Remembering David Fode

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Dave (right) and I at his wedding. I still don’t believe it. I might never believe that one of my best friends is gone. I loved Dave like a brother and always will. I met Dave almost 40 years ago as a high school freshman … Continue reading Remembering David Fode

George’s Desk: A Story About My Dad on Father’s Day

My dad's desk circa 1990s (copyright Andrew Morkes) My father’s roll-top desk is massive. It has seven large drawers and 25 smaller drawers of various sizes. It’s mine now. As he lay dying in late 1996, he decided that I should get his desk because I was the traveler in the family (the desk disassembles … Continue reading George’s Desk: A Story About My Dad on Father’s Day

“Good Night. I Love You, Liam. God Bless You. Have a Good Sleep.”

BY ANDREW MORKES, AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I'm taking a break from nature to celebrate my son Liam's 12th birthday. I wrote this short essay when my son was age six. I still repeat this mantra daily. Also, please check out my essay, On the Joys of Carrying My Son, for my reflections on … Continue reading “Good Night. I Love You, Liam. God Bless You. Have a Good Sleep.”

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

12 tips for a winter hike The wildest place in Cook County Nearly 10 amazing places to see bison in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa The story of finding a mysteriously empty picnic grove and nature preserve and wondering who loves it A great nature center to visit and hike at in the winter--and beyond … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

The Story of a Father and Son in 55 Questions

I'm taking a break today from writing about nature in Chicagoland to post a poem about my dad, who died 25 years ago today. This poem tells the story of the 27 years I was lucky enough to share with him. Who are you?Are you my Dadda?Why are you always smiling at me?More yogurt!?Can I … Continue reading The Story of a Father and Son in 55 Questions

The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2021

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I wrote many stories about nature destinations in 2021, but I also covered other topics that were near and dear to my heart including stories about the sudden loss of a high school classmate, saying goodbye to the the second church I attended in my lifetime (and … Continue reading The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2021

Discovering Nature and Finding Peace During the Pandemic: A Story of Three Seasons in Chicago’s Southland

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I lived for 15 years on the “mean streets” of…well…well…Jefferson Park—a “nice-streets” neighborhood on Chicago’s far Northwest Side. Not a concrete jungle, but certainly a city neighborhood, with pretty houses packed closely together; mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and bars hanging on for dear life during the … Continue reading Discovering Nature and Finding Peace During the Pandemic: A Story of Three Seasons in Chicago’s Southland

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

The wildest place in Cook County 12 tips for a successful winter hike and some destination suggestions The celebration of a high school friend taken too soon More than 20 amazing nature spots on Chicago’s South Side and in the Southland to check out this weekend and beyond. A midwestern region where you’ll be saying, … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2020

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I wrote many stories about nature destinations in 2020, but I also covered a lot of other topics that were near and dear to my heart including stories about my family (including saying goodbye to my third set of "grandparents"), surviving and thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic, … Continue reading The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2020

Remembering Matt Lignell

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND My high school classmate, Matt Lignell, died suddenly of a massive heart attack on New Year’s Eve after making dinner for his mom. Matt and I attended Luther High School South together (Class of 87), and we remained casual friends into our early 20s. What shocking and … Continue reading Remembering Matt Lignell