Winter ducks return, some last migrants pass through Chicago and the first snow

Photos all taken during the past two weeks in Hyde Park (Chicago)

Our year round resident mallards taking a bath

img_1445

Lots of greater/lesser scaup in the outer harbor

img_1525

A better look at a female scaup

img_1534

Red-breasted mergansers in the outer and inner harbor

img_1457

Lots of american coots (not a duck) in the outer harbor

img_1434

Size difference between a red-breasted merganser and greater/lesser scaup

img_1426

One male and two female buffleheads

img_1403

Size difference between Canada Goose and female scaup

img_1396

Size difference between a  1st or 2nd winter herring gull and some red-breasted mergansers

img_1498

Our local starling population is plummeting but we still have a good-sized winter starling population

img_1539

starlings

img_8460

Oak trees usually don’t drop their leaves in the winter

img_8459

but maple trees usually do drop their leaves PLUS about half of these leaves haven’t even changed colors!

img_2158-2

this willow tree too has kept its leaves and the green leaves means the tree hasn’t reabsorbed the chlorophyll!!        (Wendy Doniger, photographer)

img_8399

so many green leaves!

img_8418

burning bush

The first snow also lets you see who is around when you aren’t there!

img_8432

Lots of rabbits at Burnham Nature Sanctuary (47th and Cornell)

img_8466

Lots of geese on the golf course

img_8435

And who makes these star-like footprints?

img_8463

An opossum who  was heading for one of our few remaining patches of woods with a tree canopy and understory plants around 65th and Cornell

opossum9dec2016-1

You’ll have to look hard for the opossum in this photo.  Opossums eat lots of ticks but never seem to get lyme disease.  They are also immune to most kinds of snake venom. For more info, google:  Opossums, give them a brake!  National Wildlife Federation

img_1475

A late migrating killdeer

For the last few years, we have been lucky enough to hear and see sandhill cranes migrate through our neighborhood when we get our first blast of arctic cold.

 

 

 

 

Last of fall color, super moon and sandhill crane migration site

img_1019

tomatoes in Community Garden

img_1158

red maple

img_1163

IMG_3889

red maples flowering last spring

IMG_3873

red maple flowers

img_1155

gingkos

img_1248

img_1275

sweet gum

img_1288

dogwood

img_5443

dogwood flower from last spring

img_1283

oak

img_8168

Going to see the sandhill cranes gather at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area is a great fall field trip!

Here are some videos taken at Jasper-Pulaski.  Scroll down for a video taken of a whooping crane flying with the sandhill cranes last Saturday.

img_9853_2

img_8177img_8192

img_1317

img_1984

They counted 15,ooo cranes at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area last week.  High numbers of cranes will continue through the beginning of December

img_1242

img_1334

Cranes fly in to viewing platform to socialize after feeding  in the surrounding fields all day

img_1345

img_1326

It is hunting season so a number of deer hang out in the park where they are safe

img_1359

This past Saturday a whooping crane was among the sandhill cranes

img_1371

Something scared the cranes and they all flew into the air

Another Hyde Parker shot this great video with the  whooping crane in it!

Whooping Crane @ Jasper Pulaski

Here is the website with information about the sandhill crane migration site which is about 1.5 hour drive from Hyde Park:  5822 Fish and Wildlife Lane  Medaryville, IN  During the day you can sometimes see cranes feeding and sometimes dancing  by turning right from the viewing platform parking lot and driving slowly looking for cranes in the fields.    There are often cranes near the Schahfer Generating Station in nearby Wheatfield, IN

http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3109.htm

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-10-12-38-am

img_0942

img_0928

moon with rainbow ring

img_0953

first supermoon night

img_0963

moonset

img_0996

2nd supermoon night

img_1006

2nd moonset

img_1003

reflection in water– note rabbit in moon reflection

img_0949

rainbow ring around sun

Flowers still blooming south of midway

Meet at the field house on the Point to watch the supermoon rise:

Monday 5 pm — moon rise at 5:08 pm                                                                                         Tuesday 5:45 pm — moonrise at 5:58 pm

img_0884

pied-billed grebe

img_0767

on tree next to inner harbor

img_0766

img_0644

northern cardinal near community garden near 65th and Cornell

img_0619

gray catbird on community garden fence

img_0610

img_0639

robins migrating through

img_0680

great blue heron catches common carp in east lagoon

img_0606

still a lot of work to be done before wooded isle is a nature sanctuary again

img_0408

east lagoon fall 2016

IMG_0138

east lagoon fall 2013

img_0774

roses still blooming in November

img_0626

marigolds in community garden

img_0658

img_0726

fall color in the neighborhood:  burning bush

img_0712

japanese maple

img_0674

pretty surprising that we have some dogwood trees growing in our neighborhood

img_0605img_0891img_0892img_0893

Nature walk tomorrow at 9:30 am/ first meeting of tree lover group at 11 am

Nature walk-   Meet October 30th at 9:30 am at golf range driving parking lot.  If driving south on LSD, exit to the right at 63rd Street (Hayes) and take the first right turn  into the parking lot.  Drive through the parking lot until you get to the golf range building and park there.

Tree lover group meets at 11 am in Osaka Garden

img_0516

img_0520

It is  best time of year to catch a sunrise!   This photo was taken at 63rd Street beach this morning. Arrive 15 minutes before sunrise on a partly cloudy day for your best shot at catching a very beautiful sunrise.    This week, the last week before daylight savings time begins, you just have to arrive about 10 minutes after 7 am.   Starting next Sunday you’ll have to get there about 10 minutes after 6 am.  You’ll have another shot at relatively late sunrises around December 21 but the weather might not be as nice.

img_0533

Concerned about our local trees?  Everyone is invited to attend a new tree lovers group.  We will meet after the nature walk at 11 am  Sunday October 30 in the Osaka Garden.   You can get to the Osaka Garden by walking over the south bridge (parking lot at 63rd and Cornell).  You will need to walk through wooded island to get to the garden.  You can also park on Stony Island and then walk over the north bridge (Nancy Hays bridge) to get to the garden.

 

Very last days of summer and early fall

These photos were all taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the last month or so.

Next nature walk will be on Sunday October 30 at 9:30 am.  I’ll send another email with the location of the walk nearer the date.

img_0278

red-tailed hawk

img_0176

mating monarchs

img_6304

monarch on zinnia

img_6313

lovely display of zinnias in community garden located around 64th and Cornell

img_0410

We have been blessed with a couple broods of great blue herons this year

img_0027

Time to get out and see them at bobolink meadow or the wooded isle

img_0423

They will have to move on once the lagoons freeze over

img_0320

Overheated or just swallowed an enormous fish?

img_0431

You can often see great blue herons across from the golf driving range building.  If driving south, turn off of LSD at 63rd Street and turn right into the first parking lot

img_0359

A juvenile black-crowned night heron has also been seen in the lagoon near the golf driving range building

The next few photos show some  of the migratory birds that just pass through our area in the spring and the fall:

Fox sparrows digging in the chips on the bobolink meadow path

img_0389

fox sparrow

img_0373

?

img_0364

golden crowned kinglet

img_0337

winter wren

img_0365

thrush

img_0352

palm warbler

img_0126

and some of our local birds, house sparrows

img_6300

grasshopper

img_0184

male pearl crescent butterfly

img_0230

pearl crescent butterflies mating  You can see the inner wings of the female and the outer wings of the male

img_6291

red admiral

img_6287

dscn0535

dscn0508

dscn0525

aster

img_0144

morning glories from the Community Garden

img_0168

biennial gaura

img_0358

aster

img_0007

skipper on aster

img_0006

can’t stop taking photos of asters

  1. img_0413

    September 22– warm enough to do a little a sunning!

    img_0416

  2. img_0325img_0353img_0295
img_0406

cup plant with optimistic flower

End of summer photos and labor day weekend nature walks

All of the photos/videos were taken in the Hyde Park (Chicago) area during the last two weeks unless otherwise noted.  Most of the top 25 butterflies in Illinois have been found in our local parks this summer and have been featured in this blog.  The top 25 list of butterflies is on  Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network website: http://www.bfly.org/PhotoGallery/T25bflies/T25bfliesGallery.html

Nature walks:

Saturday September 3,  Meet at 6:00 pm  at golf range driving parking lot.  If driving south on LSD, exit to the right at 63rd Street (Hayes) and take the first right turn  into the parking lot.  Drive through the parking lot until you get to the golf range building and park there.

Labor Day Monday, September 5   Meet at 9:30 am   47th and Cornell,  Burnham Park Nature Sanctuary

IMG_0058

ruby-throated hummingbird on common evening primrose–I’ve seen hummingbirds at 47th and Cornell and in bobolink meadow near the jewelweed

IMG_0046

Impatiens capensis,  common names include jewelweed or spotted touch me not, loved by hummingbirds, also used to prevent poison ivy rash

IMG_0811

belted kingfisher

IMG_0878

black-crowned night heron

IMG_0851

red-eared slider turtle

IMG_0803

american goldfinch

Juvenile goldfinches are now around the neighborhood begging from their mothers.  First not-so-great video was taken at Burnham Park Sanctuary (47th and Cornell) with one fledgling resisting the idea that s/he should find food without being fed by a parent.  Parent is in the top left hand corner in the video.  You’ll notice the youngster is very quick to follow when s/he flies off.  Second video, taken in AZ,  has three fledglings begging from their mother. Soon the fledglings will learn to forge for themselves.

 

 

DSCN0460

monarch caterpillar on butterfly weed

IMG_0833

male monarch butterfly with bumblebee and milkweed bugs on butterfly weed

IMG_0865

black swallowtail on blazing star

DSCN0479

outer wings of American Lady

DSCN0485

inner wings of American Lady

 

DSCN0452

bug  (stink or shield?)

IMG_0010

tiny blue butterfly

IMG_0799

elderberry

IMG_0096

Pine cone oak gall (Andricus quecusstrobilanus) caused by cynipid wasp larvae

IMG_0094

more mature pine cone oak gall

 

IMG_0071

snowberry clearwing moth on garden phlox

IMG_0089

double-crested cormorant

IMG_0086

 

Reminder: Nature walk and moon watch today! Goldenrods are blooming, fall is on the way!

Almost all of these photos were taken the last two weeks in the Hyde Park (Chicago) area

Nature walk-   Meet at 6:15 pm  at golf range driving parking lot.  If driving south on LSD, exit to the right at 63rd Street (Hayes) and take the first right turn  into the parking lot.  Drive through the parking lot until you get to the golf range building and park there.

Meet at the Fieldhouse on the  Point at 7:45 for the 7:59 moonrise.  The underpass to the Point is at 55th and LSD.  There is also a parking lot there.

DSCN0423

Goldenrod complete with goldenrod soldier beetle

DSCN0405

knapweed with unknown insect

 

IMG_7744

Every year I try to get a great photo of goldfinches (wild canaries) on a bright yellow flower. Goldfinches breed late so they molt late so unlike other birds, they still look good this time of year.  No good shots yet this year, so I am showing you my 2011 photos–really good, but best I’ve gotten so far.

IMG_7743

 

IMG_0219

Lots of eastern kingbirds around

IMG_0578

young kingbirds

IMG_0504

muddy black-crowned night heron with fish

IMG_0774

sun bathing

IMG_0747

great blue heron on downed log

IMG_0760

great blue heron sharing log with Canada goose and turtle and plants– leaving logs in the water promotes ecological diversity

IMG_0547

female common yellowthroat warbler

IMG_0741

juvenile house sparrow still has a trace of her nestling  yellow lips

IMG_0570

juvenile starlings, the one on the right is  just starting to get spots

 

IMG_0126

cup plants blooming in garden

 

IMG_0164

cup plants in jackson park and burnham nature sanctuary with flowers burnt off.  why? Illinois wildflowers. com says of this native plant:

 “Various birds, especially goldfinches, are very fond of the seeds, and drink water from the cups formed by the leaves. Because of the tendency to form dense colonies, this plant provides good cover for birds, which often lurk among the leaves during the heat of the day, searching for insects or pausing to rest.”

IMG_0501

young raccoon was spotted because it was being harassed by crows

IMG_0539

eastern tiger swallowtail and red-spotted purple on butterfly bush

IMG_0542

question mark – note how well it would be camouflaged if only the outer wings were showing

IMG_0558

same question mark butterfly

IMG_0619

silver-spotted skipper

IMG_0621

skipper on cone flower

IMG_0749

orange sulfur on ironweed

DSCN0433

Monarch on butterfly bush

DSCN0436

cabbage white on goldenrod

IMG_0756

wild Indigo dusty wing, thanks for the ID, Randy,  on red clover

IMG_0757

another view of wild indigo dustywing  on red clover

IMG_0758

outer wings of common buckeye

IMG_0308

common buckeye

IMG_0601

 

Four years of photos taken on the moon watch on the Point-next moon watch tomorrow night, meet at 7:45, moon rise at 7:59. See below for nature walk info.

These moon rise photos were taken on our monthly moon watch/nature walks in Hyde Park (Chicago).

Nature walk-   Meet at 6:15 pm  at golf range driving parking lot.  If driving south on LSD, exit to the right at 63rd Street (Hayes) and take the first right turn  into the parking lot.  Drive through the parking lot until you get to the golf range building and park there.

Meet at the Fieldhouse on the  Point at 7:45 for the 7:59 moonrise.  The underpass to the Point is at 55th and LSD.  There is also a parking lot there.

 

IMG_0046

Sometimes the moon comes up circular with smooth edges- it is often pink to red if it rises close to an hour after sunset.  This happens on night after the full moon. I call it the 2nd full moon night.

IMG_3195

We go out summer and winter

IMG_8948

When the moon rises, the rabbit ears are pointing to around 1:00 on a clock face

IMG_0074

When the moon sets, the rabbit years are pointing to around 4:00 on the clock face

IMG_0075

On the 2nd full moon night, the moon sets a while after sun rises so you can see it  clearly if you are up before the sun lights up the sky and the sky is at least partially clear in the right places.

IMG_0165_4

Sometime the moon doesn’t appear to be circular and the edges don’t look smooth  when it rises. This is called a moon mirage.

 

IMG_0171_4

The moon in the photo above changed into this moon. This is called an omega moon or an etruscan vase moon. See link to article explaining this below.  Sometimes the explanations of this phenomenon appear to contradict each other but we Hyde Parkers are used to that.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1155055/Melting-red-Omega-moon-rising-Photographer-catches-rare-lunar-spectacle.html

IMG_0788

We’ve seen a number of these moon mirages from the Point

IMG_1975

IMG_0028

Moon appears squashed.  

IMG_0033

We’ve only seen this squashed moon once but the only reference I found on the web talked about an astronaut seeing a setting moon doing this in space. 

Squishy moonrise seen from space!

Butterflies, wildflowers, scarabs and other insects plus nature walk info

All these photos were taken in the Hyde Park (Chicago) area during the past two weeks. In today’s blog.

Nature walk-  Tuesday, the 2nd of August –9:30 am and 6 pm.  9:30 walk at Burnham Nature Santuary, 47th and Cornell– most of walk on stroller and wheelchair friendly surface.   6 pm walk at south side of bobolink meadow entrance- free parking by golf building, directions below.  call if you are lost 773 502 3159

Moon watch — Thursday  night, August 18th — meet at the lake near the Field House on the Point at 7:45 for an 7:59 moonrise.  There is a parking lot and an underpass at 55th and Lake Shore Drive.

DIY nature walks

bobolink meadow:   The south side entrance is located by the golf driving range,  if you are driving south on LSD, exit on 63rd street (Hayes) and turn right into first parking lot.  North side entrance is behind the Museum of Science and Industry. If driving south on Lake Shore Drive, exit on Science Drive (one half block past 57th Street exit) drive south though parking lot, past marina and drive over a stone bridge and there is a free parking lot near the tennis courts which is also near the north entrance of bobolink meadow

east side of inner harbor:  If driving south on LSD, exit on 63rd Street (Hayes) and park along the road or the in parking lot on the right hand side of the road.  Walk south along the lagoon.

IMG_0099

Bobolink Meadow

IMG_0181

Wild area on east side of the inner harbor lagoon

IMG_0486.jpg

new motto?   Buildings everywhere!

I was wandering around taking photos and got interviewed after Jackson Park was selected for the Obama Library site:

DSCN0397

young milkweed bugs

DSCN0381

milkweed tussock moth caterpillars

IMG_0478

monarch on joe pye weed- Burnham Nature Sanctuary (47th and Cornell)

IMG_0284

red-spotted purple butterfly- in gravel near north side entrance of Bobolink Meadow

IMG_0283

red-spotted purple butterfly

IMG_0308

common buckeye- in gravel near bridge near north side of Bobolink Meadow

IMG_0306

chickweed geometer moth– very small!  all over in grass, this one near north entrance of Bobolink Meadow

IMG_0324

giant swallowtail butterfly- bobolink meadow

IMG_0092

giant swallowtail butterfly in butterfly weed planted around golf driving range building

IMG_0138

viceroy butterfly- wild area east of inner harbor lagoon

IMG_0146

black swallowtail- wild area east of inner harbor lagoon

IMG_0122

orange sulfur

IMG_0171

eastern tiger swallowtail – wild area east of inner harbor lagoon

IMG_0060

elderly butterfly or a terrible accident?- eastern tiger butterfly on bergamot in bobolink meadow

