Forgotten Voices:

Sunrise on Little Tupper

C.D. Markham

C.D. Markham  -
In the December 25, 1873 Forest and Stream magazine included an article highlighting a trip to Little Tupper Lake by Artist C. C. Markham. In his description of a sunrise on that lake he paints a beautiful picture, but this time using words:


One day last September, just as the gray dawn was breaking in the east, and before objects became barely discernable, I awoke and throwing my blanket aside sprang from my hemlock boughs, and pushed back the folds of the tent and stepped out into the morning air.  How wondrously calm was all nature!  So peaceful and quiet had been her slumbers here in the wilderness that night. The wind but barely stirred the leaves; the wavelets lapped the shore at our feet with a soft rippling sound, and across the waters in a path of silver sheen the moonbeams danced, while the moon, full orbed rose right royally from behind the dark sides of old Buck mountain, and held court with her bright starry satellites over forest and stream.

Soon the scene shifts.  From the heavens the morning star, so lately sparkling like gold, is withdrawing its lustre, and the dark of morn is becoming a pale gray, and surrounding objects are becoming a pale gray, and surrounding objects are becoming visible; a warm pink flush suffuses the east; higher it mounts, and day is fairly breaking.

Our camp is now astir.  The guides begin to gather logs; the axe soon divides them; some splinters are whittled, and soon a bright cheerful flame is dancing through the fuel.  The water is soon boiling, the coffee is made, and with some cold biscuits and fried potatoes, we dispatch our breakfast, and then unchaining our hounds we enter the boats and are once more dancing over the rippling waters of Little Tuppers towards its head, where a party encamped there are to join us in our hunt. 

The sun has risen above the mountains and is flooding the forest world with glory, painting with purple and gold cloud and mountain, and running around their edges golden ones, while others glow with crimson fire; and through this floating sea of clouds gleam all the colors of the rainbow. Such a mass of fantastic shapes, such changing hues, and yet so beautiful! I would that I had my paints and brushes with me that I might hastily sketch this wondrous scene, this most rare cloud effect in sunrise. But no, on we must push as the sooner we get our dogs started the better, and I turn my back to the glorious cloud palace, with its jeweled lines, and feel the breath of the fresh, pure morning blowing in my face, as our Saranac boat is swiftly propelled over the water by the strong arms of Hank, my trusty guide. How sparkle the waters, a ruby tint upon each wavelet!  How liquid and transparent they appear in the morning glow!  Up towards the head a fog bank lies cold and gray, its upper edges bathed in faint coral hue.

On we dash, and as we round Watch Island we find the wind freshening, and out towards yonder point the waves are beginning to dash. “We’ll have a windy day, and I rather guess we’ll get some rain.”  I glance at the heavens as Hank speaks, and find the clouds gathering and fast losing their bright, gleaming colors, while those of violet, salmon and gray are taking their places, and over to our right spanning the sky is painted a rainbow, and the old saying comes to mind, “rainbow in the morning is the sailor’s warning.”  The loons are flying, and their clarion call echoes like a bugle blast from mountain to mountain.  “That ere wind’s rising fast;” and sure enough Hank’s words proved true, for in a few minutes we had hard work to make headway against the combing, crested waves. On we pull off the lee shore, and upon rounding the point at the head, see lowering in a dark gray mass, far over Smith’s Lake, a shower.




We're pleased to bring you writings from an Adirondack Blogger, Dave Waite ([email protected]) Dave is an amateur nature and fine arts photographer who was trained in black & white photography in the early 1970's, worked professionally a bit and then set aside all artistic pursuits until about 2003.  Ne now enjoys creative aspects of photograph and writing to share with others.  Please visit Dave at:


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