On Wednesday and Friday of last week I was out of the office and on the road for work. I don't mind a 100 mile drive by myself once in a while. It's a chance to turn on the public radio news channel, or sometimes turn the radio off and just enjoy the quiet and the scenery. In order to get to and from where I was going, I had to drive around the shore of Mille Lacs, one of Minnesota's largest lakes.
On Wednesday the wind was out of the southeast, creating waves that splashed against the shore. I listened to the soothing sound for a few minutes, and I was reminded of other shores, other waters.
This beach on the north shore of the lake is a state-owned Aquatic Management Area, open to public fishing, swimming, birding, walking, contemplating, or whatever. Mille Lacs is one of the few lakes in this part of Minnesota that is big enough to have the wave action to form a natural beach, and there are very few stretches of beach along the lake that are undeveloped, in a natural state.
On Friday I drove through light rain for the first part of the day. When I stopped at the beach, the sun was just beginning to break through the clouds and mist. After I had turned away from the lake and was headed east, the wind came up, sending a storm of oak leaves and tamarack needles through the sky.
I saw very few shorebirds or waterfowl, but I did get this photo. I was carrying only my camera, not my binoculars, so I did not even see the details of this gull until I downloaded the photos. Bonaparte's?