I was surrounded by solitude – but was not alone – watching the sunrise over Catclaw Lake.
Lee’s Summit Go
I’ve been to the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area numerous times, beginning in grade school.
But my spring visit opened new horizons.
I set my alarm to blast me out of bed so I could get there early enough to catch the sunrise on a perfectly clear spring morning.
I lugged my camera gear and Hot Hands (33 degrees at 6:30 a.m.) and pulled up to Catclaw Lake just as the pink-orange hue started to materialize over the tree line in the distance.
Geese began to honk at the opposite end of the lake, though it was still too dark to see them.
As the sun slowly climbed, the geese moved toward the fishing dock where I was stationed. Some quietly cruised the lake, while others (for unknown reasons) made all kinds of noise, splashed and flew around erratically. It was quite a spectacle.
And then it happened.
A bright orange ball cracked the horizon, illuminating the tree line across the lake. It was on fire. And its image was mirrored in the water. I couldn’t look away.
Quickly though, the sun became so bright that viewing was no longer possible.
I headed toward the entrance of the park and pulled over to walk down a row of giant pines. As I noisily clipped along, I disturbed a family of eight deer. They quickly took to flight before I could snag a photo.
I walked the row of pines in solitude before returning to my car.
It’s not the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite or Smoky Mountain National Park. But there’s beauty to behold right under our noses if we take the time to notice.
I’m so glad I did.