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The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in May 2020

A great canoeing/kayaking/hiking destination in the Chicago area The wildest place in Cook County Great places to see bison in Chicagoland and beyond 40-foot limestone cliffs, a stream, beautiful waterfalls, and a fishing pond–all in a Chicago neighborhood Rolling hills, deep ravines, and the remnants of the Manhattan Project A great place for a hike … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in May 2020

Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve: Stunning Spring Wildflowers, a Sun-Dappled Creek, Splendid Fall Colors, and Easy Hiking

Copyright Andrew Morkes I didn't see any raccoons, but I did savor acres and acres of stunning wild geraniums and mayapples during my hike last week at Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve (5851 W. Pauling Road, Monee, IL 60449). This 213-acre Illinois Nature Preserve is a great destination for a short hike and wildflower viewing (wild geraniums, mayapples, … Continue reading Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve: Stunning Spring Wildflowers, a Sun-Dappled Creek, Splendid Fall Colors, and Easy Hiking

Remembering My Third Set of “Grandparents” and a Special Friendship

My friends Stuart and Camille are now both gone. Both died at age 97—he in 2014, and she in February. Although they lived long lives filled with adventures and achievements, it still makes me sad. These two wonderful people with all their knowledge, energy (and boy did they have energy even into their 90s), and … Continue reading Remembering My Third Set of “Grandparents” and a Special Friendship

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in April 2020

Finding peace and enjoying time with my son via neighborhood walks during COVID-19 The wildest place in Cook County 85+ places to visit in the Chicagoland area and beyond A good spot for hiking, running, biking, and otherwise recreating during COVID-19 Great hiking and biking and remnants of the Manhattan Project An interview with one … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in April 2020

Renowned Photographer Publishes New Book That Captures the Essence of Chicago

If you live in Chicagoland and beyond, you’ve seen Barry Butler’s wonderful landscape and cityscape photographs on television newscasts, on social media (including on his Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts), at his website, and in photo exhibitions. His creative vision and deft touch with the camera turns everyday sights we sometime take for granted—skyscrapers, street … Continue reading Renowned Photographer Publishes New Book That Captures the Essence of Chicago

Try “The Ted” if You’re Looking for Some Nature in the Time of COVID-19

With so many of our natural spaces being closed to deter crowds in the age of COVID-19, it’s becoming a little harder to find places to hike, run, stroll, and otherwise enjoy nature. That where “The Ted” comes in. “The Ted,” which is officially named Thaddeus S. “Ted” Lechowicz Woods, is a small forest preserve … Continue reading Try “The Ted” if You’re Looking for Some Nature in the Time of COVID-19

Batwatching Near White City, New Mexico

To catch the batswe raced the drooping sunrocketing away fromgas stations and strip malls, windingup the wrinkled mountainside,past cactithat glittered like organicjewels in the waning light. Copyright Andrew Morkes Reaching the orange-dappled summit,we merged into rattlesnake-wary crowds. Copyright Peter Jones/NPS Flickering specks burstfrom the shadowed cavern. Copyright Lacey Thomas Bats! One million strong,plucked away by … Continue reading Batwatching Near White City, New Mexico

Neighborhood Walks During the Pandemic Bring Back Memories and Encourage a Bit of Hope

Boy, does it feel good to be outdoors in this crazy COVID-19 time! Physically distanced, of course, under the occasionally blue skies; the grass growing greener by the day; the snowdrops, crocuses, and other early spring flowers pushing from beneath the ground like groggy bears poking from their dens after a long winter nap; the … Continue reading Neighborhood Walks During the Pandemic Bring Back Memories and Encourage a Bit of Hope

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in March 2020

40-foot limestone cliffs, a stream, beautiful waterfalls, and a fishing pond–all in a Chicago neighborhood  Ghost stories of Chicago's southwest suburbs and my own ghost story Thoughts on hoarding, kindness, and COVID-19 12 wonderful, interesting, and fun things about my mom 75+ places to visit in the Chicagoland area and beyond Wild woods, local history, … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in March 2020

Life in the Time of COVID-19: Thoughts on Baseball, Hoarding, Being Thankful, Accountability, Gardening, and Hope

March in Chicago: Dreams of baseball (the games that count…boy, the White Sox would have been good this year)The St. Patrick’s Day (I mean week-long…I mean month-long) celebrations in full swingGreening grass jazzing up the color tones of monochromatic gray Chicago winterEarly spring flowers breaking through the soil like eager babies walking for the first … Continue reading Life in the Time of COVID-19: Thoughts on Baseball, Hoarding, Being Thankful, Accountability, Gardening, and Hope