Saturday, March 26, 2016


We flew back from Costa Rica to Houston, and from there took Amtrak (train) to Chicago and then to Minot where we picked up our car and drove home. Along the way we spent two nights in Chicago, visited with some friends, and did some more sightseeing. Our first morning we got treated to this view from our hotel window.

urban sunrise

On the way down we visited the aquarium and natural history museum. This time we headed for the Lincoln Park Zoo. The bus would have got us closer, but we took the metro since usually it's easier to figure out.

We walked through the park to get to the zoo. It was still cool weather but there were signs of spring, like these daffodils blooming in a sheltered spot.

spring flowers

A red-winged blackbird singing vigorously and showing off its color.

Red-winged blacbird singing

Canada Geese swimming on the pond.

Canada goose

Of course, the reflections didn't go unnoticed.


Common (or European) Starlings were introduced to North America (and other places) and are now widespread. With the right light, their iridescent coloring is quite pretty.

Common starling

Considering it's free, the Lincoln Park Zoo is actually quite a nice little zoo. As with any zoo, some of the animals and their enclosures aren't ideal, but overall it seemed pretty good.

Many of the animals weren't in their outside areas, possibly due to the cool weather, although that didn't stop the lions who were out enjoying the sunshine. Their enclosure had a "moat" rather than bars so you could get decent photographs.



It was hard to photograph the gorillas indoors with low light and dirty glass. This is the best I managed.

gorilla looking thoughtful

Walk-through aviaries are another good chance to photograph without bars or glass, and they often have brighter natural light. Of course, the birds also have more room to evade you!

Blue-Crowned Laughingthrush

We were about to leave Lincoln Park and find lunch when we noticed the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It was full of bright flowers.

Lincoln Park Conservatory


Walking around we happened to pass this church which was covered in vines making interesting designs.

vines on church

The church and vines contrasted with the shiny skyscrapers.


Inside, it had lovely stained glass windows.

stained glass window

For more photos, see all 35 as a slideshow or overview

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