February 20 2016

This morning was a beautiful morning, blue skies and sunshine, and quite warm for February. We joined the Saturday morning birding group at 8 am where we usually meet to go birding in Jackson Park. That is at the very south end of the parking lots east of the Museum of Science and Industry, just a bit north of the bridge west of the boat harbor, which is devoid of boats at this time of the year. We walked south from the parking lot over the bridge through a slightly wooded area and then through the meadow and carried on to the golf practice area, walked around a bit there, and returned. In winter of course not so many birds, but as usual we saw lots of Canada geese, both flying and on the water or ice; also gulls, mallards, wood ducks, cardinals, chickadees, a northern harrier and some other species.  Pat kept a record for the group, and I expect that as usual will be sending out an email about the walk and the birds we saw, to the group. After walking to and fro, Leo and I were tired from the exercise and returned home, but some of the others drove to the harbor to the south which provides another habitat and generally some more and different birds to observe.

We have been letting books and papers and many other things collect over the years, and the apartment really needs a major reduction in content. Today we took some stuff over to the University Church as contributions to their monthly resale shop. Our contributions included the old microscope (a monocular compound microscope, originally professional quality, but from long ago) with some associated material including some interesting slides. A man who very kindly helped us carry the stuff into the church sounded quite enthusiastic about the microscope, so I expect there will be no difficulty in selling it. Also, but unlikely to interest anyone else but me, but you never know,  a large heavy empty brass cartridge, about 2 feet long and extensively perforated, which had apparently been used for preemptively creating avalanches to protect skiers on the slopes; – I found it when I was hiking years ago in the Rocky Mountains and hauled it home as a souvenir, and it became another more unusual household pet together with the more petlike toy elephant on rockers and colorful toy stuffed parrot and soft toy stuffed grey rabbit. It seems so painful to give these things up!

We had a quiet dinner at home this evening. I heated up some tomato soup and Leo set the table. We supplemented with bread and butter and cheese sandwiches, and had some of the remaining Valentine’s day chocolates for dessert. Later in the evening, maybe try out some of the pastries that we picked up from the bakery at the church when we brought in the contributions to the resale shop.

Later this evening the plan is to watch the new documentary “Telescope” on the Discovery channel. It’s about the making of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the 25 year old Hubble Space Telescope. The Webb telescope has been described as about 100 times as powerful as the Hubble, and it is expected to examine planets far outside our solar system, and of course look for evidence of life.


“In completing one discovery we never fail to get an imperfect knowledge of others of which we could have no idea before, so that we cannot solve one doubt without creating several new ones.”   – Joseph Priestley


Published by

Caroline Herzenberg

I'm an old grad from the University of Chicago. Born in New Jersey in 1932 (Wow! That long ago!), grew up in Oklahoma, undergraduate at MIT, University of Chicago PhD physics 1958. Various academic and research positions. I've been retired from Argonne National Laboratory for over a decade now. I haven't been engaged in any recent professional work in physics, but have been exploring other interests during retirement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *