Friday, January 15, 2016

A Winter's Ramble....

One thing that social media can do is bring together those who can share mutual interests.  And so it was last weekend when five otherwise bright people defied the winter cold  - even by Chicago standards - for a January hike along Lake Michigan.

Our merry band kicked off what will hopefully be monthly excursions to explore the natural world that sometimes seems hidden in our urbanized world. I thought that our leaders made a splendid choice for an inaugural trek, as the dramatic Lake Michigan shoreline is anything but hidden from a visual standpoint. We met at midday at the north end of Lake Shore Drive and headed south.

Totem pole :: Chicago (2016)

Cold cold cold cold cold.  So we shoved off - moving briskly. There seemed to be general agreement that the bright sunshine and the wind at our backs made for an overall lovely day.  One flock of gulls were tucked into snow covered sand - which was an odd sight that I had never seen before. The scene also included about ten pigeons who were foraging over the sand demonstrating that we were at least as clever and hardy as these avian neighbors.

Sun, surf, sand, snow, seagulls :: Chicago (2016)

Sun, surf, sand, snow, seagulls :: Chicago (2016)

The lake itself was choppy, and when we walked further south waves the color of weak cocoa were breaking over the concrete seawalls. Spindly plants that grew out of the fissures in the concrete were covered in new ice. We followed the path south, and soon we were upon Montrose Harbor where there were quite a few dogs (and their humans) cavorting on the dog beach.   We trundled through the dune lands around the Magic Hedge, and as we made our way around the harbor we spotted Buffleheads and Mergansers sharing the waters with the Canada Geese.

Chicago (2016)

The shoreline gradually swept away and the skyline of the city came into full view. There were times when I felt like we were exploring an alien world, but soon we would pass by various sculptures, giving us clues as to makeup of the civilization buzzing across the Outer Drive. 

Amidst frozen ripples :: Chicago (2016)


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