Friday, November 30, 2007

Seeing the light

I've been to the Wind Point lighthouse north of Racine, Wisconsin more times than I can recall. It's a classic light tower and keeper's house on Lake Michigan and has been well taken care of by the community. The city just completed a renovation of installing historically correct windows in the tower and applying a fresh coat of paint and it looks better than ever.

As I've spent so much time here, I've watched a lot of people interact with the lighthouse and adjacent beach while I've waited for light conditions to maximize so I can take some shots. It's developed into a common ritual. People arrive in the parking lot, get out of their cars, look up at the tower, then head down the paved path to the beach area, where they walk around a little, take a few snapshots of each other standing in front of the lighthouse and water, wander around a bit more, then leave.

They don’t seem to notice the clouds creeping in from the west or the gap in those clouds that will produce a shaft of light when the sun sinks close to the horizon in about 20 minutes, or the patterns of the rocky beach that leads the eye out into the lake. They miss the puddles of water trapped within the rocky ledges that reflect the sky and clouds above. They don’t watch the growing shadow cast by the lighthouse on the roiling water. They don’t realize that if they wait just ten more minutes, they’ll catch a glimpse of a magnificent full moon rising above the lake. It only takes a little bit more time and effort to experience things that most others miss.

I had taken the full moon shots that I posted earlier this week after spending about two hours taking photographs around the lighthouse grounds. I had the opportunity to witness the coming and going ritual of a number of groups of people. After I had packed up my equipment and was heading to the parking lot, I passed one visitor just arriving at the lighthouse.

“Leaving so soon?” he asked.

“I’ve seen plenty,” I replied.

Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.

6 comments:

Lighthouse News said...

Absolutely stunning photo. In fact, all your lighthouse shots are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Wanda said...

James, another remarkable photo. Love that old Lighthouse song...Where would this old soul be without the lighthouse!!

Kilroy_60 said...

glorious...

Lighthouses are a favorite of mine. I always look forward to what you will do with the next shot.

Thought I'd start you off with a December Blog Village out click.

8-)

Hope to see you at Villagers go...Gonzo!

Michael said...

Beautiful

Take Care
Michael

Lisa said...

I saw this on "Moody Monday" earlier ~~ just beautiful! Love the colors and silhouette. :)

Kim said...

Fabulous sky you've captured here. It's a shame that so many people miss out on the beauty that is around them because they are just too busy to notice.