Chicago Heat Is Rough on Pigeons and Man Alike

I love summer but this summer has been ghastly.

It reminds me of the year I lived in Phoenix and the air conditioner on the roof of our house leaked causing the roof to cave in. It was an unbelievable week. My young un’s were about 6 and 8 years old. We spent many hours in the local shopping malls and in the library trying to keep cool those hot summer days.

That cured me somewhat…hot is good, too hot is unbearable.

This summer Chicago – like most of the country – has been hammered. With temperatures in the 90s interspersed with excessive humidity brought on by summer storms, there’s been precious little relief.

Sadly the plants and animals are having a very hard time of it here. My daughter and I caught these photos of pigeons while out shopping this afternoon taking advantage of the shade offered by a small tree in the middle of the parking lot…

Pigeons seek shelter in shopping mall parking lot

and under nearby parked cars:

Pigeons seek shelter under parked cars

Many illustrious persons like the Queen of England, Pablo Picasso, Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and many other famous people have had a soft spot in their hearts for pigeons. These birds have lived alongside humans for thousands of years and they’ve played a significant part in our history.They were used to carry critical information for Reuters and for Wall Street; and, they carried critical information during the wars.

But, generally speaking, pigeons are not the most beloved of our wildlife – at least in crowded cities like Chicago. But, remember,  their natural habitat is cliffs along shorelines and their natural enemies are peregrine falcons – there aren’t many of those in Chicago to help keep these birds in check. And so, now that in this city man plays that role. Pigeons are considered dirty birds and they rival rats and other pests that plague our city. So, if you feed pigeons, you risk being fined $500 in Chicago.

Whether you like pigeons or not, is not the point. It’s been a rough summer for all of us, this year.

Take a tip from the pigeons. Stay in the shade – especially in the height of the afternoon. And, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. If you should find yourself without a fan or air conditioner in your home visit the shopping malls and libraries and other people-friendly cooling centers.

Remember the snowstorms of this past winter and be assured that another bitter winter will be here before you know it – and then you’ll be dreaming of Chicago’s “lazy, hazy days of summer”.

Author: 7577JMM

Retired - Published Author, Editor, Webmistress, Artist, Musician