reaching into the low 70's. Lake Superior was sky blue but the horizon was a white haze. Another freighter was spotted this afternoon a few miles out which is once again unusual for a calm day this time of year.

July 6: There were only ripples from the SE on a monatone gray lake. Temperatures dropped into the 60's today and there was a steady rain almost all day long.

July 5: It was a gorgeous day today with 1ft waves from the SSW on a blue lake with hints of green. Temperatures were in the upper 70's, maybe low 80's.

July 4: It was tale of 2 different days for the Fourth of July. The first half of the day began with clear skies and hot offset by a cool gentle breeze off the lake. The second half of the day began about 4:00 when the skies opened up and pelted rain upon us until dark. Luckily, the rain was interupted enough to fit in the "tiny" parade in downtown Grand Marais and the fireworks display over the Grand Marais Harbor. What better way is there to enjoy a fireworks show than with Lake Superior serving as your backdrop?

July 3: We had a fabulous thunder and rain storm last night that lit up the sky for a couple hours (maybe longer but I fell back asleep). In the morning the sky was clear with 1-2ft waves from the SSW. It feels like it may be a muggy day on the North Shore, the temperatures are in the upper 70's at noon.

July 2: We drove to Duluth today and I was amazed at the brownish purple water down at the head of the lake. I assume it is from the continuing runoff from last week's flooding of the Saint Louis River. After a day of shopping it was good to return to Grand Marais and the cool breeze off the lake. Coming back into town I had to do a double take, for a second day there was an ore freighter about a half mile out on a relatively calm summer day. Of course, there was a rain shower as we passed through Beaver Bay.

July 1: After a brief rainstorm last night, today Lake Superior was glass all day long, clear skies, and a cool breeze off the lake making the 80 degree temperatures even pleasant. We had an ore freighter about a half mile out today. This is almost unheard of for this time of year with a calm lake. In the summer freighters take the southernly route across the lake except in severe storms. I have been told that ships generally drift in the southeasternly direction across Lake Superior in storms. Because of this ships err on the side of caution in stormy weather and take the longer northern route. If they should have a mechanical failure during a storm they prefer to have the entire lake to drift across.

June 2012

June 30: Well, I and the weather people were wrong about yesterday. It overshot the mid 70's by 10 degrees down here by the lake and was again the hottest day by far this summer. Today was nearly the same but the breeze changed and began coming off the lake giving us instant relief by mid-afternoon. The lake is beautiful with 1-2ft waves from the south, deep blue with a hint of green near the shore, scattered whitecaps, a cool breeze, and lots of sun.

June 29: It was 68 when I woke up and will probably be in the mid 70's again today. This is a heat wave by shoreline standards. We have 2ft waves from the south and clear blue skies. I often try to describe the color of the lake. This is a difficult task any time of the day but it is almost impossible for a clear day in the early morning with the sun low in the east. As I scan from the east to the west I see dark blue lake flooded with blinding white reflections. Next the lake turns to more of a greenish blue with dark shadows and white highlights except for the dark band at the horizon line and the brown tinted water near the shore where you can see every rock on the lake bed. Finally off to the SW the lake turns gray and although the texture of the lake is quite visible, there is almost no variation in the gray hue.

June 28: The lake had 2-3ft waves from the SSW and clear skies by mid-morning. The lake had one of my favorite faces on with steel blue water, black shadows, and lots of whitecaps. It was the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures in the mid 70's. There was an incredible mirage on the horizon. If I didn't know it was a mirage I would have sworn that I was looking at the coastline of the Upper Peninsula or the Apostle Islands. I am sure it fooled many a visitor yesterday.

June 27: Lake Superior had no blue in it today. Its color was a lead gray with silver highlights. We had covered skies with a mixture of light overcast and dark heavy clouds moving by. There were times that I thought the sun would come out but it never happened. The lake was glass still in the morning, developed 2ft waves in the afternoon, but then calmed again near evening. Temperatures were in the high 60's here even though there was near record heat in the rest of the state.

June 26: Today was a repeat of yesterday. The only difference is the cool breeze coming off Superior.

June 25: It was a picture perfect day on Croftville Road today. Clear skies, temperatures in the low 70's, and an almost glass surface on Superior with occasional ripples. The light blue lake had several travelers passing us by including kayaks, a small fishing boat, several speed boats, ducks, and loons.

June 24: Lake Superior was a dark sky blue today with black shadows and a choppy surface. In spite of the textured surface, I could not even discern the direction of the waves. It is almost as if the directional waves were lost in the noise of the choppy surface of the lake. In any case, the waves were small and only caused a gentle rustling when braking onto the shore. Skies were clear and temperatures were in the high 60's.

June 23: Today was a tale of 2 different days. The first part of the day was clear skies, a calm lake without even ripples, and a patchwork of blues on the lake. The second part of the day began in mid-afternoon turning to a gray overcast sky and a dark gray lake with 2ft waves from the south.

June 22: Overhead today there were partly sunny skies with beautiful cumulus clouds that occasionally would open up and dump rain on us. The lake has 6" waves from the south. Close to the shore the lake had purple shades to it which turned to a deep blue on a choppy surface as we look further out.

June 21: What a difference a day can make. It was a beautiful, partly cloudy day with temperatures in the low 70's. The billowy clouds made shadows on the greenish blue lake. I was surprised to see how quickly the brownish runoff from the past few days of rain disappeared. There were 6" to 1ft waves coming straight in from the SSE.

June 20: We had another day of on and off heavy rains. All the small creeks are bursting at the seams with what looks like a mixture of chocolate milk and coffee. The lake was relatively calm considering all the activity in the sky, only 6" to 1ft waves. The heavy fog kept Superior invisible most of the day. When the fog would recede you could see the dirty brown water out a good half mile. Lightning strikes less than 3 miles away were commonplace today.

June 19: The day started with overcast skies and limited visibility on Lake Superior. The lake was a very light gray until it disappeared into the white fog. By mid-afternoon heavy thunderstorms moved in and the skies opened up. I should have predicted that since I painted the entry porch floor in cottage #2 in the morning. The lake had 1ft waves and was a dark gray until it disappeared into the dark skies.

June 18: A day of intermittant heavy rain storms. When it was not raining, the moisture in the air prevented the grass from drying off. Lake Superior had 6" waves and the highs were in the mid 60's.

June 17: We had 1ft waves from the SSW and temperatures rising to near 70. Lake Superior was a layering of colors this morning. Starting from the shore and heading to the horizon we had a reddish chocolate, a greenish blue, a bluish gray, then a purple where a cloud was casting its shadow, a bluish purple, a light sky blue, and finally a very light gray. It was an amazing palette.

June 16: After a morning of overcast skies and cold temperatures, the afternoon began to warm up and the skies turned to rain. The rain is steady and at times is heavy and with lightning and thunder. The lake is dark gray with 1-2ft waves.

June 15: It was foggy most of the day in Croftville. It was fun watching the fog meander in and out from the shore throughout the day. It was surprisingly warm and almost on the verge of muggy (at least by Lake Superior standards). The warmth fooled us into thinking that we could have supper outside on our deck. Oh, we had supper on the deck but by supper time the temps were back into the 50's and everyone was all bundled up in sweatshirts. Only 6" waves today.

