Late December Afternoon

After sharing our splendid December day with you last week, it seems only fitting to pass on this one, too. Today was not a splendid December day at all. The temperature ranged slightly above average at low 40s F, but rain fell intermittently and wind gusts ranged to 35 mph peppering your face and body if you were out in it. Not a fun day.

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The rains and wind kept me off my bike till late afternoon when it slowed to a trickle. I rode along the lakefront for a while as the light evaporated. I was on the way home when I caught this view of Burnham Harbor and Navy Pier in the background. I was struck by the fading light and the character of the electronic illumination which had been turned on. The lack of daylight rendered a soft focus to the photo which really fascinated me. It reminded me of something Impressionistic, especially the way the lights seemed to have been dabbed on by a paint brush, not really defined at all.

If you look close you can see the sidewalk is still shiny from rain.

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

Foggy Morning on Chicago Lakefront

Yesterday’s storms were followed by fog this morning. As a cyclist I like fog because there is never a wind with a fog, so riding is always comfortable. It also made for same fascinating photos. Click on any photo to see full size.

This is DuSable Harbor facing south.

I shot the second photo a bit farther down the bike path. The lights in the distance are Monroe Harbor.

Monroe Harbor from the bike path.

Next is a short bike ride down to actually be in Monroe Harbor.

Monroe Harbor up close.

The final shot is farther south still of the Shedd Aquarium ringed by lights.

Shedd Aquarium ringed by lights.

These were all shot in the first light of day. I absolutely love the appearance of electric lights at this time.

Tony

Clouds Over Lake Michigan

The open expanse of Lake Michigan offers some stunning views of clouds. Some of these are from bike rides. As always you can click on a pic to see it full size.

This is 12th St. Beach

This is a storm that blew over Chicago and now rests over the lake at sunrise

I thought these clouds looked like gravel in the sky over 12th St. Beach

This is Monroe Harbor

Tony

Chicago Lakefront Bike Ride

I live on Chicago’s Lakefront and ride my bicycle there all year ’round. I wanted to share a couple of shots from this morning’s ride.

The first is looking south in Monroe Harbor where all the boats are still in the water. Later this month the owners will begin putting them into drydock or sailing them to more friendly weathered ports.

I shot the second photo this morning too. It looks slightly more eastward. You can see in the right hand corner the buildings in the left most part of the first shot. If you look very closely you can see some of the remaining steel mills in Gary, Indiana.

Rare view.

The photo above is not typical as it was shot from around the Adler Planetarium looking north. Usually the only way you can see this particular view is from a boat. I shot this from about two miles south of the first two pics on the following day. Hence the different clouds and calmer water.

We get some epic views of the sky, too, when it is unobstructed like this.