When Los Alamos was evacuated during the 2011 Las Conchas fire, I escaped to my sister’s home on North Long Lake, near Brainard, Minnesota. A classic, midwestern storm rolled in one evening, dumping torrential rain and whipping up gusts of wind that ripped leaves and small branches from the trees. But the storm moved through, and the skies started to clear right around sunset. Unfortunately, I was a forest-fire veteran, and had packed light for this evacuation, so I didn’t have my camera. Armed only with my wife’s very cheap, dime-store point and shoot, I watched the scene unfold. The air became eerily calm, and the lake was like glass, reflecting the colors of the sky out to the horizon. Near the shore, however, the water was black as stone, and the lake seemed bottomless, even though it was only a few feet deep at the end of the dock. And even though I was still worried about the burning forests and hillsides back home, I found some solace in a moment at the water’s edge watching a steely gray, apres-storm sunset from Minnesota lake country.
North Long Lake, Minnesota
LandscapeWaterscapeNorth Long LakeMinnesota