June 14: The story of Lake Superior for today is waves. The waves are thunderous and 4-5ft from the south. I watch helplessly as the 1.5ft diameter birch log that had washed up on the beach in the winter bobs eastward along the shore. Only yesterday late afternoon I began cutting it up for firewood. When my chain saw was getting too dull to finish the cuts, I figured I would sharpen the blade and finish the cuts off in the morning. Well, it was raining this morning and by the time the rain had ceased the waves had grown and my firewood was on its way. If I am lucky, the birch log might get lodged in the rocks somewhere close by but I think I have seen the last of it. I should know by now that nothing is safe on that beach. When will I learn.

June 13: Today we had 6" waves from the SSE, clear skies, and temperatures in the mid 60's. This morning the lake had bands of different textures. Something was going on with the ravens near the lake. They were either happy or angry (how do you tell with a raven). But whatever they were feeling, they were very vocal about it for almost an hour.

June 12: It was cold by the lake this morning in the upper 30's but it warmed up into low 60's. The day started with partly cloudy skies but this turned into clear skies by late afternoon. The clear skies created an azure blue lake with black shadows on the 2ft waves from the south.

June 11: There were heavy rains with lightning and thunder last night but by morning the skies were only lightly overcast. The overcast soon burned off to give us blue skies and a crisp deep blue lake with 1ft waves in line with a south breeze. Even with a breeze off the lake the temperatures made it into the upper 60's. It must have been hot everywhere else.

June 10: Today we drove back to Grand Marais from Rochester. As we got to the crest of the hill before we began our descent into Duluth there was a sudden draft of cool air on my arm that was sticking out the window. Oh yes, that is what I had beem missing. Finally it felt like home was near. The lake today was fairly calm with only 6" waves and I was told that it made it to 70 here by the lake. I'm pretty sure that was our first 70 degree day down here but we may have come pretty close a couple times in March!

June 9: I don't know what Lake Superior was like today because I wasn't here. I was attending my niece's a graduation in Rochester. But being in the warm heat of Southern Minnesota (90's) did give me the luxury of remembering one of the reasons why people come up here. I can just imagine people thinking what it would be like to get away from the heat. I can see them daydreaming of a cold breeze coming off Superior and onto the shore.

June 8: We woke to a perfectly calm Lake Superior again today. It is warm and almost muggy for the North Shore with overcast skies and a brief but intense rainstorm later in the morning. Afterwards the waves to about 6".

June 7: This is becoming quite a streak of what seems to me unusually calm weather on Lake Superior. Just ripples from the SSW. It was a beautiful day with sunshine, quiet, blue skies, warm temperatures, and occasionally a cool brreze off the lake.

June 6: The day started with 1ft waves from the SE but the lake continued to calm down to just ripples by evening. Clear skies but it is hazy out on the lake's surface. The horizon is just an indistinct white blur. It was a warm day for the last day of school and my daughter wasted no time splashing about in the lake with her friend as soon as school got out at noon.

June 5: It was another beautiful day next to Lake Superior. The lake was blue with 6" waves. Temperatures were in the 60's with part-time sunny skies. There were prodigious billowing clouds on the southern horizon.

June 4: A calm was over Lake Superior with only ripples from the ESE. There were interesting cloud formations along with sunshine that created patterns of color variations on the lake from white, grays, and all shades of blue.

June 3: It was a beautiful day in Croftville. Mostly clear skies, sunshine, temperatures in the 60's, and 1ft waves on a blue lake.

June 2: Lake Superior was gray most of yesterday. We had mostly cloudy skies, sometimes black cloudbanks, sporadic sunshine, and brief rain showers. The day started very warm (65deg at 8am) and ended warm. However, in the middle of the day light breezes off the lake dropped the temperatures into the low 50's.

June 1: I thought yesterday was unusually calm, but today was a very rare day without even ripples on the lake all day long. Temperatures are in the low 60's and clear skies with just a few wispy clouds. The quiet is scintillating to your ears and you can hear distant sounds that are usually filtered out from the background rumbling from the lake. The horizon is just faintly visible and you have to concentrate in order to see it.

May 2012

May 31: There are just ripples on the lake this evening as May comes to an end. The lake is a light blue and the sky is even a fainter blue. The exception to both is the horizon which is for some reason brilliantly white both for the lake and sky.

May 30: Today Lake Superior enjoyed light blue skies with scattered wispy clouds. The lake itself was a deep blue with dark purple, almost black, shadows. The 1ft waves were coming in at a very oblique angle all the way from the SW. The frost they were predicting never materialized. But, it did make it down to 39 this morning with the sun warming us up into the mid 50's this afternoon.

May 29: Croftville had partly cloudy skies with 1ft waves from the SSW today. The lake was a brownish gray with shades of blue water only visible near the horizon. Bouts of rain fell numerous times throughout the day. It is cold (low 50's) and they are predicting frost even close to the lake. This is really quite unusual since the lake at this time of the year serves as a buffer from the temperature extremes be they high or low.

May 28: We had light rain at times but the big feature of the day was the thick white fog. It lasted until late afternoon with visibility on the lake from about 50-100ft. All the foliage was thick with dew drops that just refused to evaporate away with all the fog. The fog moved in and out from the shoreland. For awhile in the afternoon you could look at the fog enveloping the trees but you could see clear blue skies above.

May 27: There was a good rainstorm last night but it has been dry today in spite of the fact that the skies look like they are ready to open up all day long. The lake is chocolate brown for the first quarter mile as the 2ft waves from the SE churn up the runoff. Further out the lake looks green then turns gray nearer the horizon.

May 26: The weathermen uniformly are trying to dampen our spirits with forecasts of imminent heavy rain. It was heavily overcast but nothing to stop us from enjoying the outdoors. Lake Superior has 2ft waves from the south with a bluish gray hue mixed with bands of chocolate water.

May 25: I woke up to the roar of 2ft waves from the SSW this morning. The skies were partly cloudy and it was refreshing to see the sun again. The temperatures are already in the 60's and there is no wind down on the shore. There are whitecaps further out on the lake. Close up we have blue water at the shore followed by a band of dark brown water a 100 yards out. Next we had another blue band and at a quarter mile a wide golden brown band followed by a final blue band streching to the horizon. The bands of brown water are understandable due to the runoff from our rains the past days. The placement and movement of these bands remain a mystery to me.

May 24: It rained all night. It rained all day. It rained all evening. It rained lightly. It rained cats and dogs. And everything inbetween. Temperatures in the 60's and 6" or less waves with almost no breeze here in Croftville. The sky was amazing to watch as dark black fronts moved past followed by heavy white cumulus clouds. Occasionally the overcast sky became light enough just to tease your mind with the possibility of a blue sky. Then the cycle would repeat itself.

May 23: It was an overcast day with light rain falling most of the time. The lake was once again still and gray. As evening came on the light rain began to change to a heavy rain.

