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February, 2007

Generating Power...and Steam

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Midwest Generation Power Plant
Romeoville, Illinois

The Midwest Generation Power Plant seen here on a sunny but bitterly cold day with highs right around zero.

Frozen Fireplace

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Fireplace in the Snow

Not sure if this is the only thing left of an abandoned cabin, or if it's just an outdoor fire pit, but I would have liked to see a fire in it that day.

February in the Woods

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winter road
Woods in Winter

Curving Path

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snow covered path
Snow Covered Path
Naperville, IL

A sunny February day with temperatures near 40 degrees made it a perfect day to get out and grab some images before the snow melts! This little hidden park was just a few feet from the place I've been eating lunch for a year - And I just discovered the path to it yesterday.

Thawing Stream

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Stream During February Thaw
Naperville, IL

Small Men or Large Snowman?

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10 Foot Tall Snowman
Created by four students at
North Central College, Naperville, IL

These students took advantage of the warm (40 degree) temperatures and melting snow to create a huge snowman in front of their dorm.

The 10 foot snowman took about two hours to build, wears a straw hat and has eyes made out of lime slices.

Mike 'n Ice

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Mike Freezing
Fish Lake, Indiana

Leaving the ice fishing derby - and zero degree temperatures - behind, Mike is hoping the car is close by. It's time to warm up!

Soaking in the Sun...Waiting for Spring

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Waiting for Spring

Time to Leave the Ice

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Ice Fishermen Heading for Warmth
Fish Lake, Indiana

Tired of 40 mile per hour winds and bitter cold temperatures hovering around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, these ice fishermen gave up and headed for the warmth of the American Legion Hall.
The 35th annual Ice Fishing Derby didn't attract too many fishermen this year, but at least there was enough ice on the lake to support the 50 or so that showed up.

Digging Out on Valentines Day!

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Digging Out
8 AM February 14

A gusty winter storm dumped several inches of snow on the Chicago area. Over 9 inches fell, but it's difficult to tell how much actually accumulated because the winds blew the snow into deep drifts.

After a four day weekend celebrating Lincoln's birthday, the local schools were closed Tuesday and Wednesday making it a six day weekend.

As of 9:30 AM, it's still snowing even though the sun is shining!

Cupid is going to need a shovel!

Swing Bridge in Winter

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Old Railroad Swing Bridge
Romeoville, Illinois

Fresh snow cover an old swing bridge in Romeoville, IL. It's now used as part of a bike trail network through Lily Cache Island. It's a great spot to see deer - and the Citgo Refinery!

You can see the old bridge tender's hut above the roadway. It must have been quite a lonley job waiting for the trains to come by.


Lincoln's Birthday

Statue of Lincoln
Carthage College
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Chicago Theatre in Winter

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The Chicago Theater
State Street

Called the "Wonder Theater of the World" when it opened in 1921, the Chicago Theater still hosts top performers today. The theater is seen here during a snowfall in February 2007.

Kristin Hersh - Chicago In-Store Performance

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Kristin Hersh Performs in Chicago
February 6, 2007

I was able to catch singer, songwriter Kristin Hersh at a recent in-store performance in Chicago. She was promoting her new album "Learn to Sing Like a Star" following it's release late last month.
Kristin is a founding member of Throwing Muses, (an influential 80's - 90's band that opened the world's eyes to women in alternative music), a prolific solo recording artist, and front women of the "surf punk" band 50 Foot Wave.

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Often called "The Godmother of Alternative Rock" Kristin can play the guitar like no one else. I'm always surprised when I hear her play live that all the sound can come out of one guitar.

Montrose Harbor - Frozen

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Approaching Snow Storm
Montrose Harbor
Lake Michigan
Chicago, Illinois

Below zero temperatures have turned Lake Michigan into a dangerous but beautiful sheet of ice. Standing close to the ice in the cold wind, you can hear loud pops and groans as the ice moves and cracks. Under tremendous pressure, sheets of ice on lakes have been known to crack, break free and fly upward several feet!

The aid to navigation seen here looks like a mini lighthouse. The red banding near the top tells boaters to keep left of this aid to navigation when returning to the harbor. There is another lighthouse shaped marker on the other side of the harbor entrance with green bands, this tells the boater to stay to the right of the marker when returning to the harbor. It's simple to keep these rules in mind: Red, right, returning! Keep the red channel markers (called nuns) to the right of the boat when returning from the ocean or lake - or traveling upstream. The green channel markers (called cans) should be kept to the left. This way, boaters are certain to be on a safe course - even at night.

Ice Fishing on Fish Lake

More from the 35th Annual Ice Fishing Derby on Fish Lake.
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Ice Fishing Shanties
Fish Lake, Indiana

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Ice Fishermen Keeping Warm
Fish Lake, Indiana

With bitter cold temperatures in the single digits and high winds, canvas, wood and plastic shanties offered fishermen little shelter from the cold.

35th Annual Ice Fishing Derby

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Boys running toward frozen lake
Upper Fish Lake, Indiana

The 35th Annual Ice Fishing Derby in Fish Lake, Indiana was lighter than usual due mostly to the extreme weather. At 12:00 noon, the temperature was 6 degrees with winds gusting 30 to 40 miles per hour - not a great day to sit on a frozen lake! January was much cooler than normal, so nobody knew if there would be ice on the lake by February 3. Two weeks of below freezing weather produced about four inches of clear ice on the lake, with a few inches of packed snow just in time for the derby.

Absent were the fishermen sitting on buckets in the open; only two men were seen at noon without a shanty. In the 30 minutes or so we braved the cold, five fishermen packed up their tents and walked off the ice empty handed as the high winds kicked up the powdery snow.

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Too Cold for Ice Fishing
Fish Lake, Indiana

Florida Greenery

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Old Cedar
Phillippe Park, Safety Harbor, Florida

I once knew someone who hated Florida. I guess that's not so unusual, but the reason she hated it so much was because of the trees. She hated "stupid palm trees." "That's all that you ever see, skinny palm trees, it's so ugly!"

I happen to love palm trees, but even today- years after she said this- I cannot understand what part of Florida she visited. Every place I've been in Florida has more Live Oak and Bald Cypress trees and other regular looking trees than palm trees - except maybe for the beaches. Even on the beaches you see lots of Sea Grapes (those are really cool plants).

If you look at the photo above, you get a sense of how dense and lush the wooded areas of Florida can be. Maybe she's right, you can't get away from those "stupid palm trees" -there's one in the middle of this photograph!