Battery Bigelow

Remains of Battery Bigelow

The remains of the three-inch gun battery known as Battery Bigelow can still be seen at Fort DeSoto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida.

Hay Rolls

Hay Rolls; Mill Creek, Indiana

There's something about a freshly mowed field scattered with hay rolls that makes me want to stop and take a photo.

El Dorado Restaurant

Remember this place? The El Dorado restaurant in Crestwood, IL has been gone for quite a few years, but the sign still stands on 143rd and Cicero.

The El Dorado was a typical south-side suburban Chicago restaurant, serving a fairly large menu with breakfast anytime. I think the same three Greek guys own (or at least control) every restaurant in the south suburbs because they're all so similar.

What made the El Dorado different was the feeling you got when you walked in the door - the feeling of being watched! I swear, everytime I walked into this place all of the customers stopped what they were doing, turned and stared as if to say, "who are you and why are you in my restaurant?" It didn't matter what time of day or night (and I've been there at 2 AM and 2 PM) you felt like you didn't belong. The staff were nice enough, it was the patrons who made you feel as if you were on exhibit. Maybe it was something to do with the high voltage lines that ran close to the building!

This place closed around 2002 and a new El Dorado opened up in Orland Park. The Orland Park place didn't give off the same vibes.

Anyone else feel like they were being watched at the old El Dorado?

Chris Running

Chris running around
"Panned photo, no artificial photoshop effects"


Larger than life carvings; Field Museum, Chicago

Repeating Pattern

Ceiling - Field Museum, Chicago

I'm Looking Over a ...

Four-Leaf Clover.

Mike found a 4-leaf clover in the backyard. Looks like he'll have good luck for some time to come. According to this article, 4-leaf clovers are one in 10,000.

I'm still trying to figure out how Mike found the unique clover, and how he knew it was special to find one with four leaves.


Beat-up lilypad--perfect flower
Fish Lake, Indiana

Interesting Little Cottage

Fantasy shed, Fish Lake, Indiana

In Need of Paint

barn with old car
Old car by a barn
Somewhere between Walkerton and Stillwell, Indiana

Rural Indiana

rolls of hay
Hay rolls in field
Hwy. 104, near Stillwell, Indiana

Sue, the T-Rex

The world famous T-Rex at Chicago's Field Museum

Antique Tractors

Red Tractors; LaPorte County Fair, LaPorte, Indiana

Stoking the Fire

Stoking the Fire, LaPorte County Fair Pioneer Village

Tall Ships on Parade (part 4)

This is the last group of photos from the Tallships Chicago event, (I have about 50 more pictures, so I may post one or two in the future).

A replica of Christopher Columbus' Nina

Nova Scotian Barque Picton Castle, 180 feet long

Tall Ships on Parade (part 3)

The Pride of Baltimore II

Tallship "Windy" sails through the Outer Harbor
Chicago's Navy Pier on the right, and the Chicago Harbor Light can be seenin the distance just to the left of the ship

Interlocking Tower, Walkerton, Indiana

Black and White conversion of interlocking tower, Walkerton, Indiana
I haven't exactly turned into a full-fledged "Gricer" or railroad fan, but I have always enjoyed the railroad, especially the old structures that often accompanied railroad yards. I've missed several opportunities to photograph old train stations, steam era crossbucks and other items, so I'm making sure I don't miss this interlocking tower in the CSX rail yard in Walkerton, Indiana.
According to a post at, the two lines that cross there are the CSX (B&O) main To Chicago, and the seldom used NS (ex NKP Michigan City Branch).
Train moving past interlocking tower; Walkerton, Indiana

Wooden crossbuck; off rt. 104, St. Joseph County, Indiana

Tall Ships on Parade (part 2)

The Denis Sullivan (left) and another vessel sail north on Lake Michigan

People watching the parade of sail from North Avenue Beach


Tall Ships on Parade (part 1)

The Tallships Chicago event kicked off at 10:00 am on Thursday on Chicago's lakefront. Seventeen tall ships took part in the Parade of Sail on Lake Michigan from Northerly Island to North Avenue Beach.
People gather on the breakwater on North Avenue Beach to watch the Parade of Sail

Fiberglass pleasure boats and steel cargo ships dot the horizon on a normal day in Chicago, so it was great to see so many tallships sailing on the lake once again. Hundreds of these ships would come in and out of Chicago each day back in the 1800's. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see a couple of people on the bowsprit (the long pole extending from the prow of the hull).
The U.S. Brig Niagara was built in 1988 as a reconstruction of the warship aboard which Commander Oliver Hazard Perry won the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 during the War of 1812 . (

Railroad Building

While drivng through Walkerton, Indiana, I came upon a CSX railroad yard and noticed an odd shaped building right next to a seldom used crossing marked with only a stop sign on a crossbuck.
csxbuildinggates Click to enlarge

Here's a view that shows the width of the building.
csxbuilding Click to enlarge

Maybe Eddie can give me an idea of what this building may have been.

It looks as though it's not in use anymore, but it's in relatively good shape.