May 22: It was almost like yesterday didn't happen. Today the lake was still, gray, and heavily overcast. Bouts of medium to heavy rain came and went all day. I watched for a while about 20 ducks huddled together swimming about the lake as a coordinated unit.

May 21: Today is as perfect a summer day as you get in Croftville. Clear blue skies, a deep blue lake, a lush green canopy, temperatures in the 60's, and a wind off the hill. The wind and Superior worked together to give onlookers a wonderful show. You could watch the wind pelt the lake and follow the gusts as they moved away from shore. Further out you could see they huge waves and whitecaps that the wind was helping to generate.

May 20: We woke up to overcast skies and a light gray lake with 6" waves. It stayed that way all day long except that a constant moderate rain began later in the morning and continued well after dark. We were even treated to a rainbow at sunset as the clouds began to let light occasionally through. It is one of those days to curl up with a book or watch a movie next to a fire and occasionally look out and watch the ducks enjoying themselves out on the lake.

May 19: Today we have 1ft waves from the ESE on a light blue lake and clear blue skies. As I drove my son into town he commented that it was now summer. I asked why and his definition of summer was when you could no longer see into the woods because of the leaves. He's right, within the last 2 days we have lost our ability to see into the woods. It happens so fast.

May 18: A heavy rain storm happened during the night. It but it was one of those unexpected surprises and since I wasn't very sleepy I listened to it as it fell. Morning left no sign of the storm in the sky but everything was wet and you could feel the humidity in the air as the fresh rain evaporated.

May 17: It was warm and sunny in Croftville today, warm enough to just wear a heavy shirt rather than a coat or hooded sweatshirt. The skies varied between partly cloudy, clear, and light overcast. The lake was light blue with 1-2ft waves from the SE.

May 16: We have a calm morning on the lake. I woke up to hear the mallards as they would land or take off from the lake. There were about 10 of them swimming around right in front of us. Further out I saw the small fishing boat about a quarter mile to half mile out. It is hard to gauge distances on the lake without reference points. Some day I need to head down to the Grand Marais harbor and look at that fishing boat up close so I know how big it actually is. Temperatures are cold by the lake this morning. I heard that some people had a hard frost last night, but not here down by the shore.

May 15: It was windy yet again in Croftville today. What I can not figure out was the lack of waves on Lake Superior. I do not know what is at work that allows the waves to stay suppressed in spite of the substantial and sustained winds. You can see the gusts buffet the lake surface and deform it. I will have to give it some thought.

May 14: It was another windy, warm, and sunny day on Lake Superior. One unusual feature today was the clarity of the water. In spite of the 2ft waves which often result in churned up and murky water near the shore, one could clearly see the stones on the lake bottom with all the details of shape and color even through the waves and their reflections.

May 13: It is a windy, warm, and sunny day on Lake Superior. Dark blue 2-3ft waves with green shades from the unusual direction of the SW create a thunderous roar. What a great day to be out on the shore.

May 12: Lake Superior is dark blue with 1ft waves from the south. Skies are clear and the temperature is in the low 60's. The combination of sun and warm temperatures has had an enormous greening effect on the local landscape. Aspens are now leaved out with their young yellow green foliage. The birch are starting now to leaf out as well. The mountain ash already have a dark green color to them and I expect the maples will start leafing out this next week.

May 11: The meteorologists assured us that today would have lots of rain in the Arrowhead. The closest it came to that was a small bout of overcast skies around 4-6pm. The rest of the day and evening were clear and in the 60's with a strong wind in the evening. Lake Superior was a light blue with 1ft waves developing toward evening.

May 10: It was another warm and sunny day in the 60's. The lake began as still as glass this morning just like yesterday. However, it had the glassy surface as far out as I could see. It also stayed that way most of the day building up only to small ripples.

May 9: We haven't had a warm and sunny day like this since March. There were beautiful blue skies with wispy scattered clouds. The lake began still as glass this morning for the fist 100ft out. Beyond that was a choppy surface that you could see the wind off the hill stir. It was a gentle wind but I knew it would destroy that glass surface in short order. Most of the day we had small 6" waves from the south and high tempratures in the 60's.

May 8: We traveled to Virginia on the range today. It really rained hard as we drove down the shore from Grand Marais. Visibility was quite restricted on this gray overcast day with massive dark gray clouds. Once again the surface of Superior when vivisble was calm with little more than ripples. Driving back to Grand Marais around midnight the skies began to clear and the stars started to come out.

May 7: A calm day on the lake with little more than ripples just big enough to break at shore but too small to tell their direction. The most amazing fog rolled in from about 8am to 3pm. There were times I could not see the lake from standing 80ft from shore. Even when we could see the lake it was never for more than 200ft out. The fog was so white and thick and you could feel the mositure on your skin as you walked.

May 6: We had a colorless day on the lake with overcast gray skies and a slightly darker gray lake. However, the land is really beginning to green up. The grass will need to be mowed this week. The aspen now are a yellow green as their buds are just about ready to start forming leaves. The birch are a little further behind with their buds forming a golden yellow color. The mountain ash buds are now distinctly green. And the gooseberries are the first to be leaved out.

May 5: The lake was loud last night yet when I woke up there were only 1-2ft waves from the SE. The skies cleared by late morning and the lake took on a stark deep blue color against the light sky blue sky.

May 4: Lightly overcast skies today in the 40's. Waves are from the SE and about 1ft. The lake is a silver gray with dark gray shadows.

May 3: We have 1ft rolling waves from the south on a gray lake this evening. It is raining here and a heavy bank of clouds are over the lake. But to the south it is clear leaving a bright stripe between the gray bands of the lake and sky.

May 2: After a day of no color on the lake yesterday, the blues of today seemed so vibrant. Even the bright white of the fog rising off the lake and obscuring at times the horizon seemed overflowing with radiant color. It was a warm day (60's) with mostly clear skies.

May 1: There was absolutely no color on Lake Superior today. The skies were heavily overcast as far as one could see in every direction leaving no room for direct light and the prism of colors produced by it to get through. The lake was all shades of gray with 1ft waves coming from the ESE. Mist, light rain, downpours, we had them all throughout the day.

April 2012

Apr 30: The weather changed overnight and we woke up to an overcast sky and mist. There was a fishing boat about a quarter mile out this morning with visibility at a half mile. It was a small boat but the gray lake was pretty calm with only 6" waves from the SSE. Either way, it was too small of a boat to get me out on Lake Superior in.

Apr 29: It was a warmer day with a high of 50. The day started with a calm lake which built up to 1-2ft waves from the SE. The brown perimeter from yesterday was gone today. The lake was again aqua blue with with black shadows and light gray highlights.

Apr 28: It was cold, clear, and starkly beautiful on Lake Superior. Although the waves were only 1-2ft from the ESE, the easterly winds provided many whitecaps out on the lake. The brownish perimeter for the first 50yds was clearly visible due to the runoff after the rains from last week. The rest of the lake was an aqua blue with black shadows and light gray highlights.

