The 7 Most-Popular Posts at Nature in Chicagoland in November 2018

Model Trains and Chicago Scenes at an Arboretum, Indoor Oases for Weather-Challenged Winter Weekends, A Book About an Illinois Environmental Legend, Trolls, The Wildest Place in Cook County, A Walk With My Son Amidst Political Chaos. These were the topics of the most-popular posts at Nature in Chicagoland in November 2018 based on page views … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Posts at Nature in Chicagoland in November 2018

More Than 10 Nature Centers and Other Destinations to Visit to Beat the Heat

Chicagoland is baking in a 90+ degree heat wave. Heat indexes are expected to exceed 105 degrees during the next few days. A hike, horseback ride, or run in the forest preserves are probably not on your list of must-do activities during this extended summer scorcher, but there are many indoor nature- or history-oriented spots … Continue reading More Than 10 Nature Centers and Other Destinations to Visit to Beat the Heat

Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

Today is the one-year anniversary of my blog, Nature in Chicagoland. In the last year, I’ve published more than 40 articles (45,000+ words, I can’t believe it myself) 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 … Continue reading Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

Orland Grassland: A Respite From Malls, Motorways, and Modernity

Where: 167th Street & South LaGrange Road--About 35 miles southwest of Chicago city-center Quick Summary: A large restored grassland complex with prairie, oak savannas, shrublands, ponds, wetlands, and woodlands. Perfect for hiking and birdwatching. THIS DOESN'T LOOK PROMISING, I thought to myself, as I drove south on LaGrange Road toward Orland Grassland. LaGrange Road would be better … Continue reading Orland Grassland: A Respite From Malls, Motorways, and Modernity

The Importance of Authenticity: On the Eclipse, Tom Skilling, and Being Oneself

We live in a world of Auto-Tune, Pollyannaish social media posts, and Z-list celebrities. A world that’s loaded with people looking the same, acting the same, and often thinking the same (lump me in there at times). Of reality TV- and social media-manufactured controversies and edginess. We crave authenticity, but we’re surrounded by cultural complicity. … Continue reading The Importance of Authenticity: On the Eclipse, Tom Skilling, and Being Oneself

Effigy Mounds National Monument: Massive Bears, Stunning Views, and Thousands of Years of Native American History

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service. Marching Bear Group. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service. Where: Northeastern Iowa. The monument is located three miles north of Marquette, Iowa, on Highway 76. Phone: 563/873-3491, ext. 123 (visitor center front desk) Web, Facebook Distance From City-Center Chicago: 220 miles Travel Notes: The historic river town of … Continue reading Effigy Mounds National Monument: Massive Bears, Stunning Views, and Thousands of Years of Native American History

River Trail Nature Center: Birdwatching, Hiking, and Much More

Where: 3120 Milwaukee Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062, 847/824-8360, Web Visited: June 23, 2017 and April 18, 2017 Quick Review: A nature center that features: Beautiful views of the meandering Des Plaines River, great birdwatching, and three easy-to-hike trails through forest and wetlands. Many birds. Yes, I know I just mentioned them, but they’re worth another mention. … Continue reading River Trail Nature Center: Birdwatching, Hiking, and Much More

7 Places to See Bison in the Midwest

Bison are an enduring symbol of the old American West—and our national mammal. Massive, powerful, and free, they linger in the American imagination unlike any other land animal except perhaps the bald eagle and grizzly bear. At their peak in the mid-1800s, an estimated 30 to 60 million bison ranged from Canada to northern Mexico … Continue reading 7 Places to See Bison in the Midwest