My Journey into the Wilds of Chicago

Public Speaking Programs on Chicago's Natural Wonders

This is the performance upon which Mike’s book is based. It’s about beauty, passion, and inspiration. It is a celebration of the sublime and mysterious wonders that exist right next door in the paradise known as “Chicago Wilderness.”

In this breathtaking presentation, professional nature photographer Mike MacDonald takes you on a virtual journey into the natural splendor of the Chicago region.

Countless wildflowers float above the prairie like musical notes in a symphony of color and texture. A black-crowned night heron, with eyes of red, hunts among the reeds. Melted pools of orange water on a frozen slough reflect a wintry sunset, as a lone coyote plots his course across the purple ice.

The performance includes startling images from some of Chicago’s finest nature preserves combined with delightful storytelling and readings from Mike’s coffee table photography book of the same name.

People have said that Mike’s landscape images allow them to virtually “walk into the scene.” Calling the photographs stunning would not hyperbolic, as many in the audience may find themselves stunned, not just by the splendor, but by the surprising vastness Chicago’s natural vistas. Many local preserves are featured, ranging from Westchester’s Wolf Road Prairie to Zion’s Illinois Beach State Park, Lockport’s Messenger Woods to Elgin’s Bluff Spring Fen.

Mike has been performing professional comedy and improvisation for over thirty years, so don’t expect him to be read from a script or speak in a calm English accent, like an announcer from a PBS nature program. This show is fun, quick-paced, and lively. Mike speaks about several specially selected preserves and why they’re special to him. He expresses his excitement for Chicago’s many wonderful species, like the blue melting flower and the spear-like grass seed that you can actually watch as it drills itself into the soil. And, of course, he tells engaging stories of his time in the wilds of Chicago.

The length of the performance is designed to meet the needs of the customer, usually between thirty to ninety minutes. The presentation ends with questions from the audience. The more, the merrier, as Mike appreciates spontaneity and lively interaction.

“My Journey into the Wilds of Chicago” will easily appeal to nature lovers and photographers. Yet, almost any Chicagoan can appreciate this program that celebrates the bustling natural beauty that thrives just down the road. If you like the nature programs on PBS, this presentation is definitely for you—well, unless you require an English accent.

This nature photography program is appropriate for audiences of all ages.

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