The whole process took a couple of hours; From the darkest night (like 4am) until dawn, the lake was ‘breathing’…I’ve seen this occurrence twice in my life.
Mist would get pulled off of the beach, out of the trees… heck I could feel my eyes and mouth drying up as if an invisible giant was softly inhaling and sucking up the moisture. You’d see tendrils creeping in from all directions around the shoreline to the centre of the calm, smooth lake….
The hint of a fog or haze would form in the middle of the water, rise up… then release and fall back to the lake, shimmering the glass surface and making the stars reflections dance.
Over and over.
The air would thicken, then heave to and fro, for the hours. Then finally as the autumn sky started to brighten, this proto-cloud would rise up… and break free from the bay, rising further up beyond the treeline, thickening as it cooled, becoming opaque…
…and over the tree line you’d see these other puffs rising slowly up in unison, becoming darker against the brightening sky beyond. After about 30 minutes or so, I saw a full map of the lakes around me echoed in the sky as clouds, floating away together to join the thick cumulus whales in the upper altitudes.
A rare and amazing privilege: I watched a cloud being born over a lake.