Great Illinois Trip of 2009, "Part II: The Windy City"

After leaving Rock Island and dropping off Grandpa and Grandma's rental car at the Midway Airport we made our way to the Roscoe Village Guesthouse in a quaint little part of Chicago -- upscale small restraunts and shops, refurbished condos and the like.

Nora and Anna at the window of the Roscoe Guesthouse

It rained the first couple days we were there and poor Emily was sick the first day, so Monday we just had some down time. Tuesday we went to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. There was a great display on the future, a nice room full of Robotics and several other really fine instalations, but the real highlight for everyone was the tour of the U-505 submarine. It was the only German sub captured during WW-II and the story was pretty cool. The show that certainly would have been a highlight wasn't opening for another couple weeks.

Here's a slideshow from the museum trip:


click for captions

Because we didn't have room in the van and didn't really want to hassle with parking in Chicago, we spent a lot of time on the L. 'Our stop' was the newly renovated Paulina Station. From there we had a five or six block walk back to the rooms, a lot of fun every time.

And each time we passed this curious little impression in the sidewalk, sparking a still unsettled debate as to the identity of the mammal that must have made the impression and the circumstances under which the impression could have been made!

What do you think it is?

14 comments:

Matt said...

A squirrel fell out of a tree above the sidewalk. This sidewalk was different from other sidewalks because it had been newly paved and was still curing. The squirrel landed front feet first which is why the claw prints are deeper. It apparently survived the fall though judging by the foot print at the edge of the frame. That's my best guess.

The Six of Us said...

Rat mob hit gone wrong?

Janine the Bean said...

Well, Matt stole my idea. My guess was pretty close.

I'm guessing grey squirrel....but grabbed by the neck by some crazy kid and shoved into the wet cement.

It may have been dead first. I'm certain it was a dare.

JPB said...

Well, we've got the two leading candidates from our group -- rat or squirrel. I won't tell you who is vociferously on which side, but I will say that the "rat hypothesis" is based on the ... ahem .. somewhat shaky supposition that the squirrel would have had a different tail print. :-)

Jen said...

Jodi might have converted me to the rat hypothesis. I never considered the dark underbelly of Chicago mafia. It's a new take on Redwall...

Andrew said...

You should have told me you were in town! Ok, maybe seeing old student wasn't the top of your to-do list but still, it would have been fun to run into each other. Oh, if you have some free time check out http://web.me.com/ambornhoft and let me know what you think of my attempt to reach out to the world, or at least friends.
-Andrew Bornhoft

JPB said...

Andrew!!! We were actually by DePaul several times ... I couldn't remember whether you were still there yet and didn't know how to get a hold of you. It did cross my mind, though!

You should go check out that squirrel print. What are you up to these days? Drop me a line.

I also thought of you this year when I read your brother's paper on Cabrini Green.

Ben said...

Put me in the rat camp, mostly on account of the tail, but also the triangular body shape. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of foul play.

JPB said...

OK ... really ... could it be a rat???? This is exactly what happened to me in Chicago. I mocked the rat hypothesis ... and then started to be moved.

Janine the Bean said...

IS It a rat?

No.

The perpetrator stripped the marvelous bushy tail of the grey squirrel after killing it (or perhaps before), leaving just the bone. Sad, sad story.

Jen said...

Janine,
That sounds like something from Beatriz Potter...I'm thinking of "Squirrel Nutkin"

Gramps said...

I have the DNA test results back from the lab -- it's a male squirrel, about 18 months old, with a genetic predisposition for vertigo. Hence, it lost its balance and fell from the tree above onto the curing concrete. It was his way of making his mark upon the world.

Ben said...

i was seeking to find paw print evidence, but could not find any pictures of rat or squirrel paws that gave conclusive evidence.

Abby said...

i know this isn't a mammal but i think it's a frog.