Northern Invader. Acer platanoides - Norway Maple - in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
My pleasant Studio looks out over daily greener Lincoln Park to the South and the fascinating skyscrapers of Central Chicago. A great view even on cloudy and misty days... But the park, too, is wonderful.
What today is Lincoln Park only became such after the city council in 1864 bought this area as a public space for recreation, much needed for the health and happiness of the denizens of the fast-growing, crowded city. Before that this area had been swampy and seemed good only for the burial of the dead; officially so since 1843.
Today it is a very fine park kept in the constant loving care of the City's park services. The conservatory, of course, is tops, but there's also a fine zoo. And all is free of charge. Small wonder then that it's a very popular place.
The park grounds have many trees and shrubs and particularly delightful lawns - yes, the city's citizens do actually clean up after their dogs, as I have witnessed time and again.
Though beautiful, the park in Spring is not really the place to be for anyone with hay fever! Regardless, I am posting this picture of the flower of a Norway Maple, Acer platanoides as Carolus Linnaeus (1753) designated it. It hails from northern Europe but is now a staple in North America. Sometimes it's even considered a pest, yet still used, too, for parks and gardens. This flower (just under 1 cm across) is of a red-leafed cultivar. You can just see a new leaf in the bottom background. A red-wing blackbird shrilled beautifully as I took a number of photos...