Sunday, November 30, 2008

"November 30 - The Beach" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

It was the Calm Before the Storm. This was the first time I've been to the lakeshore and there was no wind or waves. It was overcast and very chilly, though. We're bracing for another big round of snowstorms, beginning later this afternoon. The weather forecast is for snow every day this week.

When I go to a place to paint, I'm always wondering what's the most interesting thing here? What is the most exciting thing I see? Today it was the shape of this rocky shoreline with its thin remnant of snow that I thought was beautiful.

What's surprising to me is that this strip of rocks was not visible this summer. It was under water. The lake level has dropped at least 6" recently. Some of us suspect water is being siphoned off or diverted elsewhere. There are several water bottling plants using Lake Michigan water and longtime state residents are saying the water levels have dropped noticeably, by several feet.

I just read online that the Great Lakes do experience tides, affected by the pull of the moon. But they're not as dramatic as ocean tides. Other factors affecting the lake levels are the wind and weather. So apparently when we're experiencing high winds from the west, it's pushing the waves higher here, on the western shoreline.
So because the day is so calm, the water appears lower right at this point.

I'm really looking forward to coming back to paint here as the winter progresses. I've bought some hi-tech snowshoes to get down here, as the snow can really pile up. I want to get some ice pileup paintings along the shoreline. And while hunting season goes on, I've got my hunter's orange cap to wear. It's a long hike through the woods down to the water.

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