Just ducky…

Out of the water for a bit, this male Mallard tries to hide among the Dandelions. These images were all taken one morning at Lincoln Park’s North Pond. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Grooming is ever a process when out of the water. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

Male Wood Duck sunning on a warm spring day. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Mallard Duck family enjoying an outing in Lincoln’s Park, North Pond, Chicago. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

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Friend or foe…

On my stretch break in-between painting sessions Thursday I walked around the main pond at Bonnet House, camera in-hand as always. Hugh, their widower Swan was in the grass grooming himself. Then the story began; see the turtle sticking his head out of the water. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Rising out of the water comes this Turtle, seeming to have his eye on Hugh, named for Hugh Taylor Birch, the father of the original owner of the Bonnet House. The home and property were a wedding gift to his daughter, Helen, and her new husband. Fredrick Clay Bartlett. Copyright 2018, Pamela Breitberg

Hugh stopped grooming for a moment to watch the turtle waddle out of the water and towards him. I was unsure if they were friends or foe. Hugh was widowed when his wife, Helen,the female swan died a few years ago. Before her death they had numberous successful hatches; who were relocated because Swans are very territorial. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Neighbors for certain. Friend or foe, not so certain. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Physical contact made. No fight or warning seemed to happen so I am assuming they are friends or at least tolerant neighbors. At any rate it’s a very assertive turtle; his out head never retreated inside his shell. Watching this interaction was as much fun for me as painting. I’m a nature lover first and foremost. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

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Not a pigeon…

Ibis resting on a one leg. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Ibis resting on a one leg. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Imagine my excitement to see this Ibis resting on a chain-link fence at the edge of a Best Buy (electronic store) parking lot. My Midwestern self considers such birds as exotic tropical specimens represented in zoos. It is a foreign idea to consider them common wild birds of the neighborhood. Ft. Lauderdale has been called the Venice of the U.S.; though respectfully I doubt that Venice calls itself the Ft. Lauderdale of Italy. What I’m meaning to say is that waterways are prevalent in Ft. Lauderdale.

I “assume” that it is resting between fishing activities in contrast to Chicago parking lot fowls. Chicago parking lots are inhabited by pigeons and much to the surprise of coastal residents, seagulls. Some explain the seagull’s presence with our large water body, Lake Michigan. But many of the seagulls in Chicago prefer the food left in grocery and mall parking lots. No fishy diet for them.

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Sunlit textures…

Late afternoon, low angel light shows the textures of one of the Lincoln Park lawns. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

The same light on Lake Michigan reveals textures created from Lake depths and wind. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

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Urban city walking path…

Canadian Geese along Lake Michigan edge with downtown Chicago in background. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Asters line the wall along the pathway in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Five miles from downtown Chicago. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Walking and bicycling through Lincoln Park in Chicago is primarily done on the paved (official) pathway that meanders down the west side of the park. There is also this Lake Michigan frontage pathway which is broken up by various harbor entrances for boaters. This rougher pathway is less traveled, so especially on weekends is less of a busy pedestrian highway than the paved route.

For those unfamiliar with Chicago the tallest building on the left is the John Hancock, the middle one is the Trump Hotel, and the one on the right is the Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower). Lincoln Park runs about 18 miles along Lake Michigan’s southwestern edge, north of downtown Chicago. It connects to other lake front parks in the downtown area. The parks of Chicago are part of the treasures that make Chicago such a special city.

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