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15 Things to Do Outdoors This Spring in Chicagoland

Spring is here in Chicagoland—at least if you look at the calendar, but not the thermometer. Warmer weather is on the horizon, and summer will be here in no time. But before the hot, stifling days of summer are upon us, here are 15 things you should do outdoors this spring in Chicagoland: Photo courtesy … Continue reading 15 Things to Do Outdoors This Spring in Chicagoland

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I Survived—and Thrived—on a 38-Hour Roundtrip Amtrak Journey

Why take a 17+-hour (one-way) train trip from Chicago to Washington, DC, when you can fly there in less than 2 hours? That was the question that some people asked when I told them that myself, my wife, and my 8-year-old son (as well as our good friends, Greg and Nancy, and their children) planned … Continue reading I Survived—and Thrived—on a 38-Hour Roundtrip Amtrak Journey

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in April 2019

The terrible story of a boy who fell through the cracks, and what we can do to be better people A look at tallgrass prairies in Chicagoland and info on a new book The wildest nature spot in Cook County A story of three funeral directors (one of whom was my father) The remnants of … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in April 2019

On the Death of A.J. Freund and Healing the World

Andrew “A.J.” Freund could have been my child. That’s what I thought when I first heard the terrible news that the 5-year-old had gone missing in a Chicago suburb on April 18, and thought again when I heard the horrific news that his parents had killed him, after forcing him “to remain in a cold … Continue reading On the Death of A.J. Freund and Healing the World

Author Discusses the Joys of the Tallgrass Prairie

Willa Cather, one of my favorite authors, once described the Midwest (especially Nebraska) as a "Sea of Grass." But farms, miles of pavement, and cities and suburbs have replaced much of this vast ecosystem. This is especially true in Illinois, which is misleadingly known as the "Prairie State." Approximately 60 percent of Illinois, or about … Continue reading Author Discusses the Joys of the Tallgrass Prairie

A Tale of Three Funeral Directors: Thoughts on the Passing of a Funeral Industry Icon, My Dad, and the Man Who Took Me to My First Blues Bar

When I learned that Walter Kosary died recently at age 93, I have to admit I was surprised. Mr. Kosary buried my father, aunt, uncle, minister, scoutmaster, principal, and many other of my family, friends, and acquaintances. He did the same for the families of other parishioners at my long-closed, but beloved, Hope Lutheran Church, … Continue reading A Tale of Three Funeral Directors: Thoughts on the Passing of a Funeral Industry Icon, My Dad, and the Man Who Took Me to My First Blues Bar

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in March 2019

Ghosts of ChicagolandBison! The wildest nature spot in Cook CountyThe remnants of the Manhattan Project…and some great hiking and biking opportunitiesA spring road trip idea for bird loversA book about a conservation pioneerAnd those crazy trolls that everyone loves at The Morton Arboretum These were the topics of the seven most-popular articles last month at … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in March 2019

Spring Road Trip Idea: Head on Over to Nebraska to Watch the Great Crane Migration

© Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center Spring has finally sprung in Chicagoland! If you look to the sky, you'll occasionally see hundreds of sandhill cranes, geese, ducks, and other migrating birds as they travel north (from their winter homes in northern Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and other places) to their warm-weather breeding grounds in … Continue reading Spring Road Trip Idea: Head on Over to Nebraska to Watch the Great Crane Migration

Celebrating the Two-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

Today is the two-year anniversary of my blog, Nature in Chicagoland. In the last 730 days, I’ve published nearly 80 articles about the great outdoors.  I've covered everything from eagle watching and views of the mighty Mississippi River at Mississippi Palisades State Park, to remnants of the Manhattan Project and great wildlife viewing in Red … Continue reading Celebrating the Two-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

Chicago’s Mayoral Candidates (Well, at Least Some) Discuss Their Favorite Parks and Their Views on Protecting the Environment

View of the Chicago skyline from Palmisano Park A few weeks back, I contacted the 14 Chicago mayoral candidates to see if they would answer the following questions: What's your experience using Chicago's parks or forest preserves in Chicago or its suburbs?What are the top three environmental concerns facing the next mayor?How will you protect … Continue reading Chicago’s Mayoral Candidates (Well, at Least Some) Discuss Their Favorite Parks and Their Views on Protecting the Environment