I’ve been waiting. I started checking out the back window every morning as soon as it got cold this week.
Today, the sea smoke showed up.
On the first really, really cold, calm morning of winter, plumes of cloud rise up from the surface of the lake and drift in the pink light of sunrise.
Sea smoke (lake smoke, I guess, in this case) forms when very cold air passes over warmer water. The air right at the water’s surface is warmer, so it rises in a plume. As soon as it gets away from the water, though, that air cools, and the moisture in it forms condensation that we see as fog. Icy wisps of fog in the morning sun.
That’s what the meteorologists say. But really, I think it’s the ghosts. Lake Champlain has ghosts. You can only see them in these cold, quiet moments, and only if you remember to look. Pretty soon, the wind comes and chases them away. I am thankful that I wasn’t too busy to greet them this morning when they came.