Photographing Chicago’s Polar Vortex Without Stepping Out of My Door

Cauldron

Truly.

I photographed the three days of the Polar Vortex, Tuesday evening (Jan 29), Wednesday, January 30 and Thursday, January 31 without going out in the minus whatever air temperature there was on those days (that went down to – 50 degrees F with the windchill on Wednesday).

Here’s a youtube video I made of the lake on Jan 30:

And my tweet on twitter on Jan 31:

Lake Michigan looked like it was boiling – the cold air fighting with the warm water resulted in spectacular mist formations.

How Lake Michigan Looked on Wednesday

I stayed at home for three days photographing the conditions outside through my slightly ajar balcony door.



It helped that I live right on Lake Michigan. Granted I didn’t have the picture of the skyline with the lake mist arising in front of it nor the beautiful lake line with boulders of ice but I didn’t have the frostbite and numbing pain and running from the extreme cold to the car for temporary warmth and then back to photograph and didn’t have to have my gear subjected to extreme conditions either.

How Lake Michigan looked on Wednesday, the coldest day at -18 degrees F

And I think I did pretty well.

Skyline Walk – December 8, 2018



Shooting the Chicago skyline at dusk always clears cobwebs in my mind.

I just can’t get enough of this.

Blah Weekend


It was just a so-so weekend, really a time to just rest and laze around the house. I looked out the window on Saturday, saw that it was sunny but cold, so I went back to bed.

On Sunday, I had an errand to do in downtown, so while I was there, I checked out my usual photographic defaults – The Bean and Lurie Garden, nothing much was happening there. I am sure there was something going on somewhere downtown, but I just wasn’t up to doing anything.

I went grocery shopping instead.



Oh Happy Day!


This morning’s sunrise (March 4, 2018) reminded me of the gospel song, “Oh Happy Day!” by Edwin Hawkins (sung by Edwin Hawkins, Lynette Hawkins Stephens and the Edwin Hawkins Singers) which goes this way:

Oh happy day (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
He washed my sins away (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day).

Edwin Hawkins is considered to be one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. “Oh Happy Day” was popularized (at least to me) by the movie, Sister Act II.



A Very Short Drop By at the Lakefront – Jan 12, 2018

It was quite windy on my drive home on the 12th of January, so I stopped by the lakefront by the Foster Ave. beach and took pictures of the waves hitting the groin.

I was the only one there, but people arrived to take pictures as I was leaving.



Whihala Beach, Whiting, IN – January 18, 2018


Chicago skyline as seen over an icy fence in Whihala Beach, Whiting, IN

Checked out what the buzz is all about in neighboring Whiting, IN.


It is out of this world! Whihala Beach is frozen!

Sunrise, November 26, 2017

I didn’t have much chance to do photography the last couple of weeks because of illness. Hopefully, I will bounce back soon.

But the sunrise yesterday as seen from my balcony was just gorgeous. I had to rise from my bedrest and endure the pain just to take these pictures.



Moonlight Sonata, November 3, 2017

Did a very quick visit to the lakefront just south of Ohio St. Beach and Lakeshore Drive last Friday night. It was quick because it was damn cold. I kept on asking myself, why am I even doing this?

But it was a good way to end a very strange week.


Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

The Indiana Dunes hugs 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is one of the most diverse biomes in the United States and indeed in this part of the world. It consists of 11 types of ecosystems (from wetland to oak savanna to prairie) and has a very very interesting history. Back in the late 1800s, early 1900s, Many of Chicago’s industrialists didn’t want to have the ugliness of industrial landscape in the city, so they built their money making industries (steel and shipping especially) on the shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Indiana.



This stretch of Lake Michigan used to be so polluted that some parts were deemed biologically dead BUT eventually, with community, industry, government and other stakeholders working together, parts of the lakeshore have been restored to their full glory. The restoration is still on going and the success of this movement has served as a model for many other conservation efforts around the world. There is a great documentary called Shifting Sands that chronicles the conservation and sustainability of this region.

Half the Early Birds – September 10, 2017

Only half of the Early Birds group came to the sunrise walk last Sunday. But that was ok. I was really on it for the exercise. According to my iPhone, I did over 5,000 steps that morning – basically walking around Burnham Harbor then to Millennium Park.



And one photo:

Yoga in the Morning

made it to explore on Flickr.