During most of the winter in Chicago, the sky is a uniform leaden gray. Today, however, there was a moment of sunrise with some defined clouds. Right under the sunrise are the steel mills of Indiana with their plumes. During summer, the sun will rise over the Chicago Park District field house to your left.
More January sea smoke on Lake Michigan. See this article by Catherine Schmitt for the science behind sea smoke.
I spotted a photo in the “Snapshots” section under “Fawned Memories” with this caption and thought I should take my own photos (July 8, 2023).
Children drink from the David Wallach Memorial Fountain in 1955. When Wallach died in 1894, he left $5,000 for a fountain near the lake to supply water for “man and beast.” Sculptors Elisabeth Haseltine Hibbard and Frederick Cleveland Hibbard collaborated on the fountain, installed at the 55th Street entrance to Promontory Point in 1939. Elisabeth modeled the bronze fawn after a doe at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Her husband created the marble fountain, which includes a well in its base with water for pets and wildlife. Both had been students of Lorado Taft, who created the Fountain of Time sculpture on the Midway and taught at UChicago. Elisabeth also taught at the University from 1943 to 1950.University of Chicago Magazine, Summer 2022
August 29, 2023
J and I decided to see Save the Tunes at Chellberg Farm, but detoured to Indian Ridge Marsh, or Park 565 in Chicago Park District nomenclature. The last visit to Indian Ridge Marsh was in 2019, when the area by the Norfolk Southern tracks was open water.
First, we had to get there. We passed meadows of native flowers, including compass plants whose disappearance Aldo Leopoldo eloquently lamented. They’re thriving in natural areas in and around Chicago, such as the Calumet Region here and at Morton Arboretum.
We spotted monarchs and other insects, including an army of goldenrod soldier beetles intent on perpetuating the species.
A surprise awaited us at the end of this westbound trail (another trail, too wet and muddy to negotiate in 2019, heads south). The open water had filled in with aquatic plants in on both sides of the trail. which dead ends at the Norfolk Southern line. I hope they’re native. There was a piece of heavy equipment in the area, so I’d guess the Chicago Park District and volunteers are working on it.
I didn’t want to miss Save the Tunes, so I didn’t dawdle on the way to the lot. J called me back to look at beetles, which I never saw because was distracted by this:
This is a female white-banded crab spider, the same species of spider I witnessed killing a painted lady, an Eastern tiger swallowtail, and a skipper at Perennial Garden. They choose a flower and lie in wait for their unsuspecting pollinator prey. This one may have turned slightly yellowish after a few days on this tall tickseed flower. The ones I’d seen before (when I noticed the dying or dead butterflies) were embedded in the more intricate blooms of a butterfly bush or other flower and were nearly impossible to see. The male, by the way, is smaller and more colorful, and dines on nectar.
My final sighting of the day was a pair of American goldfinches on a pair of compass plants, with the female closer to the trail. At Perennial Garden, I’d noted the goldfinches favored the tiny stand of compass plants there.
Aldo Leopold would be happy.
On Friday in the late afternoon I went to the National Louis University building on Michigan Avenue for a physical therapy assessment. When I left, I was thinking mainly of how to get home, so I didn’t pay attention to my surroundings.
I returned this morning and as I was leaving this caught my eye — another Cutler mailing system lobby box for my photo collection. There was a white plastic USPS bin next to it, but I’m assuming it’s still in commission. I wonder if I could use Google Maps to map these collaboratively. Hmmm.
The windy, rainy day overall put me in an autumn mood, and I thought I’d take video of Lake Michigan’s wave action. Instead, I was struck by this unexpected rainbow — the sun wasn’t out.
I have passed by and seen but not seen this sign thousands of times from the bus. Finally I noticed the exchange telephone number: FA4-4200.
All this time I never noticed the florist is gone, which is obvious. They moved in 2001.
Florist shop replanted
Art Miller’s Florist Shop, 1551 E. Hyde Park Blvd., a 50-year-plus tradition in Hyde Park, is budding all over with both new owners and a new location.
Don Eskra and Linda Wiening, who bought Miller’s last year, have swapped the shop’s beleagured location beneath the overpass on Hyde Park Boulevard for 1521 East 55th Street, a move that was not without its trials.
“Our phones were all messed up for about a week, and people thought that Art Miller’s had gone out of business,” Wiening said.
Eskra had previouslv owned a group of flower shops in Bridgeport that he sold for Art Miller’s.Hyde Park Herald, June 13, 2001
7/20/2023 update: Someone in the Hyde Park group posted “Chicago Telephone Exchange Names.” FA was Fairfax.
After months of abnormally dry to severe drought conditions, Chicago had a near record “rainfall event” the weekend of July 1–2, especially on Sunday.
To me, it seemed like a normal rain, but I don’t have a personal basement to worry about. I gave up any thought of outdoor activities and stuck to reading, TV, etc. I figured I’d be grateful if this rain, plus a few others that preceded it, would put a dent in the severe drought conditions.
As of July 11, Chicago was still abnormally dry, but look at the difference.
June 10, 2023:
Same area, July 9, 2023, a little less than a month later:
When I noticed the orange light on my weather radio flashing the evening of July 12, I was hoping for beach hazards or at worst a flash flood watch, but, no, it was a tornado watch. As the sky got darker, it flipped to the red light — tornado warning. Not long after that, the sirens started — an eerie sound in the eerie premature twilight.
Over the next hour or so I saw several reports of tornadoes, starting with Summit in the southwest suburbs. Then it seemed like they were everywhere — southwest, west, north.
The sky brightened for a moment, then darkened, then brightened again just as another brief deluge descended. I looked — yes, there was a rainbow (and a very faint second mirror image rainbow). It faded, then reappeared, or maybe it was a second one in a similar spot. The second, with a faint mirror image like the first, was the full arch, which I couldn’t capture from my window.
It faded as blue sky appeared to the east, then pink from the setting sun tinged the clouds that had piled up.