Apr 27: The afternoon had slightly overcast skies with 1ft waves from the SE. The lake's color was a bluish gray with black shadows and silver highlights. The sky at the horizon was almost white.

Apr 26: 6" waves from the SE have returned to Croftville Road. The morning horizon had a narrow band of bluish black. The rest of the lake had a mixture of light blue regions with assorted textures. We had a little sleet and perhaps freezing rain falling during the night but we woke up to cold clear skies.

Apr 25: Another calm morning on Lake Superior. Not glass, but ripples for the first 100ft. Beyond that there was the now familiar choppy textured surface. But it was not homogeneous. There were all kinds of patches with variations in texture and color. In the morning sun, the smoother regions were blinding with silver reflected light. The array of colors with blue, black, white, and silver makes it impossible to describe the lake as a single color.

Apr 24: It was another beautiful day on Croftville Road. The first 100ft or so was glass on the lake without even a ripple. After that was the same textured choppy surface that I described yesterday. My best guess is wind or a light breeze that is creating this. The problem is that such a pervasive wind ought to build up some waves although there could be a sufficient time lag to allow a glass surface near the shore for a good amount of time. This could be especially true with a light breeze.

Apr 23: It was such a beautiful day on Croftville Road. The lake was waveless this morning but it had a choppy textured surface. A beautiful light blue with black shadows and silver reflections. By this afternoon we had 6" waves from the SSW. It has been several weeks since we have had any waves in this direction. The lake is light blue just before sunset but it has this distinct strand of lighter blue moving longitudinally along the shore about 100-200yds out. My best guess is some sort of lake current.

Apr 22: There were only 6" waves today on a quiet and calm Lake Superior. Clear skies all day long in spite of reports of rain and snow in most of the rest of the state. It managed to just get to 50 in the midafternoon. The lake was a light blue with bright reflection patterns from the sun.

Apr 21: Superior's face today was a muddy gray with 2ft waves from the SE. The horizon line was crisp and temperatures reached the low 40's.

Apr 20: The lake had 1ft plus waves today with mostly clear skies overhead. Late afternoon Superior was a deep blue with just a hint of purple in it. As the sun got lower in the sky the water began to lighten until the deep blue had turned almost a shiny white. The horizon now had a distinctly purple hue to it and my guess is that is where the purple earlier in the lake's color had come from.

Apr 19: There were partly cloudy skies, upper 40's for highs, bluish gray water, and 1ft waves from the SE today on Croftville Road.

Apr 18: It was a rainy day on Lake Superior. A steady moderate rain, heavy at times, fell all day long. Lake Superior had gray 1-2ft waves from the SE.

Apr 17: Another cold day but it got warm enough to melt most of the snow. We ended up with only 2" of accumulation. The sun felt warm even with the cold temperatures. The lake was calm compared to yesterday with only 1ft waves on its light greenish blue surface. In spite of clear skies, the horizon line was fuzzy.

Apr 16: I would have never guessed after such a warm winter and early spring that we would have a snow storm on April 16. But here it is. Yesterday afternoon started with a heavy rain. Overnight I could hear the rain change to sleet. We woke up with an inch of ice and the snow is now coming down at a good clip. There are huge 3-4ft rolling waves from the SE that break as they near the shore. The sound is deafening standing down on the shore. The lake has a brown rim from the waves churning up the lake bottom. Farther out the water is bluish green until the overcast sky and snow swallow up the horizon.

Apr 15: Today we are experiencing a heavy mist and dark overcast skies. We have 1-2ft waves from the SE. The lake is dark gray with a hint of green. The air feels like a storm is brewing and there are predictions of 5-7" of snow tomorrow in spite of tempratures in the upper 40's down here on the lake.

Apr 14: 2-3ft waves from the SE, a blustery wind from many directions, blue skies, and a dark sky blue lake with stark whitecaps characterizes Lake Superior today in Croftville. It was a warm day and a great day to be outside enjoying the outdoors. Apr 13: Today the lake turned gray with 1-2ft waves from the ESE. I tried my best to see any color and once in a while I would convince myself that there was a hint of purple in the dark shiny gray surface. The sky has grown from a faint overcast with sun coming through this morning to a heavy gray overcast by late afternoon.

Apr 12: The day started with a rare completely still lake, not even ripples. We also had clear overhead skies. When the lake is like a sheet of glass you can really notice the color variations on its surface. What causes these variations I do not know. My best guess is small breeze or lake currents that slightly disturb the surface. Another possibility may be changes in lake depth. By this afternoon the lake had started to generate 6" waves from the ESE. The lake has a choppy appearance and a deep sky blue color maybe with just a hint of aqua in it.

Apr 11: Mostly clear skies over the lake. Small 1ft waves and a light clear blue surface best describes Lake Superior for today.

Apr 10: Another windy day down by the lake. It was fun to watch the gusts of wind coming off the hill and buffeting the surface of the lake. You could then follow the gusts as they moved out over the water.

Apr 9: The day was cold and windy. There were snow flurries throughout the morning. The brisk wind from over the hill combined with the snow actually limited visibility over the lake. The brisk wind also produced the choppy appearance on Superior's surface. Waves were subdued down to around 6" which is not uncommon with a strong wind coming off the hill.

Apr 8: It was a beautiful Easter Sunday with 2-3ft SSW waves and a brisk wind from the west. The lake had a blackish blue color with silver highlights from the relfected sun.

Apr 7: Lake Superior was 2 different lakes today. The first half was a beautiful clear day and surprisingly warm (upper 40's) considering there was a breeze coming off the lake. We had deep blue 1-2ft waves from the ESE. The second half of the day could be seen building from the SW. A huge bank of dark gray clouds moved in mid afternoon with a steady rain and a dark gray lake.

Apr 6: Today was a repeat of yesterday with clear skies, 1ft waves from the SE, a breeze off the lake, and a dark deep blue lake.

Apr 5: We had another clear day over Lake Superior with 1ft waves from the SE and a dark deep blue lake. At times it almost looked black against the light blue sky and the reflections of the sun off the lake. Yesterday was our first day this spring where you could really notice the refrigerator effect of being next to Superior. Although it was a warm day inland, it was icy cold along the lake with a small wind from the SE blowing onto our shore. Once in awhile, the gentle wind would subside and immediately you could feel the air warming up only to plummet back down as soon as the breeze off the lake resumed.

Apr 4: The sky is completely clear this morning for the first time in weeks. It is amazing how dazzling the sun is this morning as it reflects off Lake Superior. We also have an almost completely still lake with only small ripples that rustle as they gently break on the shore. Superio's color is a light sky blue this morning.

Apr 3: Even more sunshine today than yesterday. It is a calm day both with the 6" waves and a still wind. It is a warm day with temperatures in the 50's this afternoon. However, unlike the warm days of March, this day seemed to fit the season. A mostly sunny sky with the sun getting noticable higher makes you believe it is spring and expect occasional warm days.

Apr 2: A brisk day today with 2ft waves from the ESE and strong winds. There was more sunshine than overcast skies today. The band of brown water for the first 150ft was clearly seen with the dark gray blue lake beyond. The strong winds helped create many whitecaps out on Superior.

