Storm Watch

We’ve had a series of strong storms here over the past week that have had some tangible impacts on our days, e.g. we were in our seats at Steppenwolf Theater on Saturday night for a performance that was cancelled due to backstage flooding, we had to flee an outdoor show at Pritzker Pavilion on Thursday night when the lightning began striking too close to comfort, and we got to watch an aquatic rescue after seeing a sailboat struck by lightning in Monroe Harbor later that same night.

On the upside, the view of these big storms from our apartment is awe-inspiring, especially when two of them occurred just as Coldplay were about the take the stage at Soldier Field during their sold-out, two-night stand. I mean, yeah, I totally understand the universe’s wrath about that sort of thing. I’ve been snapping the storms somewhat randomly trying to get some shots worth preserving, and share a half dozen of them with you below (in the sixth one, you can actually see the Jumbotron at Soldier Field telling the Coldplay fans that the cosmos disapproves of them). I’ve also set up a second 2016 Chicago Scenes folder in my Flickr account and posted these there, with others, if you want to keep up with the ongoing adventures hereabouts, or at least the visual representations thereof.

2016-07-24 19.40.47

2016-07-24 19.42.16

2016-07-24 19.39.29

2016-07-24 20.26.01

2016-07-24 20.28.19

2016-07-24 19.56.10

2016-07-13 20.20.43


1. I accepted my current position as President and Chief Executive Officer of  TREE Fund on July 9, 2015, receiving the offer by phone as Marcia and I were driving back to Des Moines from Chicago during our final pre-move-in trip. I actually started the job on August 24, 2015, so this time last year was a period of high churn, as we closed out one household and opened another. It’s been an eventful year since then, with a lot of unexpected twists and turns and challenges and opportunities along the way. At bottom line, though, I can say that I feel more of a sense of place in Chicago after twelve months than I ever did in Iowa — even though both Marcia and I spend far more time traveling away from our home here than we ever have in prior jobs. As much as we’ve done here over the past year, I still feel that we’ve just scratched the surface of what our home base city has to offer, so I look forward to many more years of exploring it with Marcia and the various family members and guests who come to visit us.

2. Speaking of TREE Fund, and as a reminder for (or invite to) those readers here who are generously inclined to support the causes that I support: in three months, I will be riding my (new!) bike about 600 miles around my native Carolinas to raise funds for urban forestry and arboriculture research as part of the STIHL Tour des Trees. You can help support the good cause (and me!) by donating at my rider page. And if you choose to do so, and you put “Restricted to UARF” in your comment field to me, then we will get a 50% match on top of your gift from Pacific Gas & Electric Company to support utility arboriculture research. Go ahead. Click the link. I’ll stay here and wait for you, while showing you this nice book as inpiration . . .


3. And also speaking of Chicago, I’d done a couple of photo summaries inline here in the blog during our first six months here, and recently set up an album of my favorite snaps from the second six months, here. I continue to be perpetually pleased and surprised at the vistas and vignettes that the city sets before me. It feels like home, at bottom line. And that feels good!