Even better is sunset with a meal and a bottle of wine. The Inn on Newfound Lake, successor to a stage stop established in 1840 in Bridgewater, N.H., on the route between Boston and Montreal, serves dinner on what the innkeepers insist on calling the “veranda,” a term often used to denote a large roofed porch with no side walls. In effect, a veranda is the outdoor parlor, and the combination of veranda and dining tables is so delightful that the inn can be forgiven the fact that wicker armchairs outnumber rockers.
Viewed from the veranda, the lake has its own quiet charms. While ocean light is all about diffusion, lakeside light is focused and directional. The blue overhead light of midday warms as the sun sinks lower in the sky until it glows in the afternoon with an amber hue. Oceans have sailing ships, but lakes like Newfound, located in west-central New Hampshire, offer the simple spectacle of canoes and kayaks plying the water.
Along the shore, great blue, Eastern green, and black-crowned night herons forage for minnows in the shallows. On the water, several kinds of ducks pop up like Whac-A-Moles and dive back down. When the last light of gloaming fades from the surface of the lake, the loons begin to call across the waters, and just outside the reach of the porch light, fireflies wink on one by one.
Patricia Harris and David Lyon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.