Apr 1: It was a calm day on Superior with just ripples and the smallest rustling of the waves as they break on the shore. A light fog on the lake kept the horizon from sight. A light overcast sky persisted here in spite of reports that the rest of the state had clear skies.

March 2012

Mar 31: Fog tells pretty much the complete story of Lake Superior today. Temperatures ranged in the high 30's to the high 40's. When you could get a glimpse of the lake there were 6" waves from the SE.

Mar 30: I knew it had to happen eventually, but I was starting to have my doubts with this warm spring. We woke up to 2" of snow which accumulated to 3" before it turned to a misting rain. The last snow was on Mar 4. This was the wet slushy stuff and was pretty much melted by the end of the day. Waves were 2ft from the SE on a dark colorless lake with a light gray overcast drizzle filling the sky. Temperatures started in the low 30's and ended in the mid 40's.

Mar 29: We watched today as the SE waves grew to 3ft. Beautiful and numerous whitecaps were lit by the sun in the partly cloudy sky. The water had the now familiar reddish brown ring for the first 100ft. Beyond the ring the lake took on a dark pure blue hue. The waves are still growing and I would expect to see freighters passing this way with the stormy conditions on Superior.

Mar 28: The lake was loud to sleep by last night but had calmed down to 1ft waves from the SSE by morning which is how they stayed the remainder of the day. Even though the sky was only partly overcast, the color of Superior remained a muddy silver gray.

Mar 27: There were 2-3ft smooth waves today from the SSE on the shiny gray surface of Lake Superior. The fog off the lake blended the lake to the heavily overcast gray sky. Temperatures were back into the low 50's and rain sprinkled down every now and then.

Mar 26: I heard that the locks were opening at Sault Ste. Marie last Saturday. Often you see some activity with freighters the week before the opening. Teresa said she has seen a couple ships all lit up in front of Croftville at night in over the past few days. I finally saw 2 freighters early this morning heading for Duluth not more than a mile apart. It is a chilly morning with temperatures in the upper 20's and a striking red orange sunrise.

Mar 25: I bet this was the first day in at least a couple weeks that we had frost in the morning. It was sunny with occasional gray clouds. The lake was blue and pretty calm with only 6" waves.

Mar 24: And yet another day with 1-2ft waves from the SE. There was fog all day long moving in and out from the shore. Visibility on Lake Superior was never more than about 150ft. The light silver gray lake blended into the light silver gray sky with the fog making a seamless transition between the two. It felt colder out there today even though the temperatures made it into the upper 40's. It is hard to believe that I am calling upper 40's a cold day on Lake Superior in March. What a crazy spring.

Mar 23: Once again we had 1-2ft waves from the SE. Combinations of drizzle, fog, and overcast skies welcomed our gazes. There was a distinct brown band of water for the first 100ft out. After that there was a small translucent band of greenish blue water which then blended into the dark grayish blue water all the way to the horizon.

Mar 22: It was a dreary looking day in Croftville. The silver gray lake had 1ft waves from the SE with a very narrow dark gray band at the horizon. The sky was overcast with gray clouds occasionally distinguishable from the gray background.

Mar 21: Heavy fog and intermittant heavy rain is the story on Croftville Road today. The lake is barely visible even at the shore. It only has ripples that are just big enough to gently break on the shoreline. The surface is a muddy gray that transforms seamlessly to a bright light gray mist.

Mar 20: The first day of spring gave us highs in the upper 50's, a dark blue lake with a reddish brown rim, 1-2ft waves from the SE, and fog over the lake all day long that drifted in and out from the shore.

Mar 19: Today was a repeat of yesterday except to add 10 degrees and an extra foot in wave height. Today was warmer than most of our summer days on Lake Superior.

Mar 18: We have temperatures in the upper 50's, 1ft waves from the SE, a dark blue lake, and clear blue skies overhead. But there were 2 other striking features today. The first is a true sign of spring, there was a reddish brown band of water for the first 50ft on the lake. This is common after run-off from a non-winter storm. However, there has been no storm preceding today. The brown band today is the run-off as the small creeks all along the shore are thawing and beginning to flow as the frost in the ground starts to leave. The other striking feature today was the fog that hovered about 100ft off the shore in spite of the clear skies. It has been here all day long creating a fuzzy or invisilble horizon depending on its thickness.

Mar 17: It was warmer out last night than most summer nights. The temperature only got down to 48 this morning by the lake. Last night a waning moon low in the southern sky reflected off and lit up the lake while thunder clouds passed overhead. Breaks in the clouds gave you glimpses to the stars. Occasionally there was some lightning and thunder, but no rain.

Mar 16: The lake was waveless this morning with only faint ripples on the surface that were not big enough to break at the shore. The silence along the shore when you are used to the constant rhythmical noise of the waves is as disquieting as the deafening waves during a storm. 1ft waves from the ESE returned later in the day as the skies became overcast and the lake was painted a dark blue gray.

Mar 15: Today Lake Superior was covered with big billowy clouds. There were small waves most of the day, just big enough to break at the shore. It was another warm day with temperatures in the upper 40's. But it was the surface of the lake that was most noticable. It was stratified as you gazed out with a thin dark blue band at the horizon, an almost white smooth band in the middle, and light blue choppy bands between them and near the shore.

Mar 14: Temperatures in the low 50's convinces me that spring has come to the North Shore early. There is no question in my mind now that we will have no ice on Superior this year in Croftville. Today we had smooth 1ft waves from the SE superimposed on the light blue choppy surface. Clear skies today but the sky over the lake had a lighter almost misty look to it. I think it was the water vapor evaporating off the surface on this unusually warm and sunny day.

Mar 13: There was a strong wind coming off the hill and pelting the lake about 200 yards out. This is further than usual. The lake had smooth 2ft waves from the SSW superimposed on a choppy surface. Temperatures were in the upper 40's even next to the lake probably because the wind was blowing strongly onto the lake. We had clear skies and a dark blue lake.

Mar 12: We have a drizzling continuous rain today with a gray overcast sky and a dark gray lake. Waves are 1ft from the SE. Temperature overnight only got down to 42 degrees and that is about where it has remained for the morning.

Mar 11: Alas, the night was clear but no northern lights by the time I went to bed at 11:30. They are really pretty rare but are such a treat when they occur. The lake has smooth rippled 1ft waves from the SSE this morning. They break about 10ft from the shore. The sky is clear and a light blue that becomes almost white in the vicinity of the morning sun. Lake Superior is silver gray with just a tint of blue. The low morning sun creates a river of blinding light reflecting off the lake.

Mar 10: We enjoyed a strikingly beautiful day along Lake Superior. Today's details included clear blue skies, a deep sky blue lake, 2ft waves from the south, a light breeze, and highs in the low 40's. The word is out that tonight should provide a display of northern lights provided the sky remains clear.

Mar 9: Today is a repeat of yesterday starting calm and growing to 2-3ft waves from the south. Again the surface was steel blue turning to a translucent blue green close to the shore. Temperatures fell into the low 30's. I think it is clear now that what I thought might be the first signs of ice formation on the lake a couple weeks back was in error. It looks like this will be the first year I have lived on Croftville Road that there will be no ice forming on the surface of Lake Superior here. Wow!

