By Vicki Uthe
This blog is being written to showcase the extreme difference a day can make in the weather. It is also being shared to encourage you to go out in it, the weather I mean, and take advantage of nature’s drama unfolding before you.
Over President’s Day weekend this last February I had the good fortune of being a part of a family retreat in South Lake Tahoe. I had never been there and was really looking forward to it. I was half expecting snow covered ground but realized they were probably getting similar weather patterns to Flagstaff, where I live, and on Saturday, our first full day there, the sun was shining, the water was calm and in the sun it was a lovely temperature.
Here’s a wide shot of the swimming hole created by the docks right below our cabin. The water was SO clear and the water had slight ripples on it from a light breeze.
The shoreline felt like a small pond, not a 23 mile long lake. My wife and I decided this would be a GREAT place to bring our stand up paddle boards back to and do some exploring.
Literally the calm before the storm. We kayak and SUP a lot on Lake Powell and usually can only experience calm waters like this early in the morning. We call it glass. The water is like glass and it is SO beautiful and serene to paddle board on.
Here is a nice image of my cousin and her family sitting on the corner of the pier enjoying the warm afternoon temperatures.
Vessels like this paddle wheel can only float on calm waters. These kinds of boats were not made for the waves that would come the next day.
We spent a lot of time on those docks that first day. It was so pretty and warm. I’ve never seen a seaplane land on Lake Powell! I’ve only seen them near ocean towns so this was a real treat. But again, it could only do it on calm waters.
By Saturday afternoon the winds were beginning to pick up. Here you can see the difference in the chop of the water.
By Sunday the winds were gusting at over 50 miles per hour. This brave, or foolish, soul was braving the waves on the once serene dock. Due to the spray I stayed back with my camera gear so as not to get soaked.
The once calm shoreline turned into angry ocean size waves. It was spectacular to be out it. I had to really set my stance so as to not get knocked over by the wind.
The waves did this thing where they would start at one end of the dock and move to the other end. It was really cool to watch.
This is that calm corner of the pier that my cousin and her family were sitting and calmly visiting just 12 hours before. This wave would have sent them swimming!
I highly encourage you to go out in weather and shoot. But be smart! Don’t go out when lightning is close and be sure to protect your camera gear from the elements.
Vicki Uthe is a Volunteer Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes