ANOTHER IMPORTANT MEETING ABOUT GOLF COURSE PROPOSAL with Chicago Park District CEO, Michael Kelly, at Alderman Leslie Hairston’s monthly meeting– January 24 at South Shore Fine Arts Academy, 1415 E 70th, 6-8 pm
Don’t want a PGA tournament golf course or a big music venue in your back yard? Write your alderman or come to the 5th ward meeting tonight!
If our neighborhood decides that this PGA level golf course is a good idea, my personal opinion is that golf course should be organic (no pesticides). Organic golf courses already exist! This would prevent contamination of our neighborhood and lake. And, the design should include wildlife habitat. Again, there are golf course that are wildlife friendly! Finally, since habitat destruction threatens wildlife more than non-native species (many non-native species are benign or actually support native species*, I think there should be a moratorium on tree destruction in all of Hyde Park. We have already lost 1300 trees/shrubs in Jackson Park through the work of the Army Corps of Engineers and Project 120. It will take years before the replacement young trees they have planted and will plant in the future will grow into mature trees. An organic, wildlife-friendly course with no destruction of trees would be great and might attract more people to the game. As was said in the JPAC meeting, many of the Chicago Park District golf courses in Chicago are under-utilized.
* “Where do camels belong? Why invasive species aren’t all bad” Ken Thompson 2014
These photos were taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the past two weeks.
Lots of plant parts coated in ice at the edge of the lake on The Point
Some trees on The Point were also covered with ice on the night of the full moon
Moon appearing through clouds
Outside my house are 2 crab apple trees. One tree has been stripped of its crab apples.
The fruit on the other crab apple tree are all still there. Maybe the crab apples on this second tree needed more freeze-thaw cycles before they are soft enough to eat? Or maybe they just don’t taste very good?
Across the street, robins are beginning to strip this hawthorn tree of its berries. Usually once the berries are soft enough to eat, they strip the tree in a couple of days but this year was different.
A couple of doors down from the hawthorn trees, I saw this cooper’s hawk. All the robins decided to eat somewhere else that day
but a cardinal still ate berries that day
These berries look soft enough to eat but location matters too. It may be too dangerous to eat these berries if eating them causes the bird to be out in the open and vulnerable. As you saw above, our neighborhood has Cooper’s hawks.
Plants on fences often provide food, shelter and nesting sites for birds.
This used nest, note the bird wove plastic into its nest, gives us a sample of what the birds sitting in the branches above it were eating.
Lots of coral berries have been planted in Jackson Park, but the wildlife don’t seem to like them. The author of “Birds in the Yard: Month by Month” agrees “I planted them (coral berries) because certain nurseries gave them high marks as bird food. Every year, come spring, berries still hang, dry, ugly, untouched.”
Oak trees usually don’t drop their leaves in the fall but these leaves have hole-punch shaped holes in them for the second year in a row
Some nearby magnolia trees have the same hole-punch damage and have also not dropped their leaves this winter, which is unusual! Lots of maples in our neighborhood didn’t drop their leaves this fall either.
Damage done by emerald ash borer
Hyde Park beavers!
In video below, crow caws and then rattles. It seems to swallow air in order to rattle. I wonder if that is always the case?
Long-earred owl in Osaka Garden. The right eye and left ear are easiest to see.
Photos taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) area during the last couple of weeks.
Field trip suggestion: Walk around the outer harbor to see the swans. You can park in the 63rd Street Beach lot off of Lake Shore Drive and walk south around the outer harbor or you can park in the La Rabida parking lot. To get there: turn left on Marquette Drive when LSD ends and then turn left into the La Rabida parking lot at the first stoplight. I like to stay left and park at the turn around at the north end of the hospital property. I saw swans twice on December 30th. In the morning (in front of old coast guard station, 6400s) and afternoon (northwest end of La Rabida parking lot, I had to walk by the edge of the water to see them) Seize the day if you want to see them; they aren’t always there!
I usually see mute swans in the outer harbor only when it is very cold but this year I saw a couple on a 50 degree day.
Mute swan accompanied by cygnet (less than a year old)
Mute swans are very big birds. Use the two mallards in the background for scale
It is quite cold today and more swans have arrived. The first six are mute swans, adults and cygnets but the last one with the black bill is probably another kind of swan, maybe a trumpeter swan?
juvenile herring gull
On very cold days, many birds spend a lot of time preening to keep ice from forming on their wings
American coots with ice on their wings
American coot puffing her feathers up to stay warm
female red-breasted merganser on a warmer day
female red-breasted merganser on a cold day deciding whether to get up or stay curled up sleeping
female red-breasted merganser resting on a slab of ice
size comparison of male red-breasted merganser and female common goldeneye
lots of male common goldeneyes, leading duck on left has ice on his wings
male common goldeneye on warmer day
canvasback ducks also have a red head (one male and two females here)
From left to right in middle of photo- redhead and then 3 canvasback ducks and a couple ring-necked ducks
a better look at the ring-necked duck—
- This species might better be called the “Ring-billed Duck,” for its chestnut neck ring is usually seen only at close range, while the white ring on the bill can be a prominent field mark. From whatbird.com
Lots of puffed up birds staying warm: house sparrow on burning bush
American Tree Sparrow – here in the winter, nests in the tundra in the summer
northern cardinal eating pokeweed seeds
another view of red-bellied woodpecker
On a clear day, you can see Navy Pier from 63rd Street Beach
Here are the photos from my 2017 calendars. I included astronomical events: meteor showers, total eclipse of sun and times of full moonrise and moonset. I’ve got free calendars for people who attend the birding group, people who attend my nature walks, people who attend or help in my dog training classes and people who attend JPAC (Jackson Park Advisory Committee) meetings about the future of Jackson Park. If I still have extra calendars in mid January, I will be happy to donate one to your child’s classroom. I also sell calendars for $15. I can drop them off if you have a safe delivery place in Hyde Park or I can hang them on my door (53rd and Dorchester) and you can pick them up there
Moon watch — Tuesday December 13– meet at the lake near the Field House on the Point at 4:25 for an 4:34 moonrise. There is a parking lot and an underpass at 55th and Lake Shore Drive.