Mar 8: Coming home after school I was surprised to see how much the waves had grown since the calm of the morning. There were 3-4ft waves with many whitecaps. The lake was a beautiful steel blue except close to the shore where it turned to a translucent blue green. The sky was mostly clear and blue and temperatures in the upper 30's.

Mar 7: I marveled at the sunrise this morning. It caught me by surprise because I wasn't expecting much from an overcast horizon to the east. The overcast sky did eliminate any distinct lines of separation. However, it did not diminish the palette of color. As the sun rose behind the fuzzy horizon in the ESE, a growing red orb appeared that turned quickly to orange. The orange sun backlit the clouds it was moving through. This orange was reflected off the lake in spite of the overcast conditions. Rising higher the sun turned yellow before it disappeared behind a heavy bank of clouds. The lake was nearly calm with just enough waves to gently break and rustle right before the shoreline.

Mar 6: Bright sunshine greeted the lake this morning. The lake had light blue 1ft waves from the SE. Overcast skies took over in the afternoon as the lake turned to a silver gray. Temperatures were in the high 30's.

Mar 5: This afternoon we have a silver gray lake against a slightly lighter silver gray overcast sky. The lake is gently pushing 1ft waves from the south onto the shore. The day started in single digits but rose to end in the low 30's thanks to some sun earlier in the day.

Mar 4: Driving back to Grand Marais the shore and immediate interior was covered by a low line of clouds paralleling the shoreline. These were clearly lake effect clouds and from place to place were dropping heavy snow. The dark blue 1-2ft waves were coming from the SSW.

Mar 3: I was away from the lake today but Teresa tells me it was choppy and a grayish blue. There were overcast skies and occasional snow flurries.

Mar 2: Today is almost a repeat of yesterday with temperatures in the upper 30's. There are 1/2 to 1ft waves from the SSE coming straight into the shore. The surface is a bluish gray with a hazy horizon. The sky is overcast with occasional snow coming down.

Mar 1: What a difference a day can make. Lake Superior has only 6" waves. The surface is gray with a hazy horizon. Once in a while there is light snow or a fine sleet coming straight down without any wind.

February 2012

Feb 29: The storm predicted for today was a bust as far as snow was concerned with a bit of wet snow being blown about. But if you want to talk about wind and waves it was impressive. It is a rare sight to see a 2 tone lake in the winter months. What I mean by this is a brown outer ring on the lake before the water starts looking blue further out. This is common in the summer months after a heavy rain with brownish runoff water entering the lake. Today we had the brown ring for the first 50 yards or so. I think it is from the huge waves churning up dormant sediment at the lake bottom near the shore. We had 5ft waves (maybe even more) from the SE today. These were the biggest waves in 2012 so far. My kids and I just stood down on the beach taking in the height, power, and noise Lake Superior was generating.

Feb 28: There is a sense an anticipation on the lake today. Light snow has fallen off and on all day. The weather forecasters are predicting this to be just the precursor to a much bigger storm. Visibility on the lake depends on the heaviness of the snow but at times was down to a quarter mile. The overcast sky was fairly light allowing you to often see the halo of the sun through the clouds. Superior had 6" to 1ft waves on a bluish gray surface.

Feb 27: The wind was gone, the temperature had dropped into the teens, and the snow had ended. The snowplows had passed by last night but I had not even heard them against the roar of the lake. Superior had large 2ft smooth waves spaced in long intervals on its blue gray surface. Some of the snow yesterday was fairly wet so the strong winds pelted structures like kids throwing snowballs. The eddies in the wind managed to leave snow stuck to almost every vertical surface in all directions.

Feb 26: It "felt" like snow when I got up this morning. There were 3ft waves and a strong wind both coming from the SE. The sky was overcast and the bluish green lake was full of whitecaps. I could feel the mositure in the air. Conditions were perfect for lake effect snow, the only thing that confused me was why it wasn't already snowing. The absence of snow falling was shortlived. Within an hour the snow was coming down and continued to fall all day long. By mid-day the waves had grown to 4ft and the snow was coming down mostly horizontal in the strong winds. This was the strongest storm this winter and if I was on the prairie I would have called it a blizzard.

Feb 25: Lake Superior has small 1ft waves today with a two tone silver and gray surface. The lighter gray sky has long lines of silver clouds stretching SE to NW. They keep talking about snow on the radio but I just do not feel it in the air. I'm not sure what "feel" snow has. I live in blissful ignorance knowing it when I "feel" it, but incapable of specifying the conditions which I use for my cues.

Feb 24: Almost calm today with just enough waves to discern their direction from the SE. A light snow has been falling all day long but with only an inch acculmulation.

Feb 23: Snow flurries, gray sky, gray lake, and minimal waves characterized Lake Superior today. Temperatures got just above freezing.

Feb 22: This waves have shifted to the SSW and are 2ft rollers. These wavefronts seem futher apart than normal. I may be fooling myself because of their roundness. I need to grab my freshmen physics book out of storage to see what affects the wavelength in a water medium. The lake is steel gray and low hanging gray cumulus clouds sit over it. Gusts of wind can be seen hitting the lake from over the hill. I love to watch as the gusts move outward.

Feb 21: We woke up to wet snow this morning. The lake had 2ft waves and was gray except near the shore which had a translucent blue green color to it. The horizon was not visible most of the day and even when it was, it was fuzzy with no clear distinction between the gray sky and gray lake. Visibility on Superior ranged from 50 yards to a half mile most of the day dependent on snowfall rate.

Feb 20: Temperatures are in the high 30's but there is a chill in the air. The lake is a silvery blue today with 1-2ft waves coming straight into shore from the SSE. The light gray overcast sky is getting heavier as the day unfolds. There is talk of snow all around town.

Feb 19: A beautiful clear and warm day over the blue lake. The only clouds in the sky could be seen near the horizon to the south. Highs were in the low 40's. There were 1ft waves but the spotted whitecaps away from shore suggested much larger waves further out.

Feb 18: The day again started almost completely calm on Superior. There was a small rippling, just enough to occasionally break right near the shore. But the waves grew all day and ended with 2ft waves by nightfall. Over the lake it was mostly mostly cloudy with small breaks of sunshine.

Feb 17: Today was almost completely calm on Lake Superior. There was a small rippling from the SSE that was just enough to occasionally break right at the shore. We had a mostly gray lake against a mostly gray sky with a distinct gray horizon line.

Feb 16: An inch of snow blanketed Croftville this morning giving us a brief reminder of how beautiful fresh snow is on the landscape. We are only in midwinter but the weather the last weeks makes it seem more like late March. The lake was nearly calm with 6" waves but the sky was unpredictable changing constantly.

Feb 15: The lake this morning again had that gritty looking surface spotted with small dark spots. My son doesn't believe it is ice and although it does have the appearance of ice I think I agree. One of the things to support this is that there was none of this texture closer than about 100ft from shore. I can't think of any good reason why the ice chunks would stay out that far. We had a mixed sky today with occasional splashes of sunshine. The lake had only 6" waves from the south.