IMG_0059

DSCN0283

Japanese beetles are having a great summer!  This one is on sow thistle in wild area east of inner harbor lagoon

DSCN0354

milkweed leaf stripped by Japanese beetles – bobolink meadow

IMG_0073

brown-headed cowbird fledgling  in mulberry – bobolink meadow

IMG_0198

barn swallows

IMG_0215

red-winged blackbird on oak

IMG_0297

downy woodpecker– near entrance of bobolink meadow

IMG_0344

Looking forward to visiting the Osaka Garden again– hope it is soon!! Should we start a petition?

IMG_0258

royal catchfly- north entrance of bobolink meadow

DSCN0391

mock strawberry

DSCN0390

mock strawberry flower

IMG_0251

nodding onion

IMG_0229

false dragonhead in bobolink meadow

IMG_0206

white chicory flower in bobolink meadow

IMG_0030

trying to stay cool

IMG_0456

kestrel- 47th street near train tracks

IMG_0446

kestrel

IMG_0462 (1)

foxtail

DSCN0365

vervain

DSCN0357

ironweed

DSCN0311

A scarab– a green june beetle on queen anne’s lace on east side of inner harbor

DSCN0279

Another scarab– a grapevine beetle also known as spotted june beetle found on east side of inner harbor

IMG_0483

band-winged grasshoppers– those interesting creatures that seem to be half grasshopper and half butterly.  Their “butterfly” wings often look like mourning cloak butterflies

IMG_0103

another band-winged grasshopper

DSCN0292

a member of pond damsel family– maybe a bluet?

Photos from last month’s moon watch on the Point- next moon watch is August 18th-we’ll meet near the Field House on the Point at 7:45 pm for a 7:59 pm moonrise

IMG_0046IMG_0049IMG_0051

Monarchs sighted! and nature walks/moon watch info

 

All photos were taken during the past two weeks in Chicago (Hyde Park).

Nature walks-  Tuesday, the 19th of July –9:30 am and 6 pm.  Both walks will meet at the parking lot on the south side of the street near the intersection of 63rd (Hayes) and Lake Shore Drive. If you are driving south on Lake Shore Drive, turn right on Hayes (63rd) and then park on the road or turn right  into the parking lot.  Call if you can’t find us:  773 502-3159.

Moon watch — Tuesday night,  July 19th — meet at the lake near the Field House on the Point at 7:45 for an 8:02 moonrise.  Wednesday night, July 20th– meet at the lake near the Field House at 8:30 for an 8:45 moonrise. There is a parking lot and an underpass at 55th and Lake Shore Drive.

IMG_0444

male monarch butterfly

IMG_0465

monarch butterfly on common milkweed

IMG_0422

song sparrow after a shower

IMG_0430

male common yellowthroat warbler

IMG_0456

Some juvenile great blue herons have arrived and can be seen from bobolink meadow path.  Fingers crossed the lagoons have enough fish in them so that we will be able to enjoy seeing these herons for a while

IMG_0491

At least someone is enjoying the Osaka Garden this summer

IMG_0487

rattlesnake master

IMG_0483

common mullen

IMG_0415

young pods on honey locust

IMG_0446

Need help identifying this culprit that is damaging a number of plants in our community but especially magnolia trees

IMG_0569

and oak trees

IMG_6240

although it is also damaging some herbaceous plants like cup plant and this nightshade

IMG_0528

red-spotted purple butterfly eating mulberries

IMG_0548

red admiral on coneflower

IMG_6218

eastern black swallowtail butterfly

IMG_7390

cicada killer wasp on queen anne’s lace– I saw this wasp a few days after I heard the cicadas for the first time this year

IMG_6253

Ailanthus webworm moth and a couple of milkweed beetles

IMG_6234

A Japanese beetle on Queen Anne’s lace:  Queen Anne’s lace usually has a few burgundy flowers in the center.   Lots of Japanese beetles around this year. They feed on 300 different plants but are especially fond of vines including grapes and Virginia creepers.

IMG_6243

Plant with extensive damage from Japanese beetles

IMG_6222

creeping bellflower

IMG_6205

female widow skimmer dragonfly

IMG_6269

male common green darner dragonfly — one of our dragonflies that migrates south in the fall

IMG_7423IMG_7354