Beyond the screen of your laptop and your smartphone, nature is alive and well! Come enjoy!
Jane Masterson is a local photographer and Hyde Park Nature Walk guide. When she was an adjunct college professor, her students observed plants and birds, collected data and tested hypotheses to try to answer questions such as why some plants bloomed earlier than others and why woodpeckers migrated through before orioles. And while she no longer teaches at the college level, Jane still enjoys encouraging others to explore the Chicago wilderness. She promises, no quizzes! Whether you’d just like to look at the photos of Hyde Park wildlife on this blog or want to come out for a Nature Walk, Welcome!
Next Nature Walk:
Moon watch and Nature walks on hold for now.
Interested in helping save Hyde Park’s wild spots: habitat for our local wildlife and migrating birds may be replaced by a music venue and concession stand unless you speak up. Want to help prevent this? Check out savethisspace.com and sign up for emails from jacksonparkwatch.com
Contact us with any questions or to discuss setting up a time for a Nature Walk. Feel free to call (773 – 502 – 3159) or to fill out the form below:
All photos taken in Hyde Park during the last couple of weeks. Baby raccoon video was taken in Indiana but a raccoon family was spotted in Jackson Park this past Saturday.
The next nature walk/ moon watch is this Sunday, August 10. We’ll meet at the east door of the Museum of Science of Industry at 6 pm for the nature walk and meet at the Field house on the Point for the moon watch at 7:30 (moon rises at 7:43).
Meet at east door of Science and Industry Museum tonight at 6:30 pm. Meet at the Fieldhouse on the Point at 8:15 pm for 8:26 moonrise. Hope to see you there. Rain date, Sunday 6:30 pm for walk, 9 pm for moonrise at 9:10 pm)
None of these photos, except the rainbow ring around the sun, were taken in Hyde Park. All of these birds can be seen in Jackson Park.
This is a courting display. I’ve seen a more dramatic version of this head bob but this guy gets extra points for displaying during a strong wind. This call has been described as sounding like a rusty pump handle.
blue jay fledgling
hungry blue jay fledgling
“To see a Sun or Moon Halo…you need high, thin cirrus clouds which are usually at altitudes above 20,000 feet. These high altitude cirrus clouds are mostly made of ice crystals which refract the sunlight much like a prism will. Your typical rainbow is seen as a partial circle or arc. Rainbows are round but the ground prevents you from seeing the full rainbow unless you are high above it…or below it like today.” parphased from Boston weather man
Eastern Towhee singing “drink your tea”
fledgling baltimore oriole (3 photos) The Jackson Park orioles have fledged too but I saw an oriole sitting on her nest today so we may get a second batch of fledglings.
All photos taken in Jackson Park, except house sparrows, during the last two weeks.
Next nature walk and full moon watch on July 12. Meet at east door of Science and Industry Museum at 6:30 pm. Meet at the Fieldhouse on the Point at 8:15 pm for 8:26 moonrise
green heron- they are nesting in Jackson Park
great blue heron
baltimore oriole at nest
flowers in tulip tree
full moon rising
eastern kingbird near nest with insect
I think it is a female hooded merganser
male wood duck having a bad feather day (molting)
a photo where you can see the rusty red tail feathers on a catbird
the baby gnatcatchers have arrived!
blue spotted purple butterfly
fledgling baltimore oriole?
black-crowned night heron has caught a bullhead catfish
two more goslings!!
whatcha doing mom?
fledgling house sparrows
male and female mallard- male mallard has some blue head feathers–something to do with molting?
ball of fish
female widow skimmer dragonfly
On December 17th, we will meet at 3:30 pm for a Free Guided Nature Walk. We meet at the east door (Space Center) of the Science and Industry Museum . We will use a spotting scope to look at the winter ducks in the 59th Street Harbor and the Lake (63rd and Hayes, where we will hopefully spot the owl). We will then drive over to the Point for the 5 pm moonrise.
The meters are expensive if you park right by the East entrance. It is cheaper ($1 an hour) if you turn left into the parking lot. Parking is free if once you are in the parking lot, you drive south past the boats, over the stone bridge and park near the tennis courts. Hope to see you there! FREE EVENT. For more information go to passitonchicago.com or call 773-913-2030×3. Children welcome. Check here if rain date is needed and Call if you can’t find us: 773-913-2030×3.
Best part of nature walk was a glorious sunset. Worst part was one of our participants got a prickly pear cactus spine in his foot. Our local cactus has lovely flowers but nasty spines! The snowy owl and the snow buntings were not seen but we did see a horned grebe, some scaup and a red-breasted merganser using a spotting scope. The peregrine falcon was at 63rd Street beach the morning after the nature walk.
our local cactus– prickly pear
prickly pear flower
peregrine falcon at 63rd Street Beach
and our little white duck (an unusual mallard duck) that we often saw on the summer nature walks was spotted in Jackson Park near the 59th Street Harbor in early December. It was good to see he was still around. He was helping some crows and ring-billed gulls finish off a big bag of potato chips.
No More 12:30pm Nature on Sundays for the Winter! See you in Spring!
Enjoy nature your way!
Free of charge and good for all ages
12:30 pm on Sundays starting August 4 through Sunday September 15
Just bring yourself and soak up some beauty OR
Bring your own art supplies to sketch a flower
or a caterpillar or a landscape OR
Learn how to use a “plant key” to identify the things
you see or… enjoy nature your way!
Bring binoculars if you’ve got them, bring your eyes if you don’t
Meet at the East entrance of Museum of Science and Industry
Museum (Space Center and Omnimax Door)
Call for more info: 773 913 2030×3
Photo: Killdeer chick growing up in a Home Depot parking lot in Chicago
Guided nature walks for children and their caregivers!
Free of Charge All age friendly
10 am every Wednesday starting August 7 through September 11
Meet at the East entrance of the Museum of Science and Industry
(Space Center and Omnimax Door)
We’ll explore bobolink meadow taking time to admire butterfiies,
caterpillars, birds, dragonflies and prairie flowers.
Call for more info: 773 913 2030×3
Come and we’ll try to find this interesting young mallard, photo taken July 28 2013