Frigid February Morning

This is what sub-zero looks like. It was just below zero Fahrenheit this morning when I shot these.

The sun was just beginning to creep over the horizon at this point

The sun was just beginning to creep over the horizon at this point

Up over the horizon, but blocked by clouds…

Over the horizon, but not quite visible...

Over the horizon, but not quite visible…

Peeking through the clouds …

Brightening, but still chill ...

Brightening, but still chill …

Here the sun has risen and illuminates the ‘steam’ coming up from the surface waters which is really ice crystals.

Lovely reflection off Lake Michigan's surface ...

Lovely reflection off Lake Michigan’s surface …

This is just a clearer shot of the lake’s surface.

Last, but not least more surface detail.

Last, but not least more surface detail.

One of the things worth mentioning is that these were shot looking almost exactly due east, so you can see how much the sun has returned from its wintry trip down south. It is almost dead even on the horizon as it moves back north through spring and summer.

These photos were shot today, February first. Since the first of the year, we have added 13 minutes of daylight in the morning and 35 minutes in the afternoon, so we have a total of 48 more minutes of sunlight now than we did when the year started. Things are looking up.

Tony

January Sunrise

After a series of unpicturesque mornings, January fifth offered a dramatic contrast.

 

Just before cracking the horizon

Just before cracking the horizon

This was several minutes later:
sun

Good morning, sun.

Worth the wait

Worth the wait

I wonder what it is about January that brings about such dramatic displays.

Tony

Oldies but Goodies

I was just doing some year end housecleaning and ran across these two photos that I had previously sent to friends. Thought they looked good enough to share with you.

The first was a spectucular December morning.

Awesome array of colors

Awesome array of colors

The second was a photo I took one morning walking the dog. The sun hadn’t quite risen yet and there was one of those magical morning lights going on.

This is in Lakeshore East Park looking west

This is in Lakeshore East Park looking west around sunrise. The sun is coming up behind me.

Happy holidays, all!

Tony

A Splendorous Friday December 14 in Chicago

Triskaidekaphobics fear Friday the 13th, but we almost need to invent a new word on the other end of the spectrum for the Friday the 14th that Chicago experienced.

I posted a number of times on Fall Foliage and the experience of the changing seasons here in Chicago. Typical Fall goings on. The leaves turn colors and drop from the branches.

But, here it is a week before the official start of winter and it feels like someone has turned back the clock. To be sure, most trees are barren of leaves. But, we had spring-like conditions Friday.

Here is Monroe Harbor Bereft of boats, but glistening in sunshine

Here is Monroe Harbor bereft of boats, but glistening in sunshine. That’s Navy Pier in the background

The normal high for December 14 is 35 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 23. We experienced a high of 49 F and a low of 31. Notice that the low is only four degrees under the normal high. In addition, we basked in a luxurious sunny day with very little wind. Most un-Decemberlike. The weather bureau reports that we have just set a record of 285 days without measurable snow. The last such snowfall was March 4. The latest “first measurable snow of season” – December 16, 1965.

Good for a double take - a sightseeing boat in mid-December

Good for a double take – a sightseeing boat in mid-December on Lake Michigan

The day started in the 30s, but worked its way up fast. I felt like it was an imposter 30s because there was no bite to the air. On my first bike ride, I didn’t take the dog, because she doesn’t ride in less than 45F weather. I enjoy having her with me, but I don’t want to be practicing animal abuse in the bargain. By the time I got home from the ride, however, the temp had risen above 40F and I knew I would have company if/when I rode in the afternoon.

I hope these photos demonstrate just what a gorgeous day we had here. Keep in mind that mid-December in Chicago could have blizzard-like conditions.

Gabi taking a rest on a bench wearing only a hoodie in mid-December

Gabi taking a rest on a bench wearing only a hoodie in mid-December

I ride my bike every day that I can, so the variance in temperature meant that I wore a different outfit. Also, I don’t take my dog with when we have less than 45 F.

Because I carry my iPhone with me on rides, I was able to record some of the day’s splendor.

This past Friday was indeed one to remember and for which to be thankful for to a generous providence.

Tony

November Light

As November draws to a close and the requisite chill makes itself known there remain some beautiful mornings.

This was just moments before sunrise. I especially like the light on the trees and ship in the foreground.

In the second shot a while later, the sun had risen but snuck behind a cloud bank to reflect on chill Lake Michigan.

A lovely way to start Cyber Monday …

Tony

November Morn

I shot these yesterday. Although the vibrant colors of October have mostly fled, the sunrise fails to disappoint.

Shortly before sunrise.

The first is before sunrise and the second shortly after.

Not long after.

This is on a bike ride a little later.

Tony

Overcast Morning Just Before Sunrise

This is what the sky looked like facing southeast this morning just before sunrise. The lights in the distance are the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. The dark clouds overhead hint at the turmoil in the air from Frankenstorm Sandy approaching the East Coast. Wind gusts hit to 30 miles per hour on my morning bike ride.

An awesome look at nature.

Tony

Lakefront Leaf Mosaic

This is really funny. Most days I stretch out my quads after riding 10 to 15 miles. One of my favorite places to stretch is at the Doane Observatory behind the Adler Planetarium. There are some nice fence bars there to hold on to while I stretch. The funny part is that I never noticed till this morning that the leaf coloring was magnificent. I was so busy stretching the concentrating on breathing deeply that I couldn’t see the woods for the trees. Or, in this case I guess I couldn’t see the leaves for the eaves.

I park the bike here and support myself on the fence to the left while stretching.

Here are the leaves which are right in front of my face while I stretch.

Amazing array of colors, no?

Tony

Sunrise Over Lake Michigan

This morning I got out on the bike just after sunrise. This is what the sky looked like.

Tranquil Lake Michigan just after sunrise. Click photo to see full size.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan is something. Isn’t this an amazing combination of sun, sky, clouds and boats.

Tony