Summer Mornings

Open those eyes, stretch your body, it’s time to get your day going.

By Tracey Moro/Photography by Robert Stark, Jeanie Soulliere, & Kelly Hughes

For those of us who tend to be sleepers, waking up early is not our cup of tea. But getting your day going early can make your mornings last and that is what long summer days are all about. We searched Macomb County and found many Macombers are getting their days started early. See what some early risers are doing and maybe you will be inspired to set that alarm clock a little earlier?


With 32 miles of coastline, watching the twilight turn into full-blown morning sun is breathtaking on our Lake St. Clair. Photographers tend to enjoy taking shots of places with more than just the water and sun.

“When going out for sunrise pics, I want to see some bold colors. I also like some clouds as well. They help with nature’s painting. I love when the birds and other animals ‘photobomb’ my pics,” said Robert Stark, our cover photographer and long-time St. Clair Shores resident who claims many marinas have great access points to the lake with fabulous views for sunrises.

“My mornings start pretty early. In the middle of summer, it can be as early as 5 a.m. What I enjoy as much as the sun breaking the horizon is what is called the blue hour. That is the transition period between darkness and daylight. The deep colors can be spectacular during this time,” said Stark. Like many, he finds spending solitude with his camera in the calm of the early morning sunrise to be a much-needed escape from the world. “This time by the water shooting pics is like a gift to me. The energy from the sky and the wildlife such as the gulls, ducks and geese as they are screeching and carrying on makes my day. Too many people, as I once was, are guilty of not slowing down enough to take in the beauty that surrounds us.”


Jeanie Soulliere, also of St. Clair Shores, considers herself an outdoorsy gal, loving to walk, run, bike and she especially loves to kayak to see sunrises. “Getting up early for coffee hour to watch the sunrise on the lake in a kayak, is like no other. The best time to get out on the water is at least 30 minutes, before the sun rises. I find it to be my spiritual time,” said Soulliere. “The water is so calm in the mornings, without the boat traffic. It is my favorite time of the day.”

Soulliere is sure to mention she follows all safety measures when kayaking at any time of day bringing the correct equipment including life jacket, cell phone, lights, and telling someone her plan/route and checking in once done. She usually launches from the 11 Mile boat launch or Blossom Heath in St. Clair Shores. “Last year I attended every farmers market by kayak, I never drove. I bring my coffee mug, and get a refill from one of the coffee venders there, purchase a cookie or doughnut, walk the market, stretching my legs and shopping for my veggies, fruits.”


Who else is on the water early besides the kayakers? Fishermen, of course. With Lake St. Clair being one of the best fishing lakes in the country, no one knows it better than our favorite local fishing expert Dan Sawicki. “Lake St. Clair is a world class fishery that anglers from all over the country come to fish for walleye, bass, musky, and other species,” said Sawicki.

There are plenty of places to fish on the lake, from piers to deep waters. But as they say – the early bird gets the worm, and Sawicki agrees. “Between the 400 club and Metro Beach is usually very good to find walleye. Try 16 feet water dragging harnesses. When the sun comes up in the morning bait fish are more visible. The fish are aggressively active early and eager for an easy snack.”

Captain Steve Jones has been a full-time charter captain since back in the 70s so he knows all about fishing on the lake. “Most of our charters leave the dock around 7 a.m. I find mid morning to be the best times for most of St. Clair gamefish, especially for muskie and smallmouth bass. Early mornings on calm bright days,” said Jones who claims his favorite time to fish is whenever fish will hit all day long. “I love the flat calm mornings with the background of a muskie or smallmouth jumping into the air with the sunrise in the background.”



Coming on shore you’ll find all kinds of folks up early, before the crack of dawn, and many of them are exercising. One group meets regularly on Sundays at 8 a.m. to walk in Harrison Township. Organized by personal trainer AJ Palucki of Livfit, the group walk is free to join and for all levels but do come ready to walk about three-miles rain or shine.

“I created the club to help people move and socialize more,” said Palucki who loves to train in the mornings. “The sun isn’t scorching hot, the bugs aren’t bugging as much, the air is fresh and light, but also, it helps with doing the job and moving on with the rest of the day, feeling accomplished and energized.”

At the Mount Clemens YMCA the parking lot gets full before 8 a.m. “For summer programs we are offering Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15 a.m. cycling and on Wednesdays there’s 9 a.m. Walk and Stretch with Cheryl,” said Manager Makaya Gardner. They also offer various other morning classes such as yoga, strength classes and senior fitness classes.



But if you’re not willing to workout in the morning, why not starting working earlier? Macomb County has multiple networking groups that encourage participating in group meetings. This type of atmosphere tends to be successful on multiple fronts, including gaining new contacts and maintaining good business relationships. And many meet early in the morning so as not to interfere with your business day or your family life.

“Our morning networking groups are successful because members get their day started on the right foot, networking and sharing lead information with each other. They head into the day motivated and ready to tackle the day,” said Stacy Ziarko, president and CEO of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce (SHRCC). Whether it’s Breakfast and Business, or Coffee and Commerce, these type of groups tend to get more attendance and people are more focused early in the morning. “SHRCC has 10 breakfast networking groups that meet weekly to share referrals and ideas. To join any of these groups visit our website.”



Whether you’re up to work out, network, kayak or simply meet someone for coffee, getting your day started a little earlier this summer is sure to have positive effects on your days. And for those sleepers, why not try joining the early birds just for the summer, it goes by in the blink of an eye!

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