Nicer weather and the tourist influx makes Millennium Park challenging for birdwatching on my lunch hour, but it’s closer to where I work so when I don’t have a lot of time, the park beats sitting in the office. Sometimes having lower expectations brings surprises. One thing is certain: my beloved crows are not hanging out there too much. They are shy of most people and even avoid interacting with me in crowded situations. It’s certainly beneath them to beg along with the park’s summer residents that include Common Grackles and Ring-Billed Gulls in addition to Rock Pigeons and House Sparrows.
On Thursday I made my way over to the Lurie Garden at the south end of Millennium Park, which is in its first glorious phase of a full bloom cycle.
I am particularly fond of Prairie Smoke, which reminds me of cotton candy in its air-blown wispiness. It’s not in the photo above – the plants on the bottom right are Bergamot – but was elsewhere in the garden, and close up below. It’s one of the first flowers to bloom.
On the way back I ran into a couple young Grackles,who had just fledged, by the appearance of their pin feathers.
And the Ring-Billed Gulls were still trying to drum up business. My friend Karen once called them “prima donnas.”
More to come from the City Parks. I was planning on birding the Portage this morning early, sort of doing a self-styled breeding bird survey, but one of my brake lines failed last night when I moved my car back to my side of the street, and my car is in the shop. It’s old and rusty, like its owner. 🙂
That Prairie Smoke is a winner.
Thanks for the comment. The name captures some of the ephemeral nature of it. To me it doesn’t look like a flower so much as a sketch or an afterthought.
That’s a nice thought.
I’m also very fond of prairie smoke. I have some in the garden, but not enough. I like that last picture of the gull – he appears to be registering a complaint.
I bought some Prairie Smoke seeds once but never got it to take. I once had Love Lies Bleeding (amaranth) seeds that grew beautifully and then never again, but that’s an annual. As for the gull, he was doing his scream-for-food routine: I had a series of shots with the head down posture, etc. I imagine it’s how they get their parents to feed them when they’re younger and it’s like they never grow up!