Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Not The Best View Of Chicago

I spent most of my time in Chicago at McCormick Place, a giant convention center that takes up hundreds of acres alongside Lake Michigan just south of Chicago. At the end of my second day there, I walked to the far end of the complex to see what I could see, and got my first view of the Chicago skyline. It's not the greatest view in the world, and certainly not the money shot, but you get the idea. To the left is the Sears Tower, tallest building in this hemisphere. Towards the right is the John Hancock Building, second tallest building in Chicago. In between you can spot Soldier Field (which is obscuring the view of my hotel), The Art Institute Of Chicago, and of course, a marina that's empty for some reason in March. Sharp eyes will be able to pick out dozens of other landmarks, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader. (There's a really good panorama at the Chicago Wikipedia entry if you want to know what's what. Go check it out.)

Here There Be Lions

I've brought you pictures of lions before, but nothing as big as these guys. The fact that they are stone and guard the entrance to The Art Institute Of Chicago doesn't enter into it at all. A little internet research reveals that these two lions were created the same year as the hotel I stayed at while in Chicago, 1893. They stand at the edge of Michigan Avenue, one to the north of the museum, and one the the south. The northernmost lion is above and below, and is called "On The Prowl". The southern lion, at right in the bottom picture, is called "Stands In An Attitude Of Defiance" I'm not sure what all that means, but they sure do look cool. I've got some daytime shots of these guys I hope to share with you later, but these nighttime shots from my first evening in Chicago sure are neat. Tough to tell in these pics, but the lions are actually bright green. Oh, the artist for these fellows was Edward Kerneys.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chicago's Leading Lady

It's hard for me to believe that I was in Chicago two weeks ago. So much has happened in the interim that it seems decades ago. However, I was able to take some time to myself and get out with my camera while I was there, so I have some digital memories that should last for a good long while. This lovely lady is one of the things I saw that intrigued me. She was planted in the median of Congress Avenue right next to my hotel. You could see hundreds of little bulbs just starting to peek out of the ground, so I'm sure that by now this statue is surrounded by greenery. I think this was part of an exhibition of pieces made from recycled auto parts, but I'm not sure. Let me do a little research. Well, the exhibit I'm thinking of was called Artists + Automobiles and was on display in 2006. So I've no idea what this piece might be from.

UPDATE: Someone found out who this lovely lady is for me. Her name is Magdalene or Magdaline, depending on where you look, and she is sculpted by Dessa Kirk. Turns out that she is the same artist who did the Artists + Automobiles pieces I saw, but I think those are a different exhibit.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Whole Arc, Such As It Is

I happened to catch this odd rainbow this afternoon at my parents house. I don't know if you can tell just how odd it is by looking at the picture. See how low it is to the ground? This was created by an oncoming rainstorm at around 4:30 in the afternoon, more than three hours before sunset. That made the sun quite high in the sky, and this the rainbow was low to the ground. You don't see these very often, and this one only lasted about 5 minutes. I figure I'm pretty lucky to have seen it, and even more so to have photographed it.

Whoops, Missed It

While I was out sick, I missed the three year anniversary of the blog. Seems like it's been a lot longer than three years, but the 21st of March is three years to the day. Well, not exactly to the day, since there's at least one leap year in there, but I suppose we can overlook that. If you want to see what you missed way back then, you can click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and start reading your way up. It's not as exciting as I might have hoped, but it's grown into a nice little diversion for me. I've gathered a few regulars over the years, and quite a few folks who stop by almost frequently. I appreciate all of your support, and here's to another three years! 526K visitors is pretty successful if you ask me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The End

Here's your picture for today and tomorrow, the very end of March. This is also the end of the picture book from 2007, which as you can see has spilled 3 months into 2008. I shot this furry fellow at Ft. Desoto some time back. He was hanging out near the picnic tables hoping for a handout. I didn't give him anything he wanted, so he beat a hasty retreat not long after I took this shot.