15 Nature in Chicagoland Stories to Check Out on a North Pole-Like Day

It’s so cold today in Chicagoland that [fill in your punch line here].

So, today is a perfect day to…stay inside and read some of my favorite all-time posts at Nature in Chicagoland and dream of warm weather, summer skies, forests of green, happy dancing deer (okay, maybe I have mental frostbite), and all the other things that make our fair region a great place to live most of the year (just not today…or tomorrow).

Over the course of nearly two years of writing my Nature in Chicagoland blog, I’ve written more than 75 posts (90,000+ words) about the coolest spots to visit in Chicagoland; raising my son to love nature; ongoing issues that are dividing our country such as gun control/rights, gerrymandering, media censorship, and our current president, as well as those that unite us, such as Tom Skilling and the Great American Eclipse; and whatever else has caught my fancy. Here are my winter baker’s dozen of my favorite posts (in no particular order, plus two more about my parents) for your reading pleasure on the coldest day in Chicago in 25 years.


Palmisano Park: A Hidden Gem in Chicago

Organ Pipe 2
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

Why I Love the Outdoors Despite Once Being Impaled by a Cactus, Nearly Run Over by a Bison, and Having a Scratched Cornea Ruin My First Date With My Future Wife

2017 Total Solar Eclipse
A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

The Importance of Authenticity: On the Eclipse, Tom Skilling, Crying, and Being Oneself

Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa

Effigy Mounds National Monument: Massive Bears, Stunning Views, and Thousands of Years of Native American History


Thanksgiving Day: On Escaping Chicago, Spending Time with Family, and Enjoying a Fire and the Stars

Would You Travel 6,200 Miles to Fight Evil?


Scilla and the Coming of Spring


On the Joys of Carrying My Son


Red Gate Woods: Hawks and Hills, Sloughs and Snakes, and Ghosts and Buried Nuclear Waste, Oh My!

Halloween1 001_edited

A Personal Ghost Story, Ghosts of Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs, and 11 Spots for Post-Ghost-Tour Fun


Why I Garden…And Thoughts on My Italian Ancestors, Farming, the Seasons, and What Not

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

Photo courtesy of NASA

Earthrise 1968: Thoughts on the Past and Future of the Environment and America

And, of course, no list of my favorites posts would be complete without stories about my mom and dad. So, if you know/knew my mom and dad, please check out these two posts:

12 Wonderful, Interesting, and Fun Things About My Mom

7 Stories About My Dad on the Anniversary of His Passing

Copyright-text/photos(unless otherwise credited) Andrew Morkes


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