Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December 27, 2019 Our Nature and Industry Hike Around Wolf Lake

Wolf Lake is one of the many projects the City of Hammond has completed with casino money. Since Christy and I were both off of work today, we took the dogs for a five mile hike all the way around Wolf Lake. It has the typical Northwest Indiana combination of restored or protected natural areas and industrial areas. I can't easily explain why I love this combination, but I really love taking photos of nature and industry.

So off we go from the East side of Wolf Lake near the Pavilion. 

There are new information signs along the entire trail.

After spotting bald eagles in the trees on a island in Wolf Lake, we saw several swans looking for fish.

We also saw this industrial foam along the west shoreline.

Christy and Nola just off the paved trail.

On the north side of the lake is the huge Forsythe Park. It was about here that we decided to hike all the way around the lake.

Yeti walking along the cut grass beside the paved path.

It was about this area which obviously has a beaver nearby, that we saw a coyote sleeping in the park. At first we thought it was injured, but Christy saw it get up and walk toward the baseball fields.

Yeti sniffing his way along the lake shore.

The sun broke through the clouds as we headed toward Indianapolis Boulevard.

This is a Cargill factory across the lake.

Nature & Industry

Nola, Nature & Industry.

The beavers around here are impressive.

Street Art near the Cargill entrance on Indianapolis Blvd.

Nice work 0n this little building.

Me and Yeti heading to the Horseshoe Casino.

The trail cuts between the west side of the Cargill factory and behind the Walmart and ends up westbound on 112th Street where you walk under the Indiana Toll Road.

Then the trail heads south at the state line with Eggers Grove on the Illinois side.
Even though the power plant is no longer on Lake Michigan just north of here, you can still hear the electricity crackling on the wires above us. 

Sun and blue skies to the north.

Clouds to the south. This picture looks like a black & white photo with no post production.

Finally some color.

These signs are at every junction along the trail. 

Yeti and I were behind the girls most of the hike.

The sun broke through again to light up the tall grass.

The tall grass along the west side of Wolf  Lake

Nola has the best shadows.

There is a long bridge to get us over the lake on the west side.

We are right beside the Indiana Toll Road.

Great late afternoon sunlight.

Hiking back on the ground again with the sun to our right.

This is the view looking north with the sun at my back.

The sun warmed it up enough to remove a layer.

Nola closeup.

More fun with long shadows.

We took a few minutes to relax on the bench. near a split in the trail. We took the trail to the right back to the Pavilion and to our left takes you south to downtown Hammond.

Even Nola...

...and Yeti seemed to enjoy the rest.

I really enjoyed this long hike around the east side of Wolf Lake. As we walked back to the car, we agreed that a bike ride from home to Calumet Park would be a lot of fun too. Something to do in 2020. Happy New Year everyone...and let's be safe out there.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

December 22, 2019 A Beautiful "Winter" Day at Marquette Park Beach

I woke up to two dogs on the bed next to me after DJing a wedding last night. I didn't get to bed until 2am and they let me "sleep" until 8am. 

It is officially winter and today we have autumn weather. Sunshine and 50 degrees. So the fun bunch three are off to the beach at Marquette Park. Here is the marker for the southern point of Lake Michigan...

...and here I am standing at the southern point of the Lake of Peacefulness. 

Nola & Yeti storming the beach to check out the drift wood.

There is more beach here today than I have seen all year.

Hiking west from the east side of Marquette Park.

There are several ridges where the sand has washed away in this area.

Nola with a big ole smile on a perfect December day to visit the beach.

There is still frozen sand in the shade that has collapsed onto the beach.

The ridge we hiked along suddenly ended.

Nola and I jumped down but Yeti kept walking...

...so I was able to get this action shot of him jumping down.

As we got closer to lake Street Beach, there were still icicles hanging off the frozen ridges.

Using my massive head to block out the sun for this selfie while relaxing on the beach. I love spending time outdoors year round. But today really feels special. I can feel the warmth of the sun and it feels fantastic. I sat on the beach for 20 minutes or more just relaxing in the sun all alone on the beach. These moments really do recharge the system and keep me somewhat sane in a world going insane. Eventually the dogs get restless and we move on.

Looking back east at the frozen sand in the shade.

Yeti loves walking in the lake.

Lake Street Beach and the lake is extremely calm today

A rare occasion when Yeti poses for me.

Heading back to Marquette Park...

...on the Chanute Trail...

...with the low sun lighting up the dune grass and the frozen ponds between the dunes.

Great light for pictures when shooting with the sun at my back.

Yeti & Nola decided to climb up a dune...

...which brought us to this view of the Marquette Park Lagoon and Pavilion. 

Another good picture of Yeti.

I really like the sun glare on the ice.

My little girl posing on top of the sand dune.

We hiked back to the car through the park.

The Aquatorium looks great today. Another beautiful day spent outdoors...thank you Mother Nature for the early Christmas gift.