The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2019

I wrote many stories about nature destinations in 2019, but I also covered a lot of other topics that were near and dear to my heart including stories about my family, the loss of a 100-year-old home in my neighborhood, the senseless murder of a sweet little boy, a first-time Amtrak trip across the country … Continue reading The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2019

Need Gift Ideas for the Holidays and Beyond? I Have 16 Talented Friends

copyright David Fode I HAVE SOME TALENTED FRIENDS. I didn't just realize that, but it's always important to celebrate achievement in visual art, music, and writing since it is so difficult to attain. As a nature blogger, poet, essayist, frustrated short story writer, and amateur visual artist, I know how much work it takes to … Continue reading Need Gift Ideas for the Holidays and Beyond? I Have 16 Talented Friends

Sad Thanksgiving News and the Celebration of a Great Life

On Thanksgiving Eve, Fred Bryan (my wife’s 96-year-old uncle) laid down to sleep on his farm in beautiful Walworth County in southern Wisconsin for the last time. Before he closed his eyes, I’m sure he thought of the family Thanksgiving he was to host the next day at the Big Foot Country Club, which is … Continue reading Sad Thanksgiving News and the Celebration of a Great Life

Remembering My Father-in-Law Jim on Father’s Day

I'm taking a break from nature to write about Jim McKenna, my father-in-law, who passed away in 2003. I wrote this remembrance two days after his death. Jim was a great husband, father, brother, uncle, great-uncle, father-in-law, and friend, and everyone—no doubt—has their own fond memories of him. One of my best memories of Jim … Continue reading Remembering My Father-in-Law Jim on Father’s Day

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

The story of a fun journey from Chicago to Washington, DC, by train The wildest nature spot in Cook County The remnants of the Manhattan Project…and some great hiking and biking opportunities One of the best places to see spring flowers in Chicagoland A personal ghost story and tales of Resurrection Mary and other ghosts … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in May 2019

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

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