Morning Wakes At Elk Lake

There is something so special about Elk Lake mornings. A part of me hates to even share the beauty. After all, except on rare occassion, the only 'others' enjoying the experience are the dogs, the birds, and the wildlife!

Of course, long before the first fingers of dawn begin to draw back night's dark curtain, the birds are heralding the event. And, in spite of trying to catch 40 more winks, they usually flush me from my cozy nest and out the door to enjoy the growing dawn.

I don't know what the sunrise looks like in your neck of the woods, but I think the combination of mountain and sky creates a lovely palatte for the rising sun. Additionally, mountains have a way of creating their own weather - which often means CLOUDS - and clouds are the morning sun's perfect medium! The drama always begins in the clouds.

The lake serves as another important medium - reflecting the sky's dramatic color variations as opposed to the mountain's dark sides. By now, in any direction I look, Montana's big sky is coming to life, stirred gently from its slumber by the sun's rays.

While the sun always rises in the east, the clouds really determine where I look. Light magnets, their surface draws the sunlight, reflecting it back in various shades of red and pink. Looking south east, I spot this sky art.

To the northest things are really coming to life. Aided by the lake's mirror, the sunlight is advancing up the mountain seeking to catch me watching the morning show.

To the south the resort lies peaceful and still - enjoying those last few minutes of late-dawn semi-darkness before the sun bursts in upon the scene. As yet, while the tips of the Centennials are reaching, even they aren't quite tall enough to steal color from the clouds.

To the north, however, the Madisons look very pretty bathed in the pink morning glow. Why is it early morning light always makes things look so tame? I can attest Sphinx (the square topped mountain to the left) is anything but tame!

Ahh - but back across the lake I see the sun has nearly burnt itself free from the mountain's restraining hold. Soon sunlight will spill over the top and kiss the hills around the resort.

Far too quickly the Centennials have grabbed the color from the sky. Morning has broken! It is time for me to head back. Soon waking guests will be seeking fresh coffee and breakfast treats to start their day! But - I wonder - did they sleep through the best part? I guess they'll never know!

Lady of the Lake

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