MERMET LAKE — Plunging fall temperatures sent steam fog billowing off the warm surface of Mermet Lake.
At the same time, the morning sun topped the cypress trees protecting the eastern bank of the lake. The fog formed a halo around the sun on this clear morning, casting a golden hue over the lake and giving the surroundings the look of a gaseous planet at the edge of the solar system.
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The perfect stillness of the morning allowed the fog to linger longer than would be expected. And, when the fog finally burned away, the rich browns and burnt orange of the cypress trees were reflected perfectly in the mirror surface of the water.
When a slight breeze put a soft ripple on the surface, the mirror was transformed into an impressionist masterpiece.
Although fall had arrived at Mermet Lake, there were few ducks, just scattered grebes, cormorants and the ever-present great blue herons. Woodpeckers, phoebes and yellow-rumped warblers flitted through the trees, looking for sun-drenched limbs to roost.
On Twitter: @LesWinkeler