I was alone on the eighth floor of this massive complex until I met Ceiling Bird.
She stood like a solider. What’s your blue anklet for?
Once again, musical accompaniment may be found here.
Some bright morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To that home on Gods celestial shore
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away, oh glory
I’ll fly away in the morning
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away
These birds have a particular “dance” they do. It incorporates all the necessary elements necessary to impress a potential romantic partner: strutting, wing-spreading, hopping about, as well as the occasional tossing of straw or dirt clods into the air. We witnessed the last maneuver, but my shots of it were too blurry to be of use. Suffice it to say that witnessing this spectacle of crane dancing is worth getting up at six AM for.
Since this blog has taken a turn toward animals lately (both dead and alive), we’ll stay on theme with a post or two on Sand Cranes. These are large migratory birds that converge by the thousands on the same field in Indiana every fall and spring. Until this weekend, I had no idea such a sight was to be had within ninety minutes’ drive of Chicago. When a friend suggested taking a trip to see them, the Idiot Photographer and I jumped at the chance. After all, road trips are always fun, and we needed some photo opportunities since the urbex has been in a little lull of late. So 6AM this past Sunday found us on the road, trying to get to the wildlife preserve shortly after dawn when these birds would be most active.
Some quick lessons learned: the lenses optimal for shooting decaying buildings are not so hot when it comes to capturing birds in flight. I had thought my 250mm lens was quite the zoom; it was neither “zoomy” or fast enough to get the kind of shots I was hoping for. Live and learn. I will post a few more shots tomorrow, including a couple of the cranes’ famous mating dance.
Two shots of birds from last weekend’s trip to the Brookfield Zoo. First, the instantly recognizable Greater Delta Mardi Gras Bird. (Bourbonaisse Plumarius)
And a portrait of the handsome Tufted Blue Gargler (Indigo Emesis)
Given the loss of our guide we were left to our own devices and a basic understanding as to where the easiest to access locations were. We decided to start at the biggest of these known locations, the Candy Factory. I knew it was liable to be a big empty, echoing place but even the empty places have a magic of their own. Granted it wasn’t what we were looking for on this trip but it is a starting place, right?
At our approach we noticed some people in the alley behind the building, they were not interested in talking to us so we wandered around to the front before finding the entrance we were looking for. We could hear them quite well from the interior so figured they were probably scrappers and had access to the building. Not wanting to draw attention we made the choice to head straight to the top and work our way down. Given that all the windows were boarded from the third floor down this also gave us a little light to work with.
Up on the roof we received our reward. Pigeons. More importantly, pigeons that didn’t fly off when I decided I wanted a photo of them.
I consider this a revenge of sorts.