Hello 2019…Goodbye 2018!


I want to send a 500-foot-tall, Godzilla-like thank you to all of my Nature in Chicagoland readers for visiting my blog in 2018. In about 30 blog posts and more than 46,000 words (I didn’t count them, so I’ll have to trust my data analytics software), I’ve covered everything from troll hunting, snow shoeing, and axe throwing; to various spots in the Illinois Nature Preserves System (which protects the most pristine nature areas in our state); to kid-friendly museums; to an amazing city park that’s located in a quarry. It’s been a lot of fun, and a great way to spend more time outdoors with my son and wife. I wish writing Nature in Chicagoland was my full-time job—maybe it will be some day.

I look forward to telling you more about the great places to see in Chicagoland. But before I move on to 2019, here were the reader favorites in 2018 (you can click on the links to read the articles).

1. Joe the Guardian, Sneaky Socks Alexa, and the Other Trolls Are Waiting to Be Discovered at The Morton Arboretum


2. America 2018: Thoughts on School Shootings, Gun Control, Gerrymandering, and Kindness

3. George Fell: A Tireless Advocate for Nature in Illinois


4. Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve: The Wildest Place in Cook County

Visitation Prairie

5. Fourteen Things to Do Outdoors in Chicagoland Before Summer Ends


6. First-Time Showshoer Tells All: 10 Tips for Success and My Son’s Thank You


7. Eight Things to Do Outdoors This Spring in Chicagoland

bison-Midewin-22723912411_2ef8418151_o-US Forest Service photo by Gary Chancey
U.S. Forest Service photo by Gary Chancey

8. Lamenting the Ugly Mood in America is a “Good Walk with My Young Son Ruined,” So I Left…

9. Black Partridge Woods: Cool Ravines, Great Hiking, and 6 Other Reasons to Visit

Hine_s emerald dragonfly-Photo by USFWS
A Hine’s emerald dragonfly. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

10. Palmisano Park: A Hidden Gem in Chicago


Thanks for reading and supporting Nature in Chicagoland. Happy New Year, and please send me your ideas for places that you’d like covered in 2019. And tell your friends about Nature in Chicagoland. Have a great year outdoors!

Copyright (text) Andrew Morkes

Copyright (photos, unless otherwise credited) Andrew Morkes




7 thoughts on “Hello 2019…Goodbye 2018!

  1. I am sorry that I have no suggestions for topic to write about there . . . . because I am not familiar with ‘there’. (If I were sufficiently familiar with ‘there’ to make recommendations for such topics, I would not be interested in reading about ‘it’.)


      1. Ha! That is the opposite problem. Natives are not a good source of information of what tourists do. I do know that this region is very popular with tourists, and with good reason. If you are not familiar with the redwoods, they are definitely worth seeing. My colleagues, even those who have seen them before, are always fascinated by them. The biggest and best of the coastal redwoods are up north, but Big Basin here in Santa Cruz County is worth seeing for those who happen to be in the area. For those who have the ability to get out and see the sights, the giant redwoods in the Sierra Nevada are also worth seeing, and are completely different from the coastal redwoods. I happen to like the Joshua trees, like those down in Joshua Tree National Monument, because I am not from Southern California, so those trees are fascinating to me. In San Jose, the Winchester House is definitely worth seeing, but the gardens are a dud. Sadly, they were ruined by decades of neglect before the house was renovated in the 1980s. Also, the famous Heritage Rose Garden in San Jose is not much to look at unless you are really an expert on roses. I mean, it is a fascinating collection, but it is not for tourists. Filoli in Woodside is worth a tour, although I am not very impressed, just because I grew up with it. I would say the same about the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. In the west, we just do not have the sorts of public gardens that older regions have. San Francisco is the only old city here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Tony.
        Thanks for all the useful information! I have been to California only once (Napa and Gualala on the ocean), and my trip was shortened because my wife became ill. I would like to visit again someday (with a healthy wife), and your suggestions are great. Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. California is such a big and diverse place, that there is more to do here than several other states combined. Napa and Gualala are very different from here, and very different from Southern California. It really depends on what one comes here for.

        Liked by 1 person

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