CHICAGO (CBS) — Photographer Amy Loeffler has seen some pretty crazy things on the streets of Chicago during the depths of winter.

“Cat carriers, crutches, chairs, cones,” are among them, she said.

The items in question, of course, are used to save shoveled parking spots in Chicago’s so-called Dibs System. It is not officially sanctioned, but has been in use for generations.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

But this winter, the unusual objects were no where to be seen. And this may end up being the first winter ever without dibs a tradition Loeffler used to create her own blog and Web site.

“When I first saw these items on the street, I wondered what it was all about. Then I became obsessed with it and started photographing the items. It’s amazing,” Loeffler said.

“While I’ve enjoyed the mild weather. I haven’t been able to document it as much this year. I’ve definitely missed being able to do that. It’s a weird obsession. I like to go out and photograph the weird stuff. You never know what you’re actually going to find out there,” she said.

Chair Free Chicago, a group that considers the tradition anti social and a nuisance, is pleased by the lack of junk on city streets this winter.

Loeffler says her photography will probably be on hold until next year but in Chicago, you just never know.
Her blog is

Watch & Listen LIVE