Day Three Hundred Fifty-six

One Less Goose?

We were headed in the same general direction to get a gift card so we stopped for a walk around the Monee Reservoir, a Will County Forest Preserve. Most of the preserve is water, and the Canada geese really like the place. There had to be hundreds when we arrived, and wave after wave of noisy new arrivals landed while we were there.Monee ResevoirThe unpaved trail was quite muddy so we stuck to the paved trail, driveway, and empty parking lot. We enjoyed looking around the preserve which seems, not surprisingly, to be used primarily for fishing.

As we turned to walk towards the large picnic grove, my husband saw two coyotes running across the field, likely looking for a goose dinner. I was lucky to get a few shots!
CoyotesIMG_2437Good walk!

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Day Three Hundred Fifty-five

Tiny Beads

I knew if I was going to walk today, I’d have to do it first thing in the morning. Thankfully, I woke early enough to get it in. Since it was raining, I left my camera at home and headed out.

What a quiet morning it was in the neighborhood. The fog and drizzle kept many inside, and I only saw one other human, a jogger, out and about on foot during the duration of my walk.

I noticed water droplets everywhere–on the trees, the bushes, and the grass–as I walked. The tiny clear beads seemed to be hovering between liquid and solid with the air temperature just above freezing. Once I got home, I wanted to document the tiny droplets, grabbed my camera, and went back out long enough to get a couple of shots.

Dewy Morning WalkGood walk!

Day Three Hundred Fifty-three

Walk Attempts and a Woodpecker

I made a couple of different attempts looking for a slush-free place to walk today but was foiled at every turn. My sub-resolution to not miss a single day of walking in December has been harder than I thought. Holiday busyness and the weather have been the biggest obstacles. Today, I tried to tie a walk in between some shopping but forgot to bring boots. With all of the snow we received over the weekend, that is now melting, no boots meant no walking.

The good news is that while I was readying my camera to bring along, I caught sight of a red-bellied woodpecker near my home and got a few shots through the fog.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

I’ll just have to make up the walk tomorrow.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Community

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Walking through Chicago history at Graceland Cemetery

Historic Community

I learned about Graceland Cemetery in the Notes section of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, where he noted that Graceland is “an utterly charming haven where, paradoxically, history comes alive.” (394) I could not agree more. I took a walk there on a sunny day in early September and loved it. It’s gorgeous and so interesting.

Many of the figures in Chicago history are buried at Graceland on Chicago’s north side. I cannot name them all, but architects like Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, and Mies van der Rohe are buried at Graceland. Marshall Field and Potter Palmer, both famous Chicago businessmen, and the inventors, Cyrus McCormick and George Pullman, are at Graceland too.

Graceland is a different type of community to be sure, but it is a community of people that have accomplished great things, and even though these people were not all contemporaries, their stories are all together at Graceland Cemetery.

Graceland Monuments

Graceland Cemetary Graceland VaultsThanks, Daily Post, for the chance to post again about one of my favorite walks this year as I complete my resolution.

Day Three Hundred Fifty-two

The sun is back!

It certainly made it easier to head out for a walk this afternoon. I walked around the neighborhood and up to the park. Earlier this year I posted pictures of the park’s sculptures taken with my phone, but I wanted to take some better pictures for the sculpture gallery on my Along the Trail: Signs and Structures page, and I’ve added them there. I’ve added two more pages as well with some of my favorite bird and plant pictures.

(While at the park, I also saw three squirrels and a small plane.)

Three Squirrels and a PlaneGood walk!

Day Three Hundred Forty-seven

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Much Better!

My walking heart soared when the meteorologist promised this morning that today’s weather would be much better than the “brutality” of the past few days.

I went back to Frankfort Square, Illinois, and walked a different portion of the Island Prairie and Indian Boundary Park. This is the third time I’ve walked here this week because I love all of the songbirds and appreciate that the paved path is plowed!

Island Prairie-Indian Boundary SouthIt was so nice to be back outside and enjoying it!

Day Three Hundred Forty-five

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Wings

It felt a little warmer today–or at least less windy. I knew on Day 343 that I wanted to go back and check out more of the Island Prairie Park in Frankfort Square, Illinois, and I thought today might be warm enough. My daughter joined me.

We started at the park district headquarters and walked three-fourths of the way around Island Prairie on the paved (and plowed!) bike path. It was still awfully cold but quite pretty.

Island PrairieLike on Day 343, I really enjoyed watching the little songbirds darting to and fro. I wish they weren’t so skittish, but I think I got a few good shots.

Snow SongbirdsI’m still hoping it warms up a bit as I walk through the rest of 2013 and this resolution.

Still, good walk today!