Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crescent Moon and Venus, Too

Glanced up in the sky yesterday and saw the crescent Moon.
It looked like it was smiling or laughing.
(It must have seen the weather forecast that calls
for rising temperatures. This time of year the 30s are a heat wave.)
I figured that the tiny bright spot
toward the bottom of the picture was a planet.
I did a little searching and figured out it is Venus.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Buoys will be Buoys

So this is where the buoys go to hibernate!
Come Spring, they'll be dancing around Monroe Harbor,
marking the places where the boats are supposed to tie up.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Surf's up

This is another one of those "When did they put that there?" realizations. This is a relief carving on City Hall that I recently noticed. It's incredibly detailed with a lighthouse in the background and a hermit crab just to the right of the swimmer.

Apparently this is one of four relief carvings by the entrance to City Hall that "represent ... four principle concerns of city government: playgrounds, schools, parks, and water supply". This is probably the water supply panel. Now, I want to go back and look for the other three.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Agora Phobia

This a public art composition at the south end of Grant Park. It is called Agora and it is by an artist named Magdalena Abakonowicz. It consists of 109 nine-foot tall iron sculptures. The sculptures are just the legs and they appear to be walking around.

There were articles about it when it was installed. I didn't really think much about it when I saw pictures. Seeing it "in person", though, tends to creep me out a bit. That's not a criticism of the work since art, I think, should evoke some response. I certainly appreciate the amount of work - both imaginative and physical - that it took to create this.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reflections in a Miniature Bean

Many people take pictures of the skyline reflecting in Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) in Millenium Park.

This weekend I stumbled upon another source for skyline reflections.

I know I've passed by this reflecting ball at the far east end of Pioneer Court a number of times but never noticed that it reflected the buildings around it. There is a possibility that the sun's angle at this time of year turns it into a mirror. Perhaps you don't get any reflections when the sun is higher in the sky during Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Breaking Through

Here is another shot of the James J. Versluis, an 80 foot tug
that breaks ice on the Chicago River in the winter.
I was on the bike path crossing the bridge on Lake Shore Drive
when it was starting its ice breaking work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

On Ice

A few days ago, I posted a picture of a Chicago Fire Boat breaking the ice on the Chicago River. Yesterday, I got to see another ice breaking boat from a different perspective.

Taken from the lower level of the bridge at Lake Shore Drive, this is the James J. Versluis, an 80 foot tug built in 1957 in Sturgeon Bay.

I just happened to be walking on the bridge/bike path when I saw it leaving the Coast Guard Station. I hung around to take a few more pictures that I'll post.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter Reflection

Sometimes you catch the sun at just the right angle
when it creates an interesting shadow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Urban Snow Seals

I found this mural painted on a wall near the Hubbard Street Mural Project. I'm not sure if it is part of the project or not.

With the snow piled up against the wall, the artwork takes on a three-dimensional appearance.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ice Breaker

It's time for a little burst of color after several days of gray.
This is one of the Chicago Fire Boats
(from Engine Company #58).
It's doing a little ice breaking on the Chicago River.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Vines

No, these aren't cracks in the wall.
Nor is it the work of a super-sized, industrious spider.
They are vines in their winter, leafless, form.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Snow Clues

Evidence that there were some hardy souls
out braving the bitter temperatures

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snow Sketch

I see a face in the tire tracks left on this parking lot.
To me, it looks like a folk art caricature
perhaps of a mountain man.
It's cold out
(-2 F NOT including wind chill)
so his breath forms smoke rings
Since everyone may not be suffering from a bit of
cabin-fever enhanced imagination, I annotated the picture
with the features I see that make up the face.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow News

Same Forecast
(Ice, Cold, Snow, Wind Chill, Deep Freeze)
Different Day

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ice Blue

In case we were wondering, Mother Nature is sending snow and dangerously frigid temperatures our way to remind us that this is, in fact, Winter. I'm guessing that there will be a number of ice and snow pictures posted to the City Daily Photo portal this week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I liked the contrast of the snow
highlighting the edges of the dark trees.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow Fountains

In the summer, water fountains look refreshing.
In the winter, they just look C O L D !

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Four Wolf Moons

The first full moon of January is known as the Wolf Moon. The TV news said that last night's full moon would be the biggest and brightest since the moon is so close to the earth at this time of year. I really thought they said that about last month's full moon. I couldn't see the initial moon rise due to cloud cover at the horizon but when the moon got higher in the sky it was interesting to watch it emerge from clouds every so often. The picture with no clouds was actually taken at the same time as the rest. The difference is that I accidentally had the flash on so the "blue sky" is really the flash reflection of my window.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Snow Hats

There is a garden in Millennium Park.
When I was walking through it, I noticed that these thistle-like plants
all seem to be wearing little white hats

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snow Abacus

The pattern created by the way the snow clung
to this sidewalk grate made me think of an abacus.
I have no idea what the resulting number would be ;)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow Omen

I didn't need the weather report to know that snow was on the way.
These clouds did the forecasting for me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Holdout

There was just one leaf left on this tree. And it is just barely holding on.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Birdhouse for Sale

OK, I know that the sign refers to the house in the far background.

But, at first glance, couldn't it look like the sign was referring to the birdhouse? Maybe? And a 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath birdhouse with Great Outdoor Space at that!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


The construction crews were able to install the structure for the Trump Tower Spire on Saturday.

They have had problems with the wind in past attempts to do this. They had to remove the fiberglass covering so that the sections wouldn't blow around so much. Now that the structure is in place, the construction crews will replace the outer, presumably decorative, shell.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Patchwork Playground

I was watching the helicopter deliver parts of the Trump Tower Spire today when I got distracted by the colors in this playground.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Megawatt Man

Here is another architectural detail I never noticed before. This one is on a Commonwealth Edison sub-station in the heart of the Loop (on Dearborn between Randolph and Washington). Megawatt Man seems to have harnessed electricity and is ensuring that the lights stay on.

Thursday, January 1, 2009