Apologies for not getting this done sooner, but it’s just been a week. I had hoped to come up with a more interesting post. For an inaugural event, the 350-year celebration was a very pleasant day. I think we all agreed that the event was under-publicized, but perhaps it was just as well for a first-time affair. I am curious to see how the Chicago Portage and this event continue to evolve and I have so much more to learn.
The photo at the top of the post is of a Common Whitetail Dragonfly sitting on the same piece of wood where the Green Heron in my last post was feeding on them.
The photos directly below are of the set-up for the reenactment lectures that were presented throughout the day.
Earlier in the morning before the festivities began, Bob and I looked for birds. The few we saw were too far away to photograph, even with a long lens.
Indeed, my best subject was this Chipmunk scaling the bark of a hackberry tree.
We were done birding for the morning until I noticed this American Kestrel perched in a dead tree. I had no idea that I would see this bird again later.
I wish I had taken more photos of the activities, but I never caught the reporter bug, and I tend not to take photos of people. It’s enough for me to ask for a bird’s permission.
Bob and I attended John Langer’s first talk about the history of the Chicago Portage, which John offered throughout the day for latecomers. He is truly devoted and indefatigable! I followed John’s group for a while when he took the tour on the trail, and I quickly realized that I learn something new every time. There is so much to know about the Portage, I now must try to attend more presentations.
I did sit in on part of the reenactment of Marquette and Joliet’s discovery, but I was starting to fade. Then around 1:00 PM or so I went on a nature walk with two naturalists whose names I neglected to note. If this is indeed going to be an annual event I will have to be better prepared next time. One of the experts found this praying mantis, which he said was a Chinese species. I don’t think I have seen a praying mantis at the Portage before. Something else to look for!
But then I haven’t seen clover there before either. Just one flower.
Thanks to Cynthia for holding the sedges up so I could photograph them with my cell phone. Unfortunately I did not manage to name the images simultaneously so I will have to do some research. I just bought a couple books on sedges and grasses. It looks like a perfect way to go down the rabbit hole.
Then I have to figure out this grass that is growing in the stream.
One more photo of the Common Whitetail.
As we were walking, a Red-shouldered Hawk flew overhead.
Toward the end of the walk, as we stood talking, we noticed an argument between a Blue Jay and likely the very same American Kestrel I had seen earlier.
The Kestrel was not amused.
These photos are in the order that I took them.
Finally, the Blue Jay prevailed and the Kestrel left.
It somehow seems fitting that the last bird I saw and photographed before I left was a Turkey Vulture.
We are heating up this week. I don’t know how much birding I will be doing, but the pool where I swim will also be closed for cleaning, which is disappointing to say the least. I will try to see if I can swim somewhere else. If not, maybe I can make better use of my time while sitting on the futon. At least I won’t be falling asleep processing too many photographs.
There have been some interesting birds over the past week and a half and I hope to be back to this page sooner. Thanks for coming along.