By: Larry Asam

Volume 19, Issue 3, March 2024

Nothing makes me jump out of bed faster than a long blast from a ship’s horn. I look out the window and see nothing but – FOG. Then the question is “when it will start to lift” because for me, that is where opportunity lies. Next: Make the coffee, feed the critters, grab a quick bowl of cereal, get in the boat, and . . .  wait. While waiting, it’s fun to idle around Grenell Island, staying close enough to see the shore. Sometimes, something will pop out in a heavy fog, which makes me take a picture. Even in the flat light created by the fog, the high-contrast plumage of this common goldeneye and loon makes for interesting photos.

Sometimes, the fog sneaks up and takes you by surprise. That’s when I’m thankful for my compass and GPS, although my GPS can be misleading when I’m moving at low speeds. Awhile back, a friend gave me a helpful idea about navigating in fog. He said, “Keep an eye your boat’s wake, it helps you to steer a straight course.” (If the wake looks straight, you might be going straight). One time, Spicer Bay was foggy, but the report from Grenell was that the visibility was good. As I headed out, the fog rolled back into the shipping channel. Marine Traffic ( showed that there was an approaching ship, so to be safe, I waited near channel marker 217. A moment later, there it was – moving slowly downriver.

Freighter moving slowly down river. © Larry Asam

While hanging out near TI Park, I was hoping for a nice sunrise. I was not disappointed. Soon the sun had burned through the fog. Not far from there is the Rock Island Lighthouse. It must be one of the most photographed places in the Thousand Islands – it’s irresistible. I love the way the early morning light illuminates the glass. Then add some fog and BINGO . . .

The bridge is a difficult subject to capture in a way that stands out. When I saw the channel marker with the bridge partly hidden, I thought I would give it a try.

The Thousand Island Bridge taken near marker #208. © Larry Asam

The fog had just lifted. NOAA’s Thomas Jefferson was down by the bridge; I positioned myself to capture her passing Rock Island. The white hull and the lighthouse provided a pleasing symmetry.

The Thomas Jefferson, just upriver from Rock Island. And note the bird flying in the distance - it is a Bald Eagle. © Larry Asam

The fog rolled back one September morning and Twin Island soon came into view. As I was enjoying the scene, I heard geese in the distance and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if they flew into the picture.” A few moments later, I had a winner and an image that I never tire of looking at. Part of the appeal of this image is how the fog isolates the subjects and removes all the distractions.

This image of Twin Island won Gold in the TI Life’s 2020 photo contest. © Larry Asam

One morning in Eel Bay several years ago, the fog and light were in constant flux. It seemed like every moment provided a new visual reward. The glass-calm water was the concept behind my website’s name, RiverGloss.

The fog was rolling around near TI Park and revealed the swans. It felt as though I was watching the curtain open on Act One of a play . . .

The curtain opens for Act One. © Larry Asam

The Sun wakes up the Wee Hoose near Grenell Island and shows off the recent renovations. This little island has intrigued me since I was a kid, and it still does.

The Wee House with Grenell Island in the background. © Larry Asam

Two islands emerged from the fog, Pine and Bluff. A spectacular day was in the making – only Clayton remained hidden.

Pine and Bluff Islands. © Larry Asam

Foggy mornings are always an adventure with a touch of magic – sometimes they pay off with a photograph that is out of the ordinary. Then, sometimes, we make our own fog just for the fun of it . . .

4th of July fireworks © Larry Asam

By Larry Asam

Larry Asam spent winters in Stowe, VT, and then several years in Snowbird, UT, in his first career as a ski instructor. Then, in the 1990s he started taking photographs at weddings. Soon couples from around New England discovered his ability to catch the excitement and beauty of their wedding in photographs. By 1997, wedding photography became his full-time occupation, and this continued for almost 15 years. One look at his website and you’ll see how he is able to capture memories that last a lifetime. For the last ten years, Larry and his wife Kym have been part of the Grenell Island community.

Posted in: Volume 19, Issue 3, March 2024, Nature, Essay, Photographs

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Larry Asam

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