Lake Erie

Alfred Watson took numerous photographs of bodies of water although he usually remained ashore due to his propensity for seasickness.  His one exception came after he discovered Gull Island in the late 1940s, a small uninhabited land mass in Lake Erie near Port Maitland, Canada.

To photograph there, he would drive 40 miles across the Canadian border and take the ferry for 2-miles to the island which always brought on an attack of malaise. Yet, Watson made many visits to the island and took hundreds of photographs including the images below.

Gulls surround the artist as he sets ups his tripod on Mohawk Island in Lake Erie, four miles from the Canadian shore. The island is now a wildlife refuge to protect the shorebirds that live there.

Two brave swimmers greet the day for an early morning swim in the cold waters of Lake Erie. Taken on the Lake Erie shore south of Buffalo, New York in the late 1940s.  

A gull takes careful aim at a large rock before landing while another gull watches. The artist spent hours watching the gulls from the Mohawk Island light before this photo opportunity appeared.

The rocky and barren landscape of Mohawk Island is now the home of numerous shore-birds: no humans allowed. The lighthouse is now being rehabilitated by Canadian volunteers.