Feb 14: Gray. We had a gray overcast sky. We had a gray lake with 1ft waves. I tried to convince myself that I could see a little blue in the lake but it just wasn't there. Gray all around with temperatures in the mid 30's.

Feb 13: I saw what might be the first sign of ice formation on the lake in front of Croftville this morning. The timing is about right but considering the warm winter I wouldn't have been surprised if the ice was much later than normal this year. The lake this morning had gritty looking surface spotted with small dark dots. This appearance can be the result of small chunks of ice dispersed on or near the surface. It is possible that the wind, the sun, and the wave size and direction (1-2ft from the south) could have combined to give the lake this spotted complexion without any ice. The spots had diappeared by this afternoon which would not be surprising with the churning of the waves and temperatures in the upper 30's. If this was ice, then the next calm morning should have visible sheets of ice on Superior. It has taken the lake all winter to this point to cool down enough get to freezing. If Superior is ready to make ice here we will know for sure in the next few days, otherwise what I saw today has some other explanation.

Feb 12: Lake Superior was blue on a clear day with a light blue sky that turned almost white near the horizon. There were small 1ft waves from the south. Temperatures rose into the high 30's with no wind.

Feb 11: Cold weather and brisk winds continued today on Lake Superior. The light blue sky was mostly overcast with light woven gray clouds. The lake was a bluish gray with 2ft waves.

Feb 10: Cold weather returned to Lake Superior today with temperature dropping from the low 30's last night to 6 below on the lake this morning. The steam is rising off the lake and low gray clouds have formed out over it. The strong winds are pelting the lake and you can follow the gusts as they move out over the surface. The surface itself has a fine choppiness to it alternating almost like a woven pattern of blacks and dark blues.

Feb 9: The conditions for Lake Superior today was clear skies, 3ft waves from the south, deep sky blue water, and translucent greenish blue wave peaks backlit by the sun.

Feb 8: The full moon was light night. Another clear night and so bright that when you wake up you can half convince yourself it must be morning even though you know it is the moon reflecting off the snow and lake. The lake was calm this morning but the direction of the 6" waves had shited to the SSW. All day today the waves have grown and are 3-4ft shortly before sunset. It is so remarkable to watch the translucence of the wave tops backlit by the sun. The tops of the waves get this beautiful aqua blue hue to them offset against the deep sky blue water and the whitecaps as they break coming to the shore.

Feb 7: It is amazing how bright it is outside on a clear night with a near full moon in the winter. The moonlight reflects off the lake and the snow. You can see everything. Such was the early morning today when I walked from the office back to the cottage. The 1ft smooth waves were coming from the SE for the first time in several weeks.

Feb 6: What a sunrise. With the sunrise south of east during the late fall and winter we get a unobstructed view of the sunrise on the lake from the cottages. During most of the summer months you can still see the sunrise on the lake but it requires you to be down on the shore to see it well. This morning the red sun peeked over the horizon. There was just enough room between the horizon line and the first thin bank of clouds for the entire large red globe to appear before it started to disappear behind the bank. As the red sun continued to rise the cloud bank created a gray stripe in it before the sun began to disappear into the second thicker cloud bank. The red sun backlit this cloud bank with a striking white light. Finally, the sun emerged above these clouds into a clear sky transformed to a white sphere.

Feb 5: We have big 3-4ft waves today from the south. Superior is loud and aqua blue with lots of whitecaps. It is windy and cold walking along Croftville Road even though it is sunny and in the 40's. The horizon is almost white with a clear crisp demarcation between water and sky.

Feb 4: Lake Superior is a repeat of yesterday. The only difference is the direction of the waves has shifted slightly to the SSW and the sky is entirely clear.

Feb 3: Lake Superior is a beautiful deep sky blue today with 1ft rippled waves way from the SW. The waves create black shadows on the lake. Larger waves further out occasionally add a bright whitecap. We are in the low 40's with mostly clear skies.

Feb 2: It was another unseasonably warm overcast day on Lake Superior. There were smaller waves today, around 1ft and smooth yet still large enough to hear the gentle breaking against the shore. In spite of the overcast sky the lake was abundant with color today. It was shiny in places and different regions produced a whole array of blues, greens, and silvers.

Feb 1: It was a warm overcast day on Lake Superior. It felt more like the first of April than the first of February. Once again we had medium gray water with a bluish tint stirred by 1-2ft waves directly from the south.

January 2012

Jan 31: We have 1-2ft waves from the SSW and a lightly overcast sky with a freezing mist. Lake Superior is a medium gray with a bluish tint today.

Jan 30: The temperatures did an about turn last night and I woke up to snow and the mid-twenties. It snowed on and off all day. The overcast sky feels like snow. That overcast sky creates a dark blue gray lake. To the south you can see a very light horizon line indicating this overcast sky is confined to the lake and the arrowhead. The result is a dark blue lake that appears even darker imposed against the light horizon. With only 1ft waves there are no whitecaps out in the lake to lighten the dark blue expanse. It is breathtaking.

Jan 29: We had a clear sky last night and a waxing nearly half moon. Night quite enough moon yet to light up the lake. The lake was a dark noise producing void in my field of vision no matter how hard I tried to acclimate my eyes to see it. Temperatres are dropping and already in single digits.

Jan 28: There was an overcast sky with big billowy grayish clouds over Lake Superior. We had 1-2ft waves and for the 3rd day in a row they were from the south. Grampa Juvland used to say that wind 3 days from the south meant rain. I wonder if waves 3 days directly from the south means anything.

Jan 27: A beautiful clear red-orange sunrise began the day in Croftville. Rounded 1ft waves from the south gently broke against the shoreline. There were a handful or tiny gray opague clouds near the horizon line close to the sunrise.

Jan 26: Today we had an overcast sky and 2ft waves from the south. The lake was surprisingly blue considering the overcast sky. The breaking waves were blue green. It didn't even get below freezing last night along Lake Superior.

Jan 25: We had 1-2ft waves on a blue Superior today with mostly clear skies. The days are getting noticably longer with a lighted sky well after 5:00. There was a feel of spring in the air today with highs in the mid thirties by the lake.

Jan 24: Lake Superior was perfectly still this morning. Not quite a glass finish but just small rippling on a flat surface. One gets so used to the noise of the lake that when that noise is gone it is more striking than a deafening din.

Jan 23: Snow and wind off the hill started in the morning and continued all day long. There was limited visibility on the gray lake. Waves along the shore were subdued perhaps from the strong winds that were pelting Superior. I get mesmorized watching the wind gusts as they buffet the surface of the water.

Jan 22: Today we had 2ft waves with a smattering of whitecaps away from shore. The lake was a steel blue gray in color except near the shore where it had a little green mixed in with it. It was heavily and uniformly overcast all day longed and looked like it should snow; it never did.

