Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art: Chinese Jade Carvings, Fossils, and Minerals


By Mary Fairchild The upper level of the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art displays a large selection of Chinese jade and hard stone carvings from around the world and the lower level of the museum presents lapidary materials, fossils, meteorites, and minerals.  My husband and I stopped in recently and chatted with Dorothy Ascher[Read more]

Redeveloping Chicago


Mayor Emanuel calls Lake Michigan “our Grand Canyon” and he has big plans to “make it a recreational frontier.” Governor Quinn added, “Nature-based tourism is a popular new trend.” NBC News In a joint initiative between the Chicago Park District, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the city of Chicago, plans are[Read more]

Chicago River Kayaking: Don’t Get Caught Up Creek Without a Paddle

Chicago River

When it comes to kayaking the Chicago River, some don’t give it a second thought, while others wonder if what they are doing is safe.  Erring on the cautious side, I pulled up a few blog posts from our past CASKA trip reports on the Chicago River that may help[Read more]

St. Patrick’s Day: Kayaking on the Chicago River

Chicago River

By Mary Fairchild My daughter and I had a bird’s-eye view as we were herded over the bridges along with some 350,000 others who came out for the annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities including the dyeing of the Chicago River this past Saturday.  The paddle tour was organized by Paddle & Trail, Geneva Kayak, and CASKA (Chicago Area Sea[Read more]

Dinner With Frederick Schram

Fred Schram

By Mary FairchildRob Sula, Dr. Frederick R. Schram, Jack Wittry, Jim Fairchild.–August, 2011. The Mazon Creek site is very significant because of the diversity of life compared to other Lagerstatten.  Frederick R. Schram (2) In August,  ESCONI members Rob and Sondra Sula, Jack and Charlene Wittry, and Jim and I met[Read more]

Chicago Kayakers, Environmentalism, and Incentives: What’s Good For the Goose is Good For the Gander?

Chicago Kayakers

(Cumberland Island; 3/19/11) Cumberland Island, Georgia, is the premiere sea-kayaking destination in the Southeast.  Last February, I looked forward to catching my first glimpses of the feral horses on Cumberland Island.  The area is not only a birdwatcher’s hotspot, but an important location for the nesting of three species of endangered sea turtles.  Just[Read more]