Icy Portage

Icy Portage IMG_8797_1

The prediction was we’d get a little snow, but snow never got this far south, only the rain turning into ice by morning. Given the frigidity and light conditions, I decided to limit my explorations to the Chicago Portage this morning, as I haven’t been there for quite a while.

Chicago Portage trees

Chicago Portage trees

Every time a bird came into view I could forget about the cold long enough to take off my gloves to snap a picture or two, but I am still trying to shake off the chill hours later.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

As soon as I rounded the bend of the first bridge, the Downy Woodpeckers were chasing each other through the trees. Quite a bit later I managed to get pictures of this one male who was busy shaking out stalks of dried plants.

Female Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

I also got lucky with this female Northern Cardinal who needed a special pebble.

American Robin

American Robin

And just when I thought there were no robins, a small group flew into the trees, and this one gave me a look.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadee

More Chickadees heard than seen; I also heard American Goldfinch, House Finch, and what sounded like half the refrain of a Song Sparrow. Mourning Doves were also present but their grayness blended in too well with the day. There were no waterfowl except for a couple Mallards flying over.

On the way out I decided to take a better look at that sculpture of Marquette and Joliet, which I usually ignore because it guards the parking lot and I’m either concentrating on getting in or out of my car. But today with little else going on but the bare trees, the figures made an impression.

Portage IMG_8804_1Portage IMG_8799_1Portage IMG_8805_1

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