button to main menu  Observations on Picturesque Beauty, page 101

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vol.1 p.101
When there is no apparent cause in the sky, the water will sometimes appear dappled with large spots of shade. It is possible these patches may have connection with the bottom of the lake; as naturalists suppose, the shining parts of the sea are occasioned by the spawn of fish: but it is more probable, that in some way. they are connected with the sky, as they are generally esteemed in the country to be a weather-gage. The people will often say, "It will be no hay-day to day, the lake is full of shades." - I never myself saw this appearance; or I might be able to give a better account of it: but I have heard it so often taken notice of; that I suppose there is at least some ground for the observation. Tho, after all, I think it probable these shades may be owing only to floating clouds.
From this great variety, which the surfaces of lakes assume, we may draw this conclusion, that the painter may take great liberties, in point of light and shade, in his presentation of water. It is, in many cases, under no rule, that we are acquainted with; or under rules so
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