There is more information after my photos about why I think it is so important for people who do not want a music venue building (Project 120’s Phoenix Pavilion) to be build in Jackson Park behind the Museum of Science and Industry to attend these monthly meetings.
Canis Sapiens’ Dog Calendar http://www.hydeparkdogtraining.com
Although most of the 100+ people who attended the May meeting with the Chicago Park District CEO convened by Leslie Hairston (38 spoke against it, 4 spoke for it), most of the regular attenders of JPAC meetings are pro-Project 120’s Phoenix Pavilion pictured below:
Sara Paretsky’s letter to the editor of the Sun Times
This map needs to be updated: As of the May meeting, the Chicago Park District CEO said the basketball courts would not be moved. He also said only bicycles and pedestrians would be allowed on the rebuilt Darrow Bridge (no road connecting LSD and Cornell).
This poster was presented at a Project 120 meeting. Patricia O’Donnell told me that 1300 trees and shrubs had been cut down in Wooded Isle and the surrounding areas. My orange-colored comments say I don’t want more trees cut down for a Music Pavilion or a Great Lawn.
This is a view of the proposed Great Lawn. As of May of this year, the basketball courts will not be moved but the tennis courts will be destroyed, bark park relocated, golf range relocated, free parking removed and lots of paid parking removed plus LOTS of trees destroyed.
Photos all taken during the past two weeks in Hyde Park (Chicago)
Our year round resident mallards taking a bath
Lots of greater/lesser scaup in the outer harbor
A better look at a female scaup
Red-breasted mergansers in the outer and inner harbor
Lots of american coots (not a duck) in the outer harbor
Size difference between a red-breasted merganser and greater/lesser scaup
One male and two female buffleheads
Size difference between Canada Goose and female scaup
Size difference between a 1st or 2nd winter herring gull and some red-breasted mergansers
Our local starling population is plummeting but we still have a good-sized winter starling population
Oak trees usually don’t drop their leaves in the winter
but maple trees usually do drop their leaves PLUS about half of these leaves haven’t even changed colors!
this willow tree too has kept its leaves and the green leaves means the tree hasn’t reabsorbed the chlorophyll!! (Wendy Doniger, photographer)
so many green leaves!
The first snow also lets you see who is around when you aren’t there!
Lots of rabbits at Burnham Nature Sanctuary (47th and Cornell)
Lots of geese on the golf course
And who makes these star-like footprints?
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
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
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.
tomatoes in Community Garden
red maples flowering last spring
red maple flowers
dogwood flower from last spring
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.
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
Cranes fly in to viewing platform to socialize after feeding in the surrounding fields all day
It is hunting season so a number of deer hang out in the park where they are safe
This past Saturday a whooping crane was among the sandhill cranes
Something scared the cranes and they all flew into the air
Another Hyde Parker shot this great video with the whooping crane in it!
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
moon with rainbow ring
first supermoon night
2nd supermoon night
reflection in water– note rabbit in moon reflection
rainbow ring around sun
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
on tree next to inner harbor
northern cardinal near community garden near 65th and Cornell
gray catbird on community garden fence
robins migrating through
great blue heron catches common carp in east lagoon
still a lot of work to be done before wooded isle is a nature sanctuary again
east lagoon fall 2016
east lagoon fall 2013
roses still blooming in November
marigolds in community garden
fall color in the neighborhood: burning bush
pretty surprising that we have some dogwood trees growing in our neighborhood
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
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.
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.
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.
monarch on zinnia
lovely display of zinnias in community garden located around 64th and Cornell
We have been blessed with a couple broods of great blue herons this year
Time to get out and see them at bobolink meadow or the wooded isle
They will have to move on once the lagoons freeze over
Overheated or just swallowed an enormous fish?
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
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
golden crowned kinglet
and some of our local birds, house sparrows
male pearl crescent butterfly
pearl crescent butterflies mating You can see the inner wings of the female and the outer wings of the male
morning glories from the Community Garden
skipper on aster
can’t stop taking photos of asters
September 22– warm enough to do a little a sunning!
cup plant with optimistic flower
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
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
ruby-throated hummingbird on common evening primrose–I’ve seen hummingbirds at 47th and Cornell and in bobolink meadow near the jewelweed
Impatiens capensis, common names include jewelweed or spotted touch me not, loved by hummingbirds, also used to prevent poison ivy rash
black-crowned night heron
red-eared slider turtle
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.
monarch caterpillar on butterfly weed
male monarch butterfly with bumblebee and milkweed bugs on butterfly weed
black swallowtail on blazing star
outer wings of American Lady
inner wings of American Lady
bug (stink or shield?)
tiny blue butterfly
Pine cone oak gall (Andricus quecusstrobilanus) caused by cynipid wasp larvae
more mature pine cone oak gall
snowberry clearwing moth on garden phlox