Tropic to Temperate

The weather last month didn't even hint at the coming Christmas season.  We were getting up to 30℃ (86℉) and ironically, I was spending my free time reading blog posts about the first frost.  

So, when my wife asked me if I wanted to go with her to Chicago for a week, I decided to go and enjoy the cold weather, and hopefully, snow.  

After almost 24 hours spent at airports and on planes, my wife and I decided to check in to the hotel then immediately head out to the Art Institute of Chicago.

chicago-plants-7.jpg

My first and own pictures of Hawthorn trees (Genus Crataegus), taken at the South Garden of the AIC.  If someone can help me with the species, I would really appreciate it.

chicago-plants-6.jpg

My wife was attending a convention most days so I would take early morning strolls by myself in both Grant and Millenium Parks.  My wife suggested that I visit the Botanic Garden which she had already visited but I kept procrastinating and ended up not going at all.  I mistakenly thought that I would just see mostly poinsettias and almost bare trees.

chicago-plants-4.jpg

I enjoyed my walks, quite content passing the patches of grass and delighting in the red-orange colors I had been admiring in photographs only days before.

chicago-sue.jpg

The only other museum visit my wife and I did together was to the Field Museum.  Mainly to see Sue, the resident T-rex, whose 10th anniversary they were celebrating.

chicago-plants.jpg

After Sue, we visited the various exhibits in the museum.  I couldn't pass up Plants of the World, now could I?This exhibit features world-famous plants, from algae to orchids, from tillandsias to Manila hemp!  They are mostly made from glass and wax although I noticed that some were actual specimens.

We also visited the Dino Hall of the Evolving Planet exhibit.  Amidst the dinosaur bones were models of cycads! Remember my "Dino Food" post a while back?  Seed bearing plants that formed the roots of the ecosystem.  According to the FM, during the Jurassic period and much of the Cretaceous period, a variety of primitive seed plants (gymnosperms), including conifers, ginkgos, cycads and cycad-like bennettites were the foundation of life on land.  They shaded, housed and provided food for many organisms, from the smallest insect to the largest dinosaur.

chicago-plants-5.jpg

There were also several fossils to prove the existence of these plants.

chicago-plant-fossil.jpg

Nilssonia compta. Jurassic (201-144 million years ago) found in Yorkshire, England.

chicago-plant-fossil-3.jpg

Nilssonia sp. Jurassic (206-144 million years ago) found in Bihar, India.

chicago-plant-fossil-2.jpg

The leaves in the fossil below were among many found with the skeleton of Sue, the T-rex.  One leaf is a cycad leaf and the other leaves are angiosperm leaves; Nelumbian is an ancient relative of lotuses.Grewopsis saportana, Nelumbian sp., and Nilssonia yukonensis.  Cretaceous. (144 - 65 million years ago) found in South Dakota.Amazing, isn't it?  All the museums I went to were wonderful.  

chicago-snow.jpg

How was the weather though?  Cold?  Yes.  Windy?  Yes.  Flurries?  Yes.  Snow?  YES!!!

chicago-plants-2.jpg
chicago-plants-3.jpg

var linkwithin_site_id = 491801;

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...