We are lucky in that we live next to Lincoln Park (you can see part of it in the “Edgewater Beach Now” picture on the right side of this blog). Although I have spent many hours in the park this summer, I still haven’t seen all that it has to offer. Today we travelled a few miles south of our building and visited the park’s North Pond. (Lincoln Park is about seven miles long.)
North Pond has been reclaimed, restored, and is now a native prairie and wetland area. We saw lots of butterflies and bees in the extensive wildflower fields. Down by the lake we saw a Great Blue Heron.
There was a birder there who identified the heron for us, and told us that it was a young one, probably making his first trip down from Minnesota or Northern Michigan to the south. He could tell by its color that it was male. He said it would probably winter over in Texas or Florida. I remember seeing birds like this on January bike rides through Brookshire.
Ducks and turtles were also out on the lake. In addition, we found a Michelin-starred little restaurant tucked away in the park.
Although we did not eat there – advance reservations only – CVH went inside and spoke with the general manager, and now she wants to go back and have brunch.
We continued our walk and went around the Nature Museum, which has been edifying Chicago residents since 1869, if you can imagine. That was before the Great Fire! (Although North Pond was not here at the time, the Fire did reach this far, miles from the O’Leary barn.) The original museum burned in the fire, as you might expect.
The grounds around the Museum are a delight for city dwellers. The location was popular with what appeared to be wedding engagement photo shoots. We tried not to insert ourselves in too many of them, but it was a busy place.
Not as busy inside the park as it was right outside, though. It was perfect Sunday weather for visiting the park, and traffic was horrendous. Outside the park cars kept circling, looking for parking spots and honking their horns. Fortunately, we didn’t hear any of this inside the park, and more fortunately, we took the bus.
After the museum area, we went to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool.
The Lily Pool has been around since 1889, and its fortunes waxed and waned over the years until it was restored about twenty years ago. It is just stunning now. More photo shoots. Old-timers will note that the Muzak has been removed.