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

7 Stories About My Dad on Father’s Day

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND My father died of cancer nearly 25 years ago. Sometimes I feel like it was just yesterday; other days it feels like forever ago. The feeling of loss and pain at losing a beloved parent is like a punch in the gut every day. Sometimes the "punch" … Continue reading 7 Stories About My Dad on Father’s Day

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

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND 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 … Continue reading Remembering My Third Set of “Grandparents” and a Special Friendship

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