Saturday, 10 March 2012

Amazing Wild Stuff In Your Backyard


After a combined several decades and exploring the greater Chicago outdoors, we're still constantly finding things that are surprising and cool. In some cases, we research them and find that others are learning the same amazing stuff. But in many others, the web presents us with a virtual desert of information.

We thought we'd share some of the fun things we find, so you can check it out too - or share if you're geeking out on the same stuff!

Who are we? Neither of us are naturalists by training. An electrical engineer and a social scientist, we're basically both just too ADD to not be interested in, well,  just about everything.

Why Dirtfoot? Well, believe it or not, we're both a little OCD about dirt. Bet some of you are too. But it turns out just a few steps into the dirt turns out a lot of seriously cool shit. And hey, the dirt usually comes off.

'Dirtfoot' has some other origins, too. Probably some of them will come out in the course of sharing things we think you'll like.

One of the coolest things we have yet found outside has got some of the dirtiest feet of all - no matter how much soap she uses.
Motley Güse Crüe at Notabaert Nature Museum

With the awesome weather we've been experiencing recently, we've been out looking for the snowy owls between Montrose Harbor and LP Zoo. Last weekend, though, we found something way more interesting: a gaggle that consisted of about 8 Canada geese, all with quite injured wings, and an incongruous pink-footed goose.
These were no minor injuries, mind you. We're talking every flight feather stripped down to the naked calumi, which protruded like shards of glass at painful angles from the birds' bodies. These birds seemed to have fought something, or someone, for their lives.

But this ragtag bunch was sticking together, and apparently looking out for each other.

Has anyone else witnessed this?

We went searching again in the arctic Friday afternoon, but to no avail.

(This time, however, we saw a PAIR of the sturdy, expansive pink-footed geese -is one the loner who was so out of his element last week?)