Monday, October 18, 2010

Morning Walks in Uptown: Part I

One of the really pluses about living in the Kaio Community is that we are only a short walk from Lake Michigan. We can go there when it is bustling with activity, when it is cold and no one is around, we can go there almost any time of day. O, we do!

I particularly like going to the lake after morning Mass and before work begins. It is just a reminder of how lucky I am to be working in this city. Last week I went to Mass at St. Mary of the Lake Parish and then spent two hours walking along the lake. It was a wonderful way to begin the day.

Montrose Harbor

I started at Montrose Harbor. This has always been a favorite spot of mine. I use to get up early and fish here as a teenager. You can see the downtown skyline, lakeshore drive and the pumping stations from the harbor. It is now next to the Montrose Pointe bird Sanctuary. In front of it are restored wetlands. The paths are full of in-line skaters, cyclists, runners, parents and children, people in love and people in love with the lakefront.

Montrose Pointe Bird Sanctuary

The bird sanctuary is extensive. The plants are now all native to the area. The birds have responded. This is a major stop for migratory birds going back and forth from the Americas. It is not unusual to find professional photographers in the sanctuary taking photos not only of the wild life but also of the plants. When you are in the sanctuary you have to remind yourself that there is a big, bustling city right outside the borders.

Restored Dunes, Montrose Beach

Beyond the sanctuary are the restored dunes. The combination of wetlands, plains and dunes reflects the natural lakefront area of 100 years ago. It is inviting to wildlife. It is also inviting to Chicagoans!

Chicago Lakefront

I walked along the lake. As I went south I saw the skyline of downtown. When I turned north I was pleasantly surprised to have the company of birds join me. The gulls were particularly brave and did not fly away as I approached them.


I walked over to Montrose Beach. That was another nice surprise. The birds played at the shore and dogs played on the beach. It was as if they gathered there just to entertain me!

Birds at Montrose Avenue Beach

Finally it was time to get back to Emmaus Ministries and work. As I walked down Wilson Ave I and two more stops. These were about art not nature but like nature, they were beautiful and they also made me smile.

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