Monday, March 27, 2006

Sundays In The Park

Sundays are the only day of the week that I don’t work at some job.

It’s rare “me time.”

I do pretty much anything that strikes my fancy, which can range from actual chores to meandering over the Sunday Trib.

All and all I get to rejuvenate my weary work ridden soul.

Last week I told you of the sights seen as I took the CTA to pick up a few groceries.

This week’s Sunday adventure took me through Woodlawn, north to Hyde Park then west to Washington Park.

I have the luck to live in-between two of Chicago largest parks---Jackson Park on the east and Washington Park on the west.

I can see Jackson Park and golf course from my balcony. Washington Park is a jewel that I don’t get to visit too often.

Since I had plans on visiting friends that lived on the northeastern edge of Washington Park, I decided to take a rare walk instead of taking the bus.

Ever so often you need to take a two and half mile stroll to get the juices pumping.

So off I went and in about a half an hour I was crossing 60th and Cottage Grove about to enter into Washington Park.

It’s easy to forget what a wonderful city I live in but also what jaw dropping, interesting cultural and civic jewels that are within walking distance.

This is what I saw yesterday:

The amazing “Fountains of Time” sculpture whose reflecting pool is finally being renovated

A statute of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing by the Dusable Museum

A community of the chatty and brightly colored Monk Parakeets at the corner of 54th and Cottage Grove

I stood there and watched our feathered South American imports talk amongst themselves and fly between their huge duplexed nests.

I hate to sound like a dork but it was so cool.

Think about it---birds that lived in South America got out in Chicago almost 40 years ago are somehow able to survive and breed in a completely hostile climate.

From what I could tell they have communities within the Monk Parakeet community.

There were groups of nests at 54th & Cottage, then another group at 52nd and Payne.

They are relatively easy to spot with the leaves not on the trees. Look for huge nests---you can’t miss them.

Another interesting fact in that the parakeets can mostly be found in Chicago at Washington and Jackson Parks. They don’t seem to want to branch out en mass too far from the south side.

Perhaps the realtors selling condos should adopt a new slogan: The south side, it’s for the birds.

You can’t fool Mother Nature.

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