Jan 21: The day started with a gray lake, steam off the lake forming low gray clouds, and a gray sky. As the clouds dissipated you could see a ditinct horizon line but the variation in the gray lake and the gray sky was so subtle that there were times and places you had to concentrate to distinguish them. Later in the day a light snow with large flakes began to fall on the relatively calm lake with 6" smooth waves.

Jan 20: Today we had 1ft waves coming from the SSW. Lake Superior was a blue gray in color with mostly clear cold skies except for the faint gray clouds on the far side of the lake.

Jan 19: It was the first true below zero morning of this winter. It is such a powerful sight to see the steam rising off the lake and the low cloud bank forming over the water. The rising sun behind low clouds backlit them to give them sharp contrast against the cold air. Above the clouds in the clear sky sat the sliver of a moon. The lake itself was pretty calm with 6" smooth waves coming obliquely from the SW.

Jan 18: I left before sunrise and came home after sunset today so I didn't get a chance to observe the lake. But Teresa tells me it was choppy and steel blue in color. It was also cold and the splashing of the waves helped to grow the ice formations along the shore.

Jan 17: With single digit temperatures and relatively calm winds, today I could see the small steam columns rising off Lake Superior's surface. They appear to rise in a swirling manner with small diameters of just a few feet.

Jan 16: Today on Superior was similar to yesterday with gray 2-3ft waves and scattered whitecaps. However, the sky at the horizon was very dark evident of the snow that was falling in northern Wisconsin.

Jan 15: Superior had gray 2-3ft waves with scattered whitecaps today with a uniform gray overcast sky. To the south near the horizon the sky was lighter suggesting a break in the gray cover over northern Wisconsin.

Jan 14: A good 4" of fluffy snow fell today. I am pretty sure it was all lake effect. 2ft gray waves today coming straight into the shore. This morning they were very rounded and smooth but this afternoon they are the more common spiked shape. The horizon line comes and goes with the snow. The horizon today is jagged. I am never sure why this happens. At first glance you assume it is due to large waves further out in Superior. However, when you think how far away this horizon line is, this just doesn't make any sense. Surely the horizon around 50 miles away should be perfectly flat. At second glance I wonder how close to the horizon line waves only a few miles out are to the horizon. If big waves just a few miles out are close enough to the horizon, maybe this jaggedness is due to them actually crossing the horizon line. My best guess at this point is that it is some sort of optical illusion.

Jan 13: Today was a bright and mostly sunny day on our shore with moderate waves of 1-2ft. Although the shore was mostly sunny, the lake was not with dark gray clouds forming right over it. This is not an uncommon occurance in the winter and I suspect that the water vapor coming off the relatively warm water into the much colder air is the source.

Jan 12: Winter temperatures have returned. I had expected to see steam rising off the lake with the single digit temperatures but it wasn't there. The wind was so strong that maybe it was preventing the steam from rising in the familiar columns. The other possibility is that it just wasn't cold enough. The wind chill and the recent warm temperatures just made it seem cold enough to see the rising steam.

Jan 11: By morning a fog had formed around and near the lake limiting visibility to a couple hundred feet. By mid-morning this fog had turned into slush followed by snow even further limiting the visibility. Even though you can only see a hundred feet or so, you can still sense the vastness of that cold body of water in front of you. Part of this sense is from the sound of the breaking waves and part of this sense is prior experience. However, there is still something else that I do not understand that hints to me the scale of Lake Superior.

Jan 10: The sunrise was brief but more than worth describing. We had a light layer of high cumulus clouds over the lake. As the sun came up over the SE the light caused these clouds to be rippled with blue and pink. This was complemented with a lake that was rippled with purple and pink. At the horizon was the bright orange sun with a less intense orange light spreading out across the horizon on either side. In about 10 minutes this amazing sunrise was gone, replaced by a rippling light blue lake and white clouds with the sun hiding behind.

Jan 9: The waves and wind grew overnight. The 2-3ft waves were coming from the south but there didn't seem to be any clear direction of the wind as it gusted and swirled. Outdoor items were tossed in many directions. We had mixed sun and clouds all day which made for an impressive sunset with reds, oranges, and deep purples.

Jan 8: A calm day on Lake Superior with 6-12" waves and a clear sky over the lake. The lake is light blue but becomes a darker blue as you move toward the horizon. This may be because of the clouds that can be seen over northern Wisconsin. They create a stark backdrop between the light blue lake and the clear blue sky above it.

Jan 7: It was another relatively calm day on Superior with 6" waves just big enough to break right at the shore but in the unusual direction from the SSW maybe even as far as the SW. It was the late afternoon sky that brought life to an otherwise unremarkable day on the lake. High cirrus clouds filtered the light coming through in a vibrant purple with hints of pink and the cloud formations outlined in gray. The purple was reflected onto the lake. Separating these 2 purple regions was the horizon that was almost white suggesting no cloud cover on the southern shore of Superior.

Jan 6: For awhile this afternoon we had scattered clouds over the lake. Again the lake was a medium gray in color with 1-2 foot waves. However, the spotted breaks in the clouds let the sun shine down on Superior lighting those areas up like a spotlight. It was a beautiful sight seeing these shiny silver patches in the field of gray.

Jan 5: The lake was a repeat of yesterday except with 1-2 foot waves. Sunset in the SW was quite beautiful as there was a break in the clouds near the horizon painting it a lively pink against the dark gray lake.

Jan 4: The sky today was overcast with light clouds over the lake. This left Superior a medium gray in color against a light gray horizon line. There were only small waves today (less than a foot) but large enough to provide a gentle breaking sound against the shore.

Jan 3: The Lake began this morning calm with just a rippling sound near the water's edge. All day the waves have gradually been building until late afternoon when they had grown to 3-4 feet and traveling from the SSE square to our shore. When this happens you get wavefronts that break all along our shore at the same time. That is an impressive sight. The lake's color kept changing all day along with our cloud cover. About 3:00 it was blue with a hint of green which is one of my favorite colors for Superior which I don't usually see unless the waves are pretty big. I sometimes wonder if the greenish hue is only possible if the waves are large enough to be backlit partially by the sun.

Jan 2: A strong wind from the north picked up last night. This morning I could watch the gusts of wind as they came over the hill and pelted the lake. These gusts would deform the surface as they hit. You could then watch the gusts move out. They were strong enough that they seemed to suppressed any waves close to shore but huge whitecaps were visible starting out about a quarter mile. As an ore freighter passed by you could see the frozen spray building up near the bow as a result of colliding with those whitecaps. Superior has a steel blue color to it today except in the blinding reflection of the sun. Even at noon, the sun is still so low in the sky which makes the reflection so brilliant.

Jan 1: Happy New Year! I woke up this morning to 2" of fresh snow and an ore freighter passing by about a half mile out. The sky was heavily overcast which left the lake dark gray and provided good contrast between the lake and the much lighter gray horizon line. Superior was pretty calm and quiet with 6" waves that were just big enough to break a couple feet before shore. Lake effect snow began to fall and within a few minutes that crisp horizon line had disappered. Later in the day the snow had quit, the horizon line had returned, there were occasional breaks in the clouds, and waves had grown to 1ft.

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