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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day in the Park


Darius and Girėnas monument on Christmas day 2010.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Handsome Visitors

I first noticed this small heron by the water. Pretty colorful plumage and the long beak attracted my attention to the bird. 
Startled by our sudden appearance, it flew away in haste into a tall tree. Yet I was able to notice it among the thick foliage and branches searching in  the direction from where the peculiar calling song was coming. The second bird joined the mate soon. Then I just did my best zooming in and keeping my camera steady in my hands. The second bird hid in the shadows. The braver one was posing for quite a while disregarding even my big black dog sitting next to me. 

What a find! What a beautiful and intriguing visitor in the city park! I looked around me. There were many people in the park today. I wonder how many others saw the unusual birds and heard their songs. I felt very lucky.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Not for those with the weak heart.

The sight not seen in years. All the park street lights are lit and shining brightly all day yesterday and today. Who can’t see in the broad daylight? Maybe those who are preparing for a “BIG BANG.” Hey, tomorrow “the community will be revived” here.

This morning, many city employees descended on the park for seriously cleanup. I would be delusional if I would believe that this is in response to the article that I've sent to Sun-Times on the Earth day.

Usually, only thanks to those who earned community services hours the park gets cleaned. Today it is different. Today it is a massive “group project.” I remember seeing an announcement and signs forbidding parking on the one-way park road for the day, and it was easy then to put two and two together. The city is putting up a huge “STREET SHOW” tomorrow. Street show? In the park were a few remaining wildlife creatures are struggling to survive after just hatching their young? Where people come to escape from noise and stress seeking peace? I feel that city park district is lost, that no one who is in charge of the city parks knows how to preserve and care for the beauty of parks, including Marquette Park nature preserve.

The good news are that these park cleaners will have a job for quite some time after the event is over. I’ve seen how this park looks like after the celebrations and unauthorized picnics. I am guessing that the workers are temps. They have to actually go into the murky dark water up to their waist and with their bear hands scoop up the filth and garbage that accumulated there for at least a year. I was startled at the sight of it and just could not believe what I am seeing. Is this one of those shovel ready projects? There is no way no how unionized regular city employees would ever do it. Perhaps these people are glad that they have a job, and they can’t afford to think about their own health risks?

Among the garbage floating in the water, two little dogs were found rotting in the lagoon with their heads chopped off. When I was passing by, one was still in the water.  I thought it is a log. Only when the decaying body of a little dog was taken out of the water it was possible to recognize what it once was.

I can’t describe what I felt at that moment. It was someone’s treasured pet. It was a creature full of LIFE.  I remembered that some time ago a neighbor was sending out fliers with the description of the beloved white dog. Perhaps this was how her pet’s life ended?  I protectively drag my dog’s leash closer to me. A sudden thought crosses my mind - someone can torture and destroy my beloved Roxie too.

Only a few ducks, geese, some birds and squirrels witnessed the gruesome scene under the tall trees. And only those who did it know exactly why they did it. Now, that poor lifeless rotting body is the “garbage” that these men are dragging out of the lagoon along with gazillions of bottles of alcohol (no drinking alcohol allowed in the park), plastic bags, cans, rags, and other filth reflecting our civilization. I will not say in public what my wishes are for those who so viciously killed the dogs. It is not hard for me to imagine that they could kill people in cold blood too. Yet, I certainly am sending my personal uncensored message into the universe directed exactly at such humanoids.

The park is practically my “back yard,” and I am very grateful to those who clean it. The sad thing is that all of this sudden massive effort today is just for the show - a temporary solution for a tremendous problem in Marquette Park’s nature preserve. There was so much bragging and fencing for construction going on in the park for the several past years. It is evident now that it was a useless million dollar project. In over twenty years I have not seen a sorrier condition of this park after the project was completed.

Give or take a few more years of such mismanagement and abuse of this still beautiful patch of wild nature (wild flowers, trees, wide skies, wild birds, squirrels, migrating birds), and there will be no more life in this park. It will turn into another garbage dump reflecting our “humanity.”  I look at some little kids playing in my neighborhood and I feel very sorry for them. They will never see the rose garden, or pristine clear water in the lagoon with the healthy wild birds leisurely swimming around. They will think that it is a O.K. that this park looks the way it looks today - full of garbage, deliberately broken and dying trees, algae infested water and dogs without their heads in the lagoon. What will be the future of the Marquette Park lagoon?

Daiva S., A.K.A. Average Citizen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Life


Hopeful force of life -
Lagoon abused by people
Welcomes new life...


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Monument for Darius and Girėnas

I remember my mother showing me an article in a newspaper by some local activist who was urging the city to destroy this monument. Amazing how some individuals, having no clue what this monument is for,  were eager to destroy it. Creation vs. Destruction - an eternal battle.Thanks to local Lithuanian community the monument was beautifully restored.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lilacs in Bloom - A Dedication to my Grandmother, Mother, Sister and all Loving Mothers

 Miracle of Life -

Joy, Sorrow, Selfless Resolve -

Mother’s endless Love.


© by Daiva Skuodytė

Close your tired eyes,

Sink into the purple scent,

Hear your heart smiling...


© by Daiva Skuodytė

Pink Fog

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dreamy Eyes

Together at last
Embracing warmth and sunlight
Dreamy eyes open


Tiny Treasures


When you find teardrops
Jewels spilled on the green veil
Soak up the blue dream


April Colors


White dance in the wind
Ruffled gowns fill up your eyes
Festive call to life


Sunday, March 14, 2010


Power of daydreams
Wakes up from chilly stillness - 
Abandons darkness...


Monday, March 1, 2010

Chihuahua and Pugsy

Two weeks ago, I took my mom and Roxie for our usual walk in Marquette Park. While there, we noticed two little dogs running after a big van. "In this neighborhood, sometimes people "walk" their dogs this way", I thought. Eventually, the van sped up and disappeared over the bend of the road. The tiny Chihuahua could no longer run. He just sat down in the middle of the road. His pal - a pug mix bread dog - stayed with his friend. Cars could not pass through. Three or four of them "piled up" at the spot where the tiny thing was resting and blocking the road. I got out of my car and scooped up the tired dog. At that point, the Pugsy ran away, and kept running, running. It took me almost two hours to chase him down while driving around. Apparently, the dogs were dumped in the park just recently, because the Pugsy still had strength to keep running fast, very fast. My guess is that the previous owners were in that big van.

I am new at attempting to capture any living thing, so it took me some mental effort to devise a strategic scheme: despite his bloody feet, apparently cracked from cold, I took the shivering Chihuahua out of the car on a leash onto a snow covered ground. Then Pugsy came up to his pal to check on him and just stood there. That was my moment to act. Both of those throwaway dogs ended up on my mom's lap in the car. Chihuahua fell asleep right away. Like a captain of a ship, the Pugsy looked around with his front paws on the dash board. I am so grateful to our Roxie that she did not eat those two... :-) She was quite a polite hostess who has complete ownership rights to the back seat of our vehicle.

The two orphans had spent only one night and a day with us, but I am still keep thinking about their fate. Unfortunately, having a big dog of my own, I could not keep those two pals myself. To make a long story short, the next day I took both pals to the Southwest Animal Welfare League. I do not understand how it is possible for someone to throw away dogs on any day, especially in a freezing cold.

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