Vanishing Pond at Argonne

Article by JK

Where do you tell 500,000 gallons of water to move at one time? Anywhere
it wants to! An ill-fated joke for the boundless water but, no less, an interesting one as we move closer to the 30th Anniversary of the ‘Vanishing Pond‘ phenomenon that took place on the grounds of Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont, IL in March, 1982.

Adding to the intrigue is possibly the ‘where’ it happened. Argonne Labs is a highly secured area that employs hundreds of skilled scientists, engineers, and expert geologists who have researched several hypotheses for the sudden pond disappearance. Most have centered around shifts and slight vertical fissures in the pleistocene alluvials that migrate to the Des Plaines River Valley.
Somebody lend me a pocket protector!

Argonne Pond Site

Hmmm, interesting indeed. But I prefer the sexier, and quickly discounted
theory by Argonne, of a rare celestial event that occurred the preceding day-
-the unusual alignment of planets in our solar system. Now some blogheads
have suggested that the term “alignment” is not entirely accurate, but more of
a state if “Syzygy” occurred. This is when all 9 planets come within 91 degrees
of alignment on the same side of the sun; a very rare event indeed.

To put it in perspective, the event still only happens once in the history of humankind. Because some argue that all 9 planets will never statistically align on the same plane, March 10th 1982 is the closest we ever came. Now I may stop short of donning an aluminum-foiled pyramid hat when similar events occur, but the unexplained pull of the celestial heavens leave far too many questions than answers. In my opinion that water never stood a chance.

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Special thanks to JK’s father!

Skyway Quaker Parrots

In this video JK takes to the streets of Southeast Chicago and discovers that there is a species of tropical parrot nesting in the high structural beams of the Chicago Skyway.

Have you ever sighted one of these wild parrots in Chicago?

About five years ago, I was jogging along the Chicago lakefront. Somewhere near Soldier Field I saw a brilliant flash of green in the corner of my eye. I looked over and saw a parrot landing on a bush about thirty feet away. As I got closer to the bush I counted eight parrots. What makes this more unbelievable is that this was in the month of January and there was snow everywhere!
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Deceased Trees

Not sure why I began photographing dead trees, but thought I would share them nonetheless. Something rather Pythonesque and human about them, like the Knights who say Ni!

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Buried in a Scrapyard

Andreas Von Zirngibl was a German fisherman, and veteran of the Battle of Waterloo. He purchased a 44-acre plot of land, beside the mouth of the Calumet River for $160. It was here that he lived the final years of his life
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Fishing for sturgeon, herring, perch and Northern pike, he was reported to have caught some fish weighing in at over 100-pounds. Although it was a great pleasure for this fisherman, it was no easy task, for the Battle of Waterloo had left him with only one arm.
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In 1855 he caught a fever, and died shortly thereafter. One of his final requests to his four sons, was to be buried upon this land. Years later, it is now a functioning scrapyard. In the past there was a legal battle between Von Zirngibl’s family and the scrapyard, over the grave site’s need to remain. After a protracted 41-year legal battle, the family finally won, and the grave remains to this day. It was restored in recent years, and it now looks quite nice. But I think it would be nicer if there were some flowers.

Still a scrapyard, and still the final resting place of Von Zirngibl:
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Veteran of the Battle of Waterloo:
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now behind a high steel fence, in middle a metal scrapyard:
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where CTA buses and Jay’s Potato Chip trucks go to die:
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Images 2, 3 and 4:
Courtesy of Southeast Chicago Historical Society
do not use without permission
Images 1,5 and 6:
by Jay Hagstrom

Special thanks to Rod Sellers!

Antennae

Another of a vanishing species, that most familiar of all rooftop accoutrements, the antenna! All of these were shot near Chicago’s Skyway! Whenever I see one of these, I am reminded of giant mosquitos.

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