Sunday, March 18, 2007


Change of season: clearly spring is coming very soon to Chicago and environs. I'm by no means ready to let winter go. 2006-2007 was another unsatisfyingly warm and snow-sparse winter in the American midwest. Without a very cold winter, with prolonged freezing and good snow cover, the rest of the year risks drifting out of kilter. Birds migrate inappropriately soon and late; trees and other plants bud at risk of frost-bite; fruits ripen when they shouldn't,, and the animals that depend on them fatten up too early and never experience the stress needed to metabolize that fat as designed. While short winters translate to lower consumption of heating fuels, we spend the energy on cooling instead. Is it global or cyclical, permanent or transitory? I don't know, so I'll just go take my recycling down to the bins now.

Photo taken at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in mid-summer 2004.


  1. Beautiful photo - what is the name of the flower?
    I will be taking some Canadian visitors next week to visit our (New Zealand) version of Yellowstone Park. On a much smaller scale but nevertheless still spectacular.
    Here are some pics (not taken by me)

  2. Thank you very much, Merinz. NZ is very high on my to-do list, not only because of the thermal features but because of everything I know about the people (such as that they are out-numbered by the sheep! Still true?) and the myriad wonders of nature.
    As far as I know that is a lotus though I'm sorry I cannot tell you exactly what type.

  3. Hmm well it could be true.Definitely would be so in the South Island. In the area I live (Bay of Plenty - North Island) we are more likely to be out numbered by kiwifruit vines. We live about an hour and a quarter from Rotorua which is the thermal area - we have no ground thermal activity around here but there are several public thermal hot pools and in our neighbourhood many people have bores to supply their home swimming pool with hot water.