I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Astronomy Tuesday

Here's a pretty galaxy to start off the (working) week -- number 101 in Messier's catalog, also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy.

Image Credit and Copyright: Laszlo Bagi

Monday, May 29, 2017

Urban poetry

I was going to save this for the end of the week, but what the hell, it's a holiday.

A very cool bike rack, just off North Rush Street.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Random things I managed to see in Chicago

Right up my alley

Two samples of the Chicago-style alleyway, one charming with painted brick, those wrought iron hanging lights and the city looming in the background, and the other more typical big-city grunge, with giant beer cans and a dumpster.

I could live here, definitely

And I'm equally sure I could never afford to.

This is East Bellevue Place, a street of charming houses just off Michigan Avenue. It was chilly and getting dark and I didn't stop to try to get decent pictures from the other side of the trees lining the street. But I would have loved to be going up those front steps and into the warm glow of that living room.

Sunday bird blogging

I saw this bird hopping in a gutter near the Natural History museum last weekend, and took its picture mostly because I couldn't figure out what it was.

Away from the park, New York birds are mostly limited to pigeons, house sparrows and starlings, all of which are quite distinctive. This was too small to be a pigeon and much too large to be a house sparrow, so it had to be a juvenile starling. I'd seen them before, but I'd forgotten how dull they are compared to the flashy adults.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

John Hancock Center

Another look at the tower disappearing into the mists.

Water Tower

North Michigan Avenue, in the gloaming.

Saturday reflections

The Burberry store on North Michigan Avenue, up the street from my hotel in Chicago.

It had been raining most of the day and I didn't get outside until evening, but the gloom just enhances these reflections. The building is so insanely shiny that it takes advantage of every photon of light aimed its way.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Urban poetry

Some of the Times Square costumed characters posing with a baby while the parents took pictures. I love the expression on the kid's face.

I was in Chicago for a conference this week, and I had intended to come up with something very Chicago-y for urban poetry day. But I had very little time to get outside and walk around -- once the sessions finished for the day I had to spend most of the evening answering email and doing my regular job -- and I've had no chance to look at the pictures I did take. 

I got in very late last night, after thunderstorms shut down La Guardia for most of yesterday. I sat around O'Hare for five hours before getting on the plane, then we sat at the gate for another two hours while we waited to find out if we'd be allowed to take off. (It wasn't just that no planes were being allowed to land there -- La Guardia usually shuts down at midnight and they had to get approvals to keep the airport open.) We finally got in around 3 am, and I've been cross-eyed from lack of sleep all day.

So Chicago can wait. In the meantime, here's a grumpy baby, brought to you by Grumpy Kathleen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Astronomy Tuesday

I've posted several amazing images from the Cassini mission to Saturn recently, but Jupiter has its own exploration going on, and the images from the Juno probe are also stunning.

This white spot is a massive storm in the planet's Southern Hemisphere, surrounded by thousands of miles of turbulent swirling cloud.

 Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Bjorn Jonsson

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday bird blogging

Forget the warblers -- for me the real sign of spring is when the redwing blackbirds show up. (Plus, I can actually identify redwings without a field guide, so I'm already inclined to like them.)

This isn't a perfect picture -- too much clutter in the way. But that's life, or my life, anyway.

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