We just got back from a short visit to Fox Lake, just 10 minutes from where we live, to see some Common Loons and American White Pelicans after reading about them on the Illinois birding list. Someone reported seeing pelicans and loons at Fox Lake with detailed instructions on how to get there, so we got in the car with our new Leica spotting scope and headed for the Mineola Marina in Fox Lake. It was pouring down rain, so we didn’t stay too long, but we did get to see 20 pelicans and 7 loons, which are two new birds for our lifelist. 🙂 More »
Just as we thought we’d seen the last snow for a while, we wake up to another winter wonderland. One week into spring and we had an overnight snowfall of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) here in northern Illinois. March had been very mild until now, with temperatures in the 70s (20oC+) in recent weeks, but it looks like we have to get our shovels out one more time. Springtime snowstorms are hardly out of the ordinary in Chicago. The record for total snowfall in March is 23.1 inches in 1926 and the record for total snowfall in April is 13.6 inches, back in 1938.
The United States Postal Service has a great change-of-address service … in theory that is. When you move they’ll forward your mail for a full year, for FREE! I couldn’t believe this when I heard it, because in Holland you pay €2.25 per week (after the first month) to have your mail forwarded, and that’s just inside Holland; if you move outside Europe it’ll set you back €9.25 per week. That’s quite expensive if you consider that USPS will forward regular mail and packages for a year, and newspapers and magazines for 2 months, totally free. When Amy moved to Holland her mail all got forwarded across the pond, it was great. Well, this time it is not exactly working out for us. More »
This 25-foot sculpture by J. Steward Johnson is called God Bless America and was installed on Pioneer Court in Chicago last December 2008. It is based on one of the most famous American paintings, American Gothic (1930) by Grant Wood, which is in the Art Institute of Chicago.
In this video some guys strapped vests with lights onto sheep and had them run around in specific patterns to create art on a hillside in Wales. They even have them play pong! I’m not sure if it’s fake or not, but it’s still a pretty crazy idea. What is this for? A Samsung commercial? Very weird indeed!
Cloud Gate, nicknamed ‘The Bean’ because of its bean-like shape, is a sculpture in Chicago by British artist Anish Kapoor. The highly polished 100-ton steel structure was unveiled in May 2006 and forms the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park. I’ve seen it several times and think it’s a really cool sculpture. Here are some photos from our visit last Saturday:
At the end of the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago last Saturday, they had three DeLorean cars! As a fan of the Back to the Future movies and someone who had never seen an actual DeLorean before, I thought this was very cool. Only approximately 9,000 of these gull-winged cars were made in 1981 and 1982 by the Delorean Motor Company in a factory in Northern Ireland, hence these Irish cars were in the parade. Only about 6,500 DeLorean DMC-12s are believed to still exist today.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!! Last Saturday we went to downtown Chicago to witness the Chicago River going green and after that we walked to Grant Park for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which started at noon. The parade lasted for about 3 hours, which was really too long, but it was still fun. Lots of groups gave out free stuff (like green hats, beads, candy, etc.) and it was a sport trying to get as much as you can (we didn’t get much though).
Today we participated in one of the Maple Syrup Hikes at Ryerson Conservation Area. On the one-hour program we learned about the Sugar Maple trees that make sweet sap and how they tap them to make syrup. I love maple syrup on my pancakes and waffles and have always wanted to see this.
This is my 300th post on this blog. To commemorate today’s milestone I thought it would be fun to have a look at the stats and see what our most visited posts have been over the years. These posts are all pretty old as they have had the most accumulative hits over the years:
- Hidden Security Tags in Old Navy Jeans
- The Rat Temple of Rajasthan
- Pirates of the Carribean 2: a rip-off of Monkey Island?
- Top 10 Things to do in Tunisia
- Quechuas Toss and Go Seconds Tents
- Pop Tarts with Beef Gelatin
- Top 10 Budget Things to do in Chicago
- Scuba in Europe’s Largest Swimming Pool
- Top 10 Things to do in South Florida and the Keys
- Driverless Robot Buses Crash