Friday, August 30, 2013
|Injured American kestrel|
I make a point not to indulge in much personal commentary on this blog, but today i'm making an exception. This morning my dog discovered this kestrel sitting in the dirt at the corner of Glenwood and Farwell. I could tell that something was wrong when the bird did not react to the dog, which was only a couple of feet away from it and straining at the leash. I moved the dog away from the bird, took her around the corner to do her business, and then checked on the way back to see if the bird was still there. I would have liked to have been able to stay with the kestrel until i could get help for it, but since i needed to leave for work immediately, i did what i thought was the next best thing: i looked up the number for a local wildlife rescue center, and called and left a voicemail explaining where the bird was. Then, on my way out, i stopped by the construction site directly across the street from the bird and explained the situation to one of the guys working there, so that when the rehabbers arrived they'd know where to find the bird.
A few hours later i got a phone call from the wildlife center. It turns out that one of the workers from the construction site had voluntarily taken the kestrel to another facility that he was familiar with, so when the people from the place i called arrived (about three hours after my call), the bird was no longer there. I was then treated to a proper scolding on the phone for all of the following transgressions:
- making them waste precious time driving there only to find that the bird was gone;
- not getting the phone number of the person on the construction job that i spoke to (why i would have done that, i have no idea, since i spoke to him only as a precaution in case the rescuers had trouble finding the bird);
- letting the bird go to a facility that might not have a licensed animal rehabber on the staff.
Bear in mind that i had no idea that any of this had happened. And to be perfectly honest, if i'd been there and someone offered to take the bird to a facility he knew of, i probably would have thanked him profusely and then called to let the other center know that the situation was being taken care of. But, i repeat, i wasn't even there.
I hesitated to write this account because i have great respect for people who dedicate their time and energy to saving injured wildlife. And obviously, i love wild creatures too or i wouldn't have gone to the trouble of trying to help the bird. I realize that interpersonal skills are not necessarily a job requirement for working with wild animals, but still, it would benefit everyone if the public felt welcome to seek the help of these trained professionals and dedicated volunteers when situations like this arise. It was frustrating and hurtful to be made to feel like i had done a terrible thing when all i was trying to do was help an injured animal in the only way that i could under the circumstances. And it pissed me off. So much so that i thanked the woman on the phone for making me feel like crap for doing what i thought was a good deed, and i apologized as insincerely as i could for any inconvenience i had caused her. She then half-heartedly apologized, but the damage was done. I don't know what i would do if something like this were to happen again, but i'd be very reluctant to call there for fear that i would be subjected to another reprimand.
If anyone from that particular facility--or any other wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center--should chance to read this blog, know that i appreciate the good work you do and wish you continued success in treating the beautiful wild creatures that need our help; but please, please take a few minutes to think about how you might better deal with people who, like myself, may not be experienced in treating wild animals but who know enough and care enough to call you for help.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
|After the Home Depot Photo Shoot|
1. The Transformers IV shoot happening at Broadway and Lawrence in Uptown
2. The American goldfinch perched atop a dead echinacea flower at the corner of Wayne and Farwell
3. The crowd of people milling around Morse Avenue between Wayne and Glenwood carrying large Home Depot buckets (a few even wearing them on their heads). Apparently they were filming a commercial, but by the time i returned all that remained were a few people gathering up the props and cameras.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Watching the perennial traffic jam at the Circle interchange always makes me feel very clever for taking the L instead of driving. For those of my readers who aren't familiar with Chicago, we have a charming tradition here of naming expressways after people. Anywhere else, these cars would be going from I-290 to I-90/94; but any Chicagoan would tell you that these cars are on the Ike, heading for either the Dan Ryan or the Kennedy. Some of them may have started their journey at the Jane Addams.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
|Sheridan Station on the Red Line|
The Sheridan station on the Red Line is a relic of a bygone era. Although major renovations have been done at the other northside stations, Sheridan has changed little over the decades. Plans were announced in April 2012 for a $17 million overhaul, but so far nothing has happened. It's an interesting station because of the way that it is situated on an S-curve. Trains approach the station on a curve, as seen in this picture, and then go immediately into another curve on departing the station. The platforms can give access to trains on both the inner and outer tracks, though i'm not sure if the Purple Line ever stops there. For more on the history of the station click here.
Monday, August 19, 2013
It's hard to believe that less than twelve hours before this picture was taken, this intersection was full of fun-loving people dancing to disco music at the Glenwood Ave. Arts Fest. But by early this morning, the CTA construction site at Glenwood and Farwell was swarming with workers as tons of concrete were poured to form a foundation for the electrical substation that will be built on the site. Farwell was closed to traffic, and there were pick-up trucks and SUVs parked in every available open space, while a steady stream of cement trucks arrived full and left empty. For more pictures and commentary on the construction, please visit my other blog, How to Build a Substation.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Because of the Glenwood Ave. Arts Fest, the farmers market has been moved to J.B. Alberto's parking lot this week. My favorite GSM busker was there, looking like John Mellencamp and singing old James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkel songs.
PS. If you are wondering why i haven't posted any pictures of Arts Fest, rest assured. I'll be posting a special edition of images from the fest either tonight or tomorrow.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
|The Air & Water Show as seen from the Morse Ave. L station|
Call me an unpatriotic curmudgeon, but i've never been a fan of fighter jets screaming across the sky while i'm just trying to go about my business; thus, i usually dread the week of the Chicago Air & Water Show. I admit, it scares me. So for once i have reason to celebrate government budget cuts; this year there are no Air Force Thunderbirds or Navy Blue Angels. There are apparently skywriters. I'm still not going-- i'd rather spend the weekend in Rogers Park enjoying the Glenwood Ave. Arts Fest--but at least it seems a little friendlier and, well, welcoming.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
|This little mariachi suit in a shop window on Clark St. was so cute |
that i had to go back and take a picture of it, but somehow the picture ended up being kind of scary.
The way the stores across the street are reflected in the window makes him look transparent and ghostly.
Then there's that strange, featureless face and the little hands lost inside
the too-long sleeves.