I didn't have as much time to edit photos yesterday as I expected, so I only have two more for today:
And I want to give a big shout out to this little guy, named Bear, who forded the 5-meter-wide tidal pool all by himself:
I took 540 photos at Montrose Dog Beach today. I expect to post a bunch this afternoon and tomorrow evening. For now, though, here's a quick taste:
Did she have fun? Oh, my yes.
Cassie and I went to the Montrose Dog-Friendly Area (aka Montrose Dog Beach) this afternoon for the first time. I don't recall ever seeing her have more fun, which says a lot. Tomorrow I'll bring my real camera and a long lens to get some action shots.
Cassie, she of large webbed feet and recent Labrador retriever ancestry, has steadfastly refused to go into the kiddie pool at the dog park for as long as I've had her. Until today, that is:
She kind of padded in, turned around a couple of times, snapped at the water, and delicately stepped out. Then she did it again. Twice.
Well, OK, maybe this weekend when it's 33°C we'll hit Montrose Beach? (Note to self: schedule a bath for Cassie this weekend.)
Remember the deer in the cemetery? He's getting bolder:
He (I think it's a male fawn) let me get pretty close, and held still when I took photos through the fence:
A local artist named him "Spooky Boi," which fits, I think. It's pretty spooky when megafauna stares at you through a cemetery fence at 7am as you pass by with a dog.
I left Cassie all alone for 5½ hours yesterday, and came home to this baleful look:
And yet, 20 minutes later, all was forgiven:
(A 15-minute walk occurred between these two photos, which may have had something to do with the forgiveness.)
This morning while walking Cassie I saw a deer placidly grazing in St Boniface Cemetery by the Lawrence Ave. fence. Now, in most parts of the world, deer hang out in cemeteries about as often as corpses. And I have reported in these pages that St Boniface has a resident coyote population (which I expect the deer will discover at some point).
Coyotes are smart predators who typically eat rats and pigeons in urban settings. Also, coyotes can slip under low fences easily, as can most any 20-kilo canid. So while I always enjoy coyote sightings in my neighborhood (as long as they give me a wide berth), I am never surprised. But a deer? In St Boniface?
Since almost none of my readers lives in Chicago, let me show you a satellite image for context:
The nearest forest preserve is 6 km to the west. To the north and south, we have nothing but heavily urbanized Chicago, except for Graceland Cemetery four blocks away. And to the east, we have Lincoln Park along the lake—but also the 8-lane Lake Shore Drive.
Also, from dusk to dawn the cemetery is completely locked up. The east edge is a 4-meter concrete wall and the other three edges have a 3-meter fence. Deer can jump, sure, but 3 meters?
So how did the deer get into the cemetery, how did it get to the cemetery, and how are the cemetery staff going to safely exfiltrate the deer from the grounds before the coyote pack has a venison supper?
Cassie and I took on a stretch of the Ice Age Trail near La Grange, Wis., this afternoon:
She is snoring peacefully on the couch now, and probably will continue doing so for many hours.
Note to self: bring more water for the dog next hike.
Not having an adolescent dog who wants her breakfast at 6am to contend with this morning meant I actually got to sleep in. (Yes, 7:15 is "sleeping in" when I'm in California, because that's 9:15 back home.)
The friends looking after Cassie reported last night: "Cassie's a bit confused...she said something about not signing up for the overnight package." This morning: "Very barky at noises. But she settled down. We're heading to the dog park after Meet the Press!" (Cassie will not be on the news program, but if I've taught her anything, she'll have a critical view of any politician who lies about the election.)
Off to coffee. Then a 3-kilometer walk to the train to start my social tour of the entire South Bay today.
Almost 16 months since I last flew anywhere, I have returned to O'Hare:
Despite traveling on Saturday afternoon, which historically has meant few delays and a quiet airport, the traffic coming up here was so bad my car's adaptive cruise control gave up. But she got a treat once we got to economy parking:
I don't think I have ever parked that close to the elevators in 48 years of flying. Good thing, too, because the closest non-LEV space was in the next county.
Once I got into the terminal, it took less than 3 minutes to get through security. So the Saturday afternoon airport has at least met half of my expectations.
By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, I will spend 16 of the next 52 hours inside vehicles, moving or otherwise. I had planned to rent a car in San Francisco to see family tomorrow, but at $110 for a Yugo (plus gas, parking, etc) I just made a deal with my family to meet somewhere accessible by public transit. Since that describes almost the entire South Bay, they agreed. So, naturally, I've also brought three books.
Man, I missed air travel.
(NB: Cassie is at a friend's house